The Shape of the Ruins Summary and Reviews

The Shape of the Ruins

by Juan Gabriel Vasquez (author), Anne McLean (translator)

The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vasquez (author), Anne McLean (translator) X
The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vasquez (author), Anne McLean (translator)
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2018
    528 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A sweeping tale of conspiracy theories, assassinations, and twisted obsessions - the much anticipated masterpiece from Juan Gabriel Vásquez.

The Shape of the Ruins is a masterly story of conspiracy, political obsession, and literary investigation. When a man is arrested at a museum for attempting to steal the bullet-ridden suit of a murdered Colombian politician, few notice. But soon this thwarted theft takes on greater meaning as it becomes a thread in a widening web of popular fixations with conspiracy theories, assassinations, and historical secrets; and it haunts those who feel that only they know the real truth behind these killings.

This novel explores the darkest moments of a country's past and brings to life the ways in which past violence shapes our present lives. A compulsive read, beautiful and profound, eerily relevant to our times and deeply personal, The Shape of the Ruins is a tour-de-force story by a master at uncovering the incisive wounds of our memories.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Vásquez's captivating, disquieting account of a writer's journey through the shadowy terrain of his country's past dynamically illustrates how violence damages survivors, lies erode society, and fiction can convey truths history omits." - Publishers Weekly

"Like any conspiracy theory, it's overly thick with information, but Vásquez successfully gives it a novelistic shape. A fine work of art about the blurry line between truth and artifice." - Kirkus

"Juan Gabriel Vásquez's latest and most ambitious novel... A dazzlingly choreographed network of echoes and mirrorings." - Times Literary Supplement (UK)

"[A] clever, labyrinthine, thoroughly enjoyable historical novel." - The Guardian (UK)

"With utmost skill, Vásquez has us accompany him in his detective work, proposing a reflection on ghosts from the past and the inheritance of blame, doubt and fear." - El País (Spain)

"Absolutely hypnotic, a display of tense, agile, intelligent narrative, it takes conspiracy to a whole other level." - El Cultural (Spain)

"A reinventor of Latin American literature in the 21st century." - Jonathan Franzen

"Juan Gabriel Vásquez's The Shape of the Ruins is a highly sophisticated, fast-moving political thriller set in Colombia and an excellent read." - Alan Furst

"One of the great novels of recent years." - Mario Vargas Llosa

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Juan Gabriel Vásquez's previous books include the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award winner and national bestseller, The Sound of Things Falling, as well as the award-winning Reputations, The Informers, The Secret History of Costaguana, and the story collection Lovers on All Saints' Day. Vásquez's novels have been published in twenty-eight languages worldwide. After sixteen years in France, Belgium, and Spain, he now lives in Bogotá.

Anne McLean translates Latin American and Spanish novels, short stories, memoirs, and other writings. She has twice won both the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Premio Valle Inclán, and received the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award with Juan Gabriel Vásquez for his novel The Sound of Things Falling. She lives in Toronto.

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