Book review: The Sound of Things Falling, By Juan Gabriel Vásquez
Boyd Tonkin is Senior Writer and a columnist at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Literary Editor at The Independent, and before that Social Policy Editor and then Books Editor at the New Statesman magazine. He has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes and has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize. In 2001, he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for literature in translation, and serves on its judging panel every year.
Friday 13 September 2013
Already a fixed star of Colombia's new fiction, Vásquez throws light into the public and private shadows of his nation's tormented history.
His novels, with their spectral, riddling, immersive narratives that recall his beloved Joseph Conrad, intrigue, move and surprise.
Anchored in family secrets and hidden pasts - as here, when the hero's friendship with a pilot raises ghosts from the drugs underworld - his work revels in a David Lynch-like mood of eerie, time-lapsed mystery.
Once again, Anne McLean translates with subtlety and zest.
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