“Whimsical, poignant, moving fiestas that skip through decades, even centuries, to gather up the far-flung voices of dictators and militants, exiles and immigrants, tango singers, soccer players, and writer friends, not to mention the testimonies of trees, rivers, and wind.” Vanity Fair
“Eduardo Galeano is one of South America's most distinguished literary figures.” The Washington Post
“Evoking the call of poets and singers, and the mysterious voices of wind, moon, trees, and dreams, Galeano remains, first and foremost, a wonder-struck raconteur.” The New Yorker
“Voices of Time consists of three hundred and thirty-three . . . electrical charges, occasions of wonderment, lessons in fraternity . . . There are birdsongs, Beethoven's electricity, and, of course, Eduardo Galeano, who is a fiesta.” The Nation
The simplicity of these 300 vignettes belies their complexity. They read less like stories and more like prose poetry: each word carefully chosen, each phrase evocative of an entire action or mood. "This book recounts the stories I have lived or heard," states Uruguayan writer Galeano, who has previously authored Upside Down and the trilogy Memory of Fire, which won him the 1989 American Book Award. Here, he entwines family history with highly subjective and selective accounts of geological events, South American history, scientific discoveries, and anthropological observations. The results are disturbing; human inhumanity is a frequent topic. But rather than browbeat readers, Galeano excels in controlled irony; what is stated shouts through the stunned silence following each ending. One is reminded of the work of Jorge Luis Borges. Not all is negative, however-some stories offer hints of hope. This anthology may prove popular in public libraries, although busy students in academic libraries will enjoy taking intelligent breaks from arduous studies with Senor Galeano's keen insights.-Nedra Crowe-Evers, Sonoma Cty. Lib., Santa Rosa, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Never mind James Frey's modest inventions. Uruguayan writer Galeano (Upside Down, 2000, etc.), with delightful daring, assumes that his story is universal, and that our stories are, too-and they need not even be strictly true. Galeano's book, a series of mostly impressionistic vignettes never more than a page long, starts with ponderings on blue-green algae and jumps at once to protohominid footprints along an East African lake. Gradually, historical figures appear, denizens of Iberia and elsewhere in Europe-but wait, for here comes the soccer hero Diego Maradona streaking across the sky, illuminating the ancient houses of C-rdoba. Well, time is time, always malleable; and, as Galeano writes, "We are made of time. / We are its feet and its voice. / The feet of time walk in our shoes." Time is a theme to which Galeano frequently adverts and reverts; historical figures such as Isaac Asimov (pondering why it rains at sea), Christopher Columbus and John Paul III are merely along for the ride. Throughout, Galeano makes cameos, as when he serves as a judge in a sixth-grade writing contest, glad to hear that one little girl loves her teacher because "he'd taught her not to be afraid of being wrong." As for the real wrongdoers: Suffice it to say that George W. Bush would not be pleased to read these headlines, written as if channeled through Borges, Faulkner, Garc'a Marquez and Guevara. The news the author brings consists of anecdote and reminiscence, but more in little-known pieces of history and observation that instruct and admonish. Children suffer and have always suffered, the poor will not inherit the earth and the killers at Columbine "wanted to hijack a plane and crash it into the twintowers in New York."Readers unfamiliar with Galeano's kaleidoscopic presentation may be baffled. Fans of his style will find this a gem.