The Sound of Things Falling

The Sound of Things Falling

[a Novel]

Book - 2013
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No sooner does he get to know Ricardo Laverde than disaffected young Colombian lawyer Antonio Yammara realizes that his new friend has a secret, or rather several secrets. Antonio's fascination with the life of ex-pilot Ricardo Laverde begins by casual acquaintance in a seedy Bogotá billiard hall and grows until the day Ricardo receives a cassette tape in an unmarked envelope. Asking Antonio to find him somewhere private to play it, they go to a library. The first time he glances up from his seat in the next booth, Antonio sees tears running down Laverde's cheeks; the next, the ex-pilot has gone. Shortly afterwards, Ricardo is shot dead on a street corner in Bogotá by a guy on the back of a motorbike and Antonio is caught in the hail of bullets. Lucky to survive, and more out of love with life than ever, he starts asking questions until the questions become an obsession that leads him to Laverde's daughter. His troubled investigation leads all the way back to the early 1960s, marijuana smuggling and a time before the cocaine trade trapped a whole generation of Colombians in a living nightmare of fear and random death
Publisher: New York : Riverhead, 2013, c2012
ISBN: 9781594487484
Branch Call Number: VASQU
Characteristics: 270 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: McLean, Anne 1962-


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A new novel by an award-winning Columbian author, it gives gripping insight into Columbian life. Growing up in drug cartel-addled Columbia, a young professor’s chance and painful encounter shows him how generations pay for actions of long ago. Spot-on character descriptions and dialogue, perceptive translation and dark, yet exploratory and not devastating. Highly recommended to those interested in modern history and in timeless, although sometimes painful, human themes. (submitted by JW)

Jun 16, 2016

I like books by this author. To understand their pessimistic feeling, seeping from every page, you need to know more deeply about the history, politics and events in Colombia. It annoys me a bit that he is trying to create some kind of "Colombian literature of lost generation", as was the case with many authors during and after the First World War. Hence the motives of loneliness, emptiness and lack of meaning of life that Vasquez is attributing to his personages. But reality is not quite like that - what the writer is trying to show about Colombians -they in general don't suffer from a deep despair, despite the violent history of the country. But the language of the book is very good. And here we must pay tribute to the translator.

Oct 14, 2014

Well written narrative prose, but some of the dialogue was weak, and the relationships problematic. Still, a joy to read.

The copy I read had wrong pagination for the chapters (which I corrected in pencil).

Winner of IMPAC award.

Sep 26, 2014

2014 Dublin Impact Award winner. This is a wonderful novel, partially set during the Escobar years in Bogota and about the impact of the violence and fear caused by the drug trade on ordinary citizens. It is also a meditation on memory and fate. The book is extremely well-written and highly recommended.

Dec 08, 2013

Great writing; compelling story. I looked forward to reading this, chapter by chapter.

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