"No one who lives long enough can be surprised to find their biography has been molded by distant events, by other people's wills, with little or no participation from our own decisions," writes Colombian author Juan Gabriel Vasquez in The Sound of Things Falling. Indeed the novel is a meditation on the role that chance intersections play in our lives and the crushing impact that even one wrong (and seemingly innocuous) decision can have. It is also Vasquez's ode to his city of Bogota that was ravaged by the drug war during the 80s and 90s.
A small news item about a hippo having escaped from a zoo on the outskirts of Bogota triggers a cascading series of memories in Antonio Yamarra, a young law professor. He remembers frequenting a local bar and running into the enigmatic Ricardo Laverde, a self-described retired pilot. During their brief period of acquaintance, it is clear that ...
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