Simon Howard's Reviews > Reputations

Reputations by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
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it was ok

This is a novella about a political cartoonist reaching the end of his career. At an event celebrating his life, he meets a young female journalist who he had previously met as a child, when an event pivotal to the novel's plot occurred. Revisiting 'the event' risks the reputations of many of the novel's characters.

The writing is tight, and even in translation remains eminently quotable:

People already know what they think. People already have their prejudices well formed. They only want someone in authority to confirm their prejudices, even if its the mendacious authority of newspapers.

There are no political cartoons that don’t sting, and none without honey.

Not knowing is not hell. The hellish thing is not knowing whether I want to know.

But - I found the plot hard to follow, very implausible in places (seven year olds drinking themselves unconscious?!), and unresolved by the ending. With fantastic prose but so much else letting it down, I'm slightly baffled as to why this has been so critically praised.

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Reading Progress

July 2, 2016 – Shelved
July 2, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
October 26, 2016 – Started Reading
October 29, 2016 – Finished Reading

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