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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — El caso Neruda by Roberto Ampuero. Una duda profunda que lo atormenta cuando percibe el final de su existencia. Mientras tanto, en Chile el poeta espera impaciente, en medio de un ambiente tenso por el inminente golpe militar contra el Gobierno.

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The Neruda Case – Roberto Ampuero

I bought a real copy of this book, so this ARC is yours if you want it. You have to live neryda the US and be the first to leave a comment. Who Killed Christian Kustermann? To be brutally honest, as I sat down to read this book, I was concerned that having Pablo Neruda nerda a character in a detective novel might be a cheap ploy.

Although the main character spends caaso lot of time and energy traveling around and pursuing answers on Neruda’s behalf, the book turns out to be an homage of sorts to the Nobel-winning poet rather than your standard detective novel. It’s also a commentary on the betrayal and death of ideals. But all three times I was petrified His peace is shattered when another man walks into the room and they begin talking. After a trip to Mexico city that produces more questions than answers, Neruda explains the real reason behind his search: Time is running out ampurro and Neruda, plagued by his memories of all the women he’s betrayed in the name of poetry, wants to know for sure before the end comes.

But of greater interest to me was the political backdrop against which this book is set, during the last gasps of the Allende government prior to the US-backed coup that placed Pinochet in power. Very much recommended, especially if you are interested in Latin American history or revolutionary history in general.

I hope this book does well; perhaps it will create some interest in translating Ampuero’s other novels into English. Roverto all 14 comments. The beloved but flawed Allende government falls to the infamously repressive Pinochet government.

This translation of a work published in gives us an intimate, if fictional, portrait of Pablo Neruda. Author Ampuero, in an afterword to the novel, Chile. Ampuero wanted to show Neruda cao he was—a complicated man of great contradictions. I favor a nuanced view of great artists and leaders. Ian McEwan wrote of a fictional Nobel Prize-winning scientist in Solarand managed the nuance mixed much ribaldry but did not base his work on just one man.

An interview with Ampuero in the online magazine The Daily Beast states ampueto Neruda was in fact a serial monogamist, just as he is depicted in the novel. Neruda actually had, and left, three or four wives. I think it is safe to assume that a man who meruda write movingly about love has experienced it in spades.

Great men often have great appetites. Ampuero wanted to show the man as he was, not just as he is imagined to be. My interest in this novel is the South American-ness of it: The literature and music spoken of in the book, for nerruda reason, is generally what Europeans and North Americans were reading or listening to at the time.


Occasionally Ampuero speaks of bolero and carimba, but as now when we read of detectives based in Europe or Africa, oftentimes they are listening to something America or Europe has produced.

Roberto Ampuero – Wikipedia

Towards the end of this novel, my mind began to wander. Despite my impatience with the slow unfolding of roberfo mystery, I appreciated the fullness of the story by the end. Ampuero apparently now works out of the University of Iowa, where he attended the Iowa Workshop. Jun 28, Pete Wung rated it liked it.

The problem for Latin American language authors is that people have a tendency to compare to some pretty heavy hitters, like Garcia Marquez, Vargas Llosa, or Luis Borges. That is patently unfair of course, but people will carry with them these expectations into the book.

So the beginning of The Neruda Case was somewhat unpromising.

Not very dramatic, somewhat pedestrian and actually kind of slow. In the middle of the beginning paragraph, I started to wonder whether it was the translation that was The problem for Latin American language authors is that people have a tendency to compare to some pretty heavy hitters, like Garcia Marquez, Vargas Llosa, or Luis Ell.

In the middle of the beginning paragraph, I started to wonder whether it was the translation that was problem or whether it was Ampuero that was the problem. As I got further into the book, the narrative was good enough to hold my interest without making the reading seem like a chore, the writing got better and the story became far more interesting.

Of particular interest were the narratives which was written in Neruda’s own voice. Ampuero pulled off the feat sl writing in two distinct styles. Although the majority of the narrative was written in the third person subjective voice, and was less than engaging.

