by Juan Jose Saer

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The tragedy of a man's trip duck hunting with his wife and too much gin is told from four perspectives.See more details below


The tragedy of a man's trip duck hunting with his wife and too much gin is told from four perspectives.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Saer’s witty and affecting novel, published in Spanish in 1969, four characters become linked around a grisly killing and the trial of the accused, Luis Fiore, each telling their portion of the story, in four temporally overlapping sections that run from February to June. Ángel lives with a mother who drinks his gin and lounges around half-naked. As a young journalist for La Región, he covers the courts and the weather which, after getting it wrong too often with almanacs, he simply fabricates, fancifully: “the city was oppressed, melted, felt more youthful with spring warmth, and suffered waves of blood in their eye sockets and furious, deafening popping in their eardrums from the atmospheric effects I had created.” Meanwhile attorney Sergio lives only for his baccarat games. Ernesto, the bored judge, views himself as an outsider in a world of gorillas and spends his free time fruitlessly translating The Picture of Dorian Gray. “It’s already been translated so many times that it makes no difference if I make progress or not.... Whole passages come out exactly the same as the versions of the professional translators.” And finally there is Fiore himself, on trial for having shot his wife in the face—twice—after a day of duck hunting. The characters are striking and memorable, their voices deep, comical, and resonant. (Dec.)
From the Publisher

"The style throughout is simple, methodical, clear, and lovely in places. Its textures, colours, details and layers are rich, and much is soaked in significance. It’s busy and it’s clever, but it didn’t suffocate or make me feel stupid. It’s a book that demands to be re-read."—Crystal Jeans, The New Welsh Review

Library Journal
Saer (1937–2005), an Argentine expatriate in Paris, is famous for breaking with Latin American magic realism (the commercialism of which he disdained) in the interest of creating a literature "without attributes" that typically shows the rocky trajectory of human life in all its ironic hilarity. This novel, originally published in 1969, studies Luis Fiore, who shoots his nagging wife, Gringa, while out duck hunting, and three other characters connected with the case in some way—a cynical judge who is creating an umpteenth Spanish version of The Picture of Dorian Gray, an insensitive lawyer whose grandfather taught him three fail-safe ways to cheat at cards, and an apprentice journalist who writes weather reports using meteorological equipment he does not even pretend to comprehend. Translator Dolph is the founder of Calque, a journal of literary translation, and has already ably translated Saer's The Sixty-Five Years of Washington. VERDICT Now a veritable classic of Latin American fiction that has been made into a movie with its original Spanish title, Cicatrices, this cerebral exploration of the vulnerability of our lives unfortunately had to wait four decades before appearing in English.—Jack Shreve, Allegany Coll. of Maryland, Cumberland

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5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

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