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The Tartar Steppe
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June 2018: Magical Realism > The Tartar Steppe by Dino Buzzati- 4 stars

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Tracy (tstan) | 1238 comments This is considered a very early example of Magical Realism, essentially a precursor.

Giovanni Drogo, newly a man, volunteers for military service, and looks forward to war. When he is stationed on a fort that is on the edge of the kingdom, facing a huge desert of prairie, called the Tartar Steppe. Nothing happens here, so time goes by quickly, yet slowly.

The magic component is dreams that come true, also the presentation of how time passes: how it seems to slow and speed. The style is very interesting for a book where nothing really happens until the end. There is suspense- a buildup for an event. Then...nothing. Buzzati was a master of this- it may be why so many authors cite this book as an influence.

I recommend this, but not everyone will like it- there is a great deal of description about military gear, routine, etc- which didn't interest me at all. If the reader can get to the end, it is worth it.


message 2: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments I like that you picked a kind of MR classic! But, it does not sound like my cup o' tea regardless of finding the time slowing and speeding element interesting.


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