David's Reviews > The Winners

The Winners by Julio Cortázar
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's review
Jan 18, 2012

really liked it
Read in January, 2012

It took me a while to figure out where this book was taking me, similar to the plight of the passengers on this mysterious voyage. I even had trouble discerning the genre, which in the end doesn’t really matter just as long as you arrive somewhere different from where you began.

At times a character study, a mystery, a series of existential musings, a political satire, a metaphysical allegory, an examination of lurid sexual desire. I was initially put off by the sequential introduction of all the participants and some of the affected dialogue, which could be a translation issue, but after a while it all started to work. And then this minor character, Persio, starts his first monologue and you feel like you’ve been thrust into the cosmos with all of the thoughts of man and God at your disposal. These Persio passages, there are 10 or so, are either the stream of consciousness musings of a genius or the thoughts of a madman (or perhaps an author showing off his chops).

But ultimately this is a slow-burn mystery …how were the passengers selected, where is the ship bound, why are they restricted from visiting the bridge, who will have sex with whom? It’s all pretty satisfying in the end although you’re not sure what the truth is or even if the truth exists …I guess that’s the point.
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