Monday, 27 July 2009

Book Choice #16:

Nathan Englander: The Ministry Of Special Cases

A harrowing, powerful account of life in Buenos Aires during the seventies. It's as if the military junta took Kafka's 'The Trial' and used it as some sort of social control policy. The odd occupation of Kaddish and the Jewish cultural background to the story add an extra layer of interest.

The writer hits the heights for me with his respect for the 'disappeared' Pato by not revealing his final words written on hidden, crumpled scraps of paper - swallowed by another of the 'missing' and eventually lost as she is dropped to her death from an aircraft.

Reading this novel is akin to one of those 'anxiety' dreams where you can never quite accomplish an abstract goal upon which your life depends.

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