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Literary fiction, classics, dystopian, history, memoir, prize winners, and of course the 1001 books. You really might catch me reading anything!

Currently reading

Empire of Cotton: A Global History
Sven Beckert
Progress: 220/656 pages

The Shipyard

The Shipyard - Juan Carlos Onetti

Juan Carlos Onetti was a very well-known Uruguayan author. I had not heard of him before picking up this book. How did I find it? I was looking for a book that was both on the 1001 books list and would get me some points for an international challenge in a goodreads group.

 

Also, I have a huge gaping hole in my reads for works published between about 1940 and 1980. Huge. Gaping. Hole. Nationality and original language are irrelevant. For reference I graduated from high school in 1987—so my gaping hole includes the years of my childhood and those years that had yet to produce "classics" that we read in school. The Shipyard was originally published in Spanish in 1961. My translation is from 1968.

 

And this book is interesting. Also, unusual and a bit hard to follow. Largely because there is a lot of references to what happened before. When the shipyard was a working shipyard. Why Larsen was run out of town. Why he changed his name. Why he came back. What is he hoping to gain by working for a salary he never receives and may never receive. And why do his 2 colleagues do the same. Why why why? And would this all make a touch more sense if I knew more (or really, anything) about Uruguayan history?

 

Per 1001 Books, I now know there is a second volume, The Body Snatchers, that is the follow-up, but explains the years before. It is not on the 1001 books list, but I am soooo curious I want to read it.