El Caso Neruda

The novel weaves itself around the life of Pablo Neruda towards the end of his life. The entire narrative hangs itself on Neruda’s female conquests, but the end of Neruda’s life is also wrapped around the coup in Chile which saw the legitimately elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende be deposed by Agosto Pinochet and the Nixon White House. That part casso the narrative seemed to be more interesting, and Ampuero was seemingly eager to explore that line of narrative.

And he did for a time, but he kept returning to the Neruda story because that was the mechanism by which he chose to tell his story. The story got better, the writing got better, and my interest got more piqued as I worked my way through the story. I doubt I would have kept going mapuero the rough parts if it weren’t for those narratives written in Neruda’s voice. In the end, it was a decently satisfactory story with a fairly satisfactory ending. My interest is piqued enough to try some of Ampuero’s other novels.

El caso Neruda

If this seems like a mild review, that is because it is. I am glad I read it, but there was nothing exceptional about the story or the writing. A really compelling mystery by an amazing writer. A detective hired by Pablo Roebrto, who encourages him to read Maigret novels for his training set against a backdrop of political upheaval in Chile on the eve of Robfrto rise to power, intrigue, communists and more.

See the locations of the book here – link: At a dinner party one evening he comes across the poet Pablo Neruda who won the Nobel Prize for Literature injust two years previously. As they talk, Neruda provides him with a eoberto — to find a man he has n Literary tourism? As they talk, Neruda provides him with a challenge — to find a man he has not seen for many many years. The only important thing is that he finds this man — Neruda is dying of cancer and this is his final wish.


Cayetano finds that this mission takes him away from Chile, robberto Mexico, Cuba, East Germany, and Bolivia, where he meets a wide range of people and situations. On the trail for one man — Dr. Angel Bracamonte, a researcher on the medicinal properties mapuero native plants, but Neruda does not want to find Bracamonte for his medical skills.

There are more personal reasons at stake. Valparaiso Chile — the home of Pablo Neruda and a key location for watching events of Chilean history unfold. The backdrop of the history and landscape of Chile run parallel to the story and form a large and informed picture of a country in turmoil. In the s, Cayetano, his wife, and Neruda watch the consequences of the political landscape play out right in front of their eyes — The attempted coup came live and direct over the radio, like in the American movies, turning the country into a passive spectator The media buzz and the fear and excitement of the people show a country on the edge where tension is the order of the day.

This is a country going through some troubling times.

Pablo Neruda has three houses, the most famous of which is La Sebastiana and his poetry dots the literary landscape here giving a unique view of the man sitting in the armchair he names La Nube. A man who loves women as much foberto words and whose life was filled with both grandeur and meanness.

Revolution is coming and Chile is a country which will feel the full force of this drastic change. With such a thrilling backdrop, the story of Neruda and his mystery search shows a side to Chile never seen before and a poet and vaso life which takes centre stage.

Bookish musings If you are interested in the poet Neruda and want to learn a little about Chilean history, this is a fine way to do it.

A slow plot in parts and one which develops over the whole book but what this leaves you with is a full and immersive impression of Chile, its history, and its people. I knew a little of Neruda having studied him for A level Spanish and then again at university but never had I seen him like this before.

Some of it fictional yes, but this still gives an interesting view of him in his own surroundings. A potted cultural, poetic and political study of Chile for despite the many locations, Chile takes centre stage, but when the history is this fascinating, this is no bad thing. A very interesting and immersive read Notified May 31 that I have won a First Reads copy–hooray!

My uncorrected proof copy arrived this afternoon–June let the reading begin. English language readers finally have the opportunity to read the writing neruds Roberto Ampuero and what an opportunity it is! Ampuero is an internationally acclaimed and translated writer and his Maigret wannabe detective, Cayetano Brule, has been entertaining readers for years.

We first meet Brule as he answers a summons from the supremely admired poet Pablo Neruda. Neruda is seriously ill and asks Brule to find a doctor he knew years before who may provide help, or so we initially are led to believe.

Cayetano has no experience as a robergo but Neruda cajoles him to begin the search and suggests he read the Simenon books starring the fictional detective Maigret for guidance in the art of detection.

The main action takes place in against the chaotic and real events surrounding the fall of Allende and rise of Pinochet in Chile.