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Blue Flowers by Carola Saavedra ,. Daniel Hahn Translator. A novel of dark obsession, missed connections, and violent love. Marcos has just been through a divorce and moved into a new apartment. He feels alienated from his ex-wife, from his daughter, from society; everything feels flat and fake to him. He begins to receive letters at his new address from an anonymous troubled woman who signs off as A.
Marcos falls under the spell of the manic, hypnotic missives and for the first time in years, something moves him. Blue Flowers alternates between the letters detailing the dissolution of A. The letters become a kind of exorcism as both A. Possessed by A. Blue Flowers is a dark portrait of desire, undermining accepted truths about love and sex, violence and fear, men and women. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published January 28th by Riverhead Books first published September 15th More Details Other Editions Friend Reviews.
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This is an unsettling book as events escalate to produce a disturbing and dark portrait of a violent relationship. Curious, he opens them despite not being the intended recipient, and quickly falls into an obsessive trance with the unknown writer. The letter-writer, on the other hand, evokes sympathy as she is clearly struggling to process the end of her relationship, despite all the trauma. Blue Flowers is intimate in the extreme. His subsequent spiral into obsession gave me subtle YOU vibes, although not quite as crazy.
The translation from Brazilian Portuguese by Daniel Hahn is pretty much flawless, and I imagine it was a tricky one as there are a lot of run on sentences and repetition.
But, and sadly there is a but, despite everything I liked about this book, the ending left me with too many questions to be satisfied. View all 3 comments. Nov 08, The Artisan Geek added it Shelves: bookcase. Need some time to gather my thoughts - what an experience. Feb 27, Doug rated it really liked it. Initially, the repetitiousness annoyed me, but it serves a purpose, in that it almost hypnotizes the reader.
And ultimately, I was won over by the mysteriousness of what is actually going on here, which - if not necessarily explicated fully - leads o 4. And ultimately, I was won over by the mysteriousness of what is actually going on here, which - if not necessarily explicated fully - leads one to some intriguing questions.
May 13, Elizabeth rated it liked it Shelves: fiction , translated. Feb 04, Never Without a Book rated it liked it. What the Nov 21, jeremy rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction , translation. Oct 25, Jaclyn Moyer rated it it was ok. The main character had a real issue with women, and sounded so narcissistic and snobby- he honestly annoyed me crazy. The letters tried so hard to be poetic, but my interpretation was that the author of the letters was obnoxiously avoiding saying what she meant and was SO repetitive, which I believe was the point I found myself literally skimming lines because she was repeating everything about times.
It was definitely a waste of time unfortunately, I was really looking forward to it based off of the synopsis on the back. Feb 28, Megan rated it it was ok. I like beautiful prose, but it really must be combined with something happening in the plot. This one described a lot of things that occurred in the past, in beautiful, complicated language, but no action, no plot, no conclusion.
Just not for me. I received this book as a free giveaway in exchange for my honest review. Not worth it. Apr 26, Taylor Givens rated it liked it. This one was unsettling and uncomfortable in a good way. The translation is so well done.
View all 4 comments. Jun 27, Jillian Doherty rated it really liked it. In its essence it reminded me of Joaquin Phoenix' movie Her. Galley borrowed from the publisher. Apr 18, David W. Cofer rated it did not like it. The idea for the novel was good. The blurb sold the book, but unfortunately, the book failed to deliver the promises of the blurb. The idea of a man receiving anonymous letters from a woman he does not know written to someone else is intriguing.
However, Saavedra's execution of the idea fell flat. The chapters alternate between the letter received by Marcos and his reactions to the letter. However in some of Marcos' chapters, he barely reflects on the letter he just received and in other chapters The idea for the novel was good.
However in some of Marcos' chapters, he barely reflects on the letter he just received and in other chapters he is heavily influenced by the letter. The letters are extremely long for a letter, lasting eight to ten pages. Not long for a book chapter, but long for a letter. The letters ramble, go off on tangents, and are incoherent. No one would write a letter such as these.
The book was difficult to finish. I literally had to force myself to trudge through it. Fortunately, it is only pages long and not a lengthy trek. The ending unfortunately was no better than the rest of the book, a huge disappointment. It is too bad the blurb oversold the book, or perhaps the book failed to live up to the hype.
I really liked the idea and was anxious to see what an author would do with the concept. Jan 19, Anna rated it it was amazing. This book moves like a song, not like a novel. It has a cadence and rhythm you can feel that crescendos and then cuts out suddenly right towards the end, when Marcos's fantasy ruptures. To me, it's more of an indictment of how straight men tend to idealize women and expect impossible things from them than it is lauding the perspective of a man with a boring interpretation of the world around him.
And I loved it.
Princeton University Library Catalog
Writer and translator Susan Bernofsky loves to blog about all things translation. Click here to find her on Twitter. Enter Daniel Hahn, translation stalwart. He got started just before Halloween:.
Carola Saavedra. Carola Saavedra was born in Chile in and moved to Brazil at the age of three. She has lived and studied in Spain, France and Germany, where she graduated in media studies. She is currently living in Germany. Saavedra was selected as one of the twenty promising new authors in Brazilian literature by Granta magazine.