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The Sound of Things Falling
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2018 Book Discussions > Sound of Things Falling - Background and General (No Spoilers) (Dec 2018)

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message 1: by Carol (last edited Dec 02, 2018 03:49PM) (new) - added it

Carol (carolfromnc) | 452 comments This is the general/background thread for our discussion of The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez.

The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
El ruido de las cosas al caer by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
Ο ήχος των πραγμάτων όταν πέφτουν by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
Zgomotul lucrurilor în cădere by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
صدای افتادن اشیا by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
Das Geräusch der Dinge beim Fallen by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
Asjade kukkumise hääl by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

I once again am jealous of the covers available in other editions and translations around the globe.

The Sound of Things Falling won the 2014 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Alfaguara Novel Prize in Spain and an English PEN award. Its translator, Anne McLean has translated each of Vasquez' novels into English and has also twice won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.

Vasquez is a Colombian author, best known for the novel we're reading and discussing this month, although it's not his first and he also has translated quite a few classics. He was born, and has returned in the last several years to live, in Bogota, Colombia's capital. Previous books include The Informers and The Secret History of Costaguana. Sound was first published in Spain in 2011, and its English translation in Great Britain in 2012. Reputations followed, and - in late September of this year -- The Shape of the Ruins was released.

The judges on the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award panel described The Sound of Things Falling with this:

"Through a masterly command of layered time periods, spiralling mysteries and a noir palette, it reveals how intimate lives are overshadowed by history; how the past preys on the present; and how the fate of individuals as well as countries is moulded by distant, or covert, events."

If you are in the mood for literary-prize-winning Latin American noir, you've come to the right place this month.

Who will be joining me?


message 2: by Carol (new) - added it

Carol (carolfromnc) | 452 comments The Guardian profile of Vasquez linked below was published in 2010, e.g., prior to the release of The Sounds of Things Falling - the very best kind of informative read with no risk of spoilers. Plus it scratches the surface of Colombia's recent political history which can only enhance our enjoyment and understanding of this read.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/201...


message 3: by Carol (new) - added it

Carol (carolfromnc) | 452 comments The Library of Congress posted this brief email interview with Vasquez. It includes no spoilers.

https://www.loc.gov/poetry/interviews...


Bretnie | 568 comments I just started it! I'll wait until I get through part III before commenting more.


message 5: by Carol (new) - added it

Carol (carolfromnc) | 452 comments Bretnie wrote: "I just started it! I'll wait until I get through part III before commenting more."

Share your thoughts any time, Bretnie. It’s always intriguing to hear in the moment how we each respond (or don’t) to novels.


Bretnie | 568 comments This is embarrassing but there was a brief point where I thought it was an actual memoir and I groaned a little. But then when I realized it was fiction I got excited again.

I wonder if I had kept reading it as a real memoir if I would have enjoyed it differently. For some reason I'm not a fan of memoirs.


message 7: by Kay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kay | 73 comments I will be joining too this month. Looking forward to the discussion.


LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2305 comments I am 80 pages in and enjoying it.


message 9: by Carol (new) - added it

Carol (carolfromnc) | 452 comments Bretnie wrote: "This is embarrassing but there was a brief point where I thought it was an actual memoir and I groaned a little. But then when I realized it was fiction I got excited again.

I wonder if I had kep..."


I wouldn’t have read a memoir of Yammara :). Glad you stayed with it, happily.


Aga aka Dumsola | 9 comments I am very annoyed with myself...very...As I have been reading this book I couldn’t get the ‘Narcos’ series out of my head. It completely overshadowed beauty of this book. There were few references to Escobar and that was it, as if someone put a black blanket over the rest of this book. I will have to re-read it some other time. I felt there was so much in it...For now I am looking forward to everyone else’s views and analysis.


message 11: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark | 286 comments I'm reading nad enjoying TSTF, though I'm intrigued by his riposte to Conrad: The Secret History of Costaguana http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10.... Mat Johnson did a similar thing contra Poe in Pym.


message 12: by Carol (new) - added it

Carol (carolfromnc) | 452 comments Mark wrote: "I'm reading nad enjoying TSTF, though I'm intrigued by his riposte to Conrad: The Secret History of Costaguana http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10.... Mat John..."

I so want to read Secret History.


message 13: by Carol (new) - added it

Carol (carolfromnc) | 452 comments Aga wrote: "I am very annoyed with myself...very...As I have been reading this book I couldn’t get the ‘Narcos’ series out of my head. It completely overshadowed beauty of this book. There were few references ..."

Interesting, Aga. As luck would have it, I started watching Narcos around Thanksgiving and found that it really helped me at the beginning of TSTF to be reminded of the political climate and the impact of the coke trade. Plus, the hippos. But there’s been so little reference to Escobar or how his arrest/s, the violence played out that Narcos hasn’t interfered with my enjoyment. I hope you’re able to return to it and enjoy it.


message 14: by Marc (new) - rated it 3 stars

Marc (monkeelino) | 2590 comments Mod
Being able to see into the future, I knew we would be reading this book as a group, and refrained from watching Narcos as a result. I apologize for not warning the rest of you.

Just picked up my copy at the library last week and am only 40 pgs in but quite taken with it.


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