Reader reviews and comments on Delirium, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Delirium

A Novel

by Laura Restrepo

Delirium by Laura Restrepo X
Delirium by Laura Restrepo
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2007, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2008, 336 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

Page 1 of 1
There is 1 reader review for Delirium
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Austinlaw

Delirium: Layers of Imagination
Born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1950, Laura Restrepo knew and experienced life in Latin America. Using her experience and knowledge Restrepo wrote her book Delirium, in 2004 Restrepo won the Premio Alfaguara de Novela for her amazing insight into Colombian life with her novel Delirium. Restrepo placed layer upon layer of social, cultural, and political undertones within the large and small details of her book. Narrated with talent and excitement, the main plot of this novel is fragmented into narration by numerous characters. Each of Restrepo’s characters exhibits qualities that relate to conflict within Colombia and Latin America as a whole. On one side, Delirium throws out information to discover the reason of Agustina’s madness. But it is also a remarkably simile whose veins run much deeper, delving into the lives of five characters: Aguilar, Agustina, Bichi, Midas, and Nicolás, Agustina’s grandfather. Through the mixing of these distinct voices, Laura Restrepo creates a portrait of the Colombian society plagued by war and corruption.

I find Restrepo’s portrayal of Colombia to be very strong, I have had some first hand experience with culture and society in Latin America. I spent five weeks in Costa Rica living with a home-stay family with in a very rural community and had the opportunity to see some of the social stressors described in Delirium. The first parallel to my experiences that comes up in this novel has a lot to deal with the image of the United States from the stand point of Latin America. Restrepo does an exemplary job in wording this viewpoint but referencing the "technological God of the Americans" (Restrepo 2007, 15). When speaking with my home-stay family they mentioned many of the students that stay with them often focus on the technological devices they bring along, such as: laptops, cell phones, and PDAs. A belief has grown within Latin America that North Americans are replacing their gods in a religious sense with technology and electronics. Restrepo was specifically commenting on the wealthy Latin Americans who fly to the U.S. for medical treatment instead of staying in their home country. The medical technology that was evolving during the time period that Delirium takes place in was very advanced in retrospect.

The next distinguished social stressor that Restrepo outlines in her book deal with the gender roles in the traditional Latin American family. The way Restrepo paints Agustina’s father to be a dark, overbearing, and hot tempered is an excellent way to shine light on Latin American family structure. The father is meant to be shown with power and will, not to mention certain expectations of his family. One of those expectations is a common theme among Latin American families and it is the social idea of machismo. Machismo is the idea of typical masculine male. Many mothers in Costa Rica while I was there spoke about the topic of a machismo son, and the importance of it. “The girl Agustina hugs another, smaller child tight; it’s her brother Bichi…It is the last time, Bichito, Agustina promised him, my father will never hit you again,” (Restrepo 2007, 8) you can see from this passage the resulting anger in Agustina’s father when he is displeased with the fact that his youngest son, Bichi, does not exhibit a machismo attitude. This is a great example of the general viewpoint in Latin America on homosexuality. Many homosexuals in Latin America have to hide, because of fear of death or ridicule. This can also be seen in Costa Rica; in the community I spent five weeks in. Some of the community members mentioned that homosexuals meet in secret, as to not bring to much attention to there selves.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Delirium, and a personal look inside Colombian society from the mind of Laura Restrepo.

[Editor's Note: Edited for plot spoilers]
  • Page
  • 1

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Daisy Jones & The Six
    Daisy Jones & The Six
    by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    In this evocative novel written in the format of an interview with members of a fictional music ...
  • Book Jacket: The Age of Living Machines
    The Age of Living Machines
    by Susan Hockfield
    In the face of looming global challenges, such as overpopulation, resource depletion and disease, Dr...
  • Book Jacket
    The Mars Room
    by Rachel Kushner
    There is palpable tension between expectation and reality in Rachel Kushner's third novel. The ...
  • Book Jacket: The Guest Book
    The Guest Book
    by Sarah Blake
    Sarah Blake's critically-acclaimed third novel The Guest Book was a hit with our First Impressions ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Patsy
    by Nicole Dennis-Benn

    A haunting depiction of immigration and womanhood, and the silent threads of love.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
An American Marriage
by Tayari Jones

A masterpiece of storytelling, and a 2018 Oprah's Book Club Selection.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Guest Book

The Guest Book
by Sarah Blake

"An American epic in the truest sense."
—Entertainment Weekly

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

M I Haste, R A L

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.