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At Night We Walk in Circles

A Novel

Alarcón, Daniel

(Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
At Night We Walk in Circles
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"A novel set in an unnamed South American country"-- Provided by publisher. "The breakout book from a prizewinning young writer: a breathtaking, suspenseful story of one man's obsessive search to find the truth of another man's downfall. Nelson's life is not turning out the way he hoped. His girlfriend is sleeping with another man, his brother has left their South American country and moved to the United States, leaving Nelson to care for their widowed mother, and his acting career can't seem to get off the ground. That is, until he lands a starring role in a touring revival of The Idiot President, a legendary play by Nelson's hero, Henry Nunez, leader of the storied guerrilla theater troupe Diciembre. And that's when the real trouble begins. The tour takes Nelson out of the shelter of the city and across a landscape he's never seen, which still bears the scars of the civil war. With each performance, Nelson grows closer to his fellow actors, becoming hopelessly entangled in their complicated lives, until, during one memorable performance, a long-buried betrayal surfaces to force the troupe into chaos. Nelson's fate is slowly revealed through the investigation of the narrator, a young man obsessed with Nelson's story-and perhaps closer to it than he lets on. In sharp, vivid, and beautiful prose, Alarcón delivers a compulsively readable narrative and a provocative meditation on fate, identity, and the large consequences that can result from even our smallest choices. "-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York City :, Riverhead Hardcover,, 2013
ISBN: 1594631719
9781594631719
Characteristics: 374 pages ; 24 cm

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Mar 20, 2014
  • ITC rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I thought of returning the book a few times before finishing, but there was just enough intrigue to keep me going. I am glad I did. I am also glad I didn't cheat and skip to the end.

Dec 04, 2013
  • JCLRachelSH rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I don't like comparing writers to other writers, but I can't help it here. The things I love best about At Night We Walk In Circles are the same things I love about Roberto Bolaño — both walk the tightrope between bleak absurdity and heartfelt beauty, for an overall tragicomic effect. But where Bolaño is messy and sweeping, Alarcón is accessible and entertaining. This compact, well-paced little novel about a guerrilla theater troupe traipsing from village to village in an unnamed Latin American country has it all: prison, patricide, broken marriages, earnest teenagers, mistaken paternity, all-wrong love, a play-within-a-play, and hijinks galore. It's a quick and comic read with enough heft to hold up to multiple rereadings; a shiny little jewel that rises to the top of my pile for the year.

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Heartbreak is like shattered glass: while it's impossible that two pieces could splinter in precisely the same pattern, in he end, it doesn't matter, because the effect is identical.

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app05 Version gurli Last updated 2014/12/09 10:52