Juan Gabriel Vásquez - The Sound of Things Falling (3 stars)

A moving and enlightening novel set against the backdrop of Colombia's seediest years

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Juan Gabriel Vásquez - The Sound of Things Falling

(Bloomsbury)

Juan Gabriel Vásquez’s third novel is a compelling thriller which explores the psychological effects of Colombia’s turbulent political past. Antonio Yammara, a young law lecturer, finds himself embroiled in the mysterious life of Ricardo Laverde, an ex-pilot who is murdered soon after they first meet. Antonio needs to find out why, an obsession which removes him from his life and transports him back to the burgeoning years of Colombia’s drug trade.

Vásquez unabashedly delves into his country’s seediest years with an easy, elegant prose. This is a novel about relationships, with others, with nations and with our own memories, inescapable for all but particularly, Antonio suggests, for his peers, for whom those years of Pablo Escobar, guerrilla warfare and political scandal were their formative ones. Moving and enlightening, this novel documents a country’s falling apart and individual struggles to keep it all together with poise and honesty.

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