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The Fat Man from La Paz: Contemporary Fiction from Bolivia

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The twenty stories collected in this volume offer not only a comprehensive look at the variety and invention of Bolivian literature, but also provide more information about the heart and soul of Bolivia than a warehouse full of news reports. The most comprehensive collection of modern Bolivian literature yet published in English, The Fat Man from La Paz offers a kaleidosco The twenty stories collected in this volume offer not only a comprehensive look at the variety and invention of Bolivian literature, but also provide more information about the heart and soul of Bolivia than a warehouse full of news reports. The most comprehensive collection of modern Bolivian literature yet published in English, The Fat Man from La Paz offers a kaleidoscopic view of the country's last fifty years, from a sociological and cultural viewpoint. The Fat Man from La Paz places such Bolivian luminaries as Augusto Cespedes, whose The Well is probably the most published piece of Bolivian literature, alongside bright young stars like Edmundo Paz Soldan, one of last year's finalists for the Romulo Gallegos Literary Prize (the Nobel prize for Latin American writers). In the title story, Gonzalo Lema's "The Fat Man from La Paz," a Bolivian detective, with a nod to Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, takes a hard look at corruption in Bolivia's capital city and learns a thing or two about the dark ambiguities lurking in human nature and in the communities people build. Many of the other stories in The Fat Man from La Paz appear here for the first time in English.


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The twenty stories collected in this volume offer not only a comprehensive look at the variety and invention of Bolivian literature, but also provide more information about the heart and soul of Bolivia than a warehouse full of news reports. The most comprehensive collection of modern Bolivian literature yet published in English, The Fat Man from La Paz offers a kaleidosco The twenty stories collected in this volume offer not only a comprehensive look at the variety and invention of Bolivian literature, but also provide more information about the heart and soul of Bolivia than a warehouse full of news reports. The most comprehensive collection of modern Bolivian literature yet published in English, The Fat Man from La Paz offers a kaleidoscopic view of the country's last fifty years, from a sociological and cultural viewpoint. The Fat Man from La Paz places such Bolivian luminaries as Augusto Cespedes, whose The Well is probably the most published piece of Bolivian literature, alongside bright young stars like Edmundo Paz Soldan, one of last year's finalists for the Romulo Gallegos Literary Prize (the Nobel prize for Latin American writers). In the title story, Gonzalo Lema's "The Fat Man from La Paz," a Bolivian detective, with a nod to Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, takes a hard look at corruption in Bolivia's capital city and learns a thing or two about the dark ambiguities lurking in human nature and in the communities people build. Many of the other stories in The Fat Man from La Paz appear here for the first time in English.

30 review for The Fat Man from La Paz: Contemporary Fiction from Bolivia

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Edited by Rosario Santos, The Fat Man from La Paz: Contemporary Fiction from Bolivia contains twenty stories that run the gamut from mediocre to excellent, especially Augusto Cespedes' "The Well," about an incident from the grim Chaco War of the 1930s. In some of the stories, there are hints of magical realism. In others, such as Ricardo Ocampo's "Paulino the Indian," the grimness of how the native population is mistreated takes center stage. The collection is a very mixed bag, but as I am inter Edited by Rosario Santos, The Fat Man from La Paz: Contemporary Fiction from Bolivia contains twenty stories that run the gamut from mediocre to excellent, especially Augusto Cespedes' "The Well," about an incident from the grim Chaco War of the 1930s. In some of the stories, there are hints of magical realism. In others, such as Ricardo Ocampo's "Paulino the Indian," the grimness of how the native population is mistreated takes center stage. The collection is a very mixed bag, but as I am interested some day in visiting Bolivia, I felt the book succeeded in giving me an idea of how twenty writers see life in their country.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This is an impossible book to rate, since some of these stories are excellent and some are quite lousy. I did not read every story in this collection, but I managed to get through most of them. The book is organized in reverse-chronologic order, which I don't think works very well. I would highly advise reading the stories from the end of the book forward. Also, many of the stories will not appeal to someone who knows nothing about Bolivia. While there is a general trend in this body of Bolivian This is an impossible book to rate, since some of these stories are excellent and some are quite lousy. I did not read every story in this collection, but I managed to get through most of them. The book is organized in reverse-chronologic order, which I don't think works very well. I would highly advise reading the stories from the end of the book forward. Also, many of the stories will not appeal to someone who knows nothing about Bolivia. While there is a general trend in this body of Bolivian writing to be more lyrical and descriptive than driven by strong plots or characters, the more recent stories take this too some surrealistic extremes. My favorite stories were: Dochera, The Well, and The Fat Man from La Paz. I also liked: Indian Paulino, The Spider, Celebration.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Veronika Sokolova

    I loved the idea of this book (as I absolutely fell in love with Bolivia and this was the only example of Bolivian literature in English I managed to find). However I simply got bored about half way through the book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    The only book I could find of Bolivian fiction. As another reader said, hard to rate as some stories are terrific- and I wish there were more by that author. And some not so good. But good to read before a trip to Bolivia and gave me some information on Bolivian history.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    Unless you want to read some roughly hewn, Bolivian-focused short stories that appear to require some knowledge of the place to understand, forget it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle

  7. 5 out of 5

    Seán Higgins

  8. 5 out of 5

    BD Miller

  9. 5 out of 5

    Keliko

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Meinzer

  11. 4 out of 5

    Evan Gropper

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gene

  13. 4 out of 5

    Asia

  14. 5 out of 5

    Derek

  15. 4 out of 5

    Salim Aliaga

  16. 4 out of 5

    Pam

  17. 4 out of 5

    Clothears

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bhuvan

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rose R

  20. 4 out of 5

    Simon

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pam

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christine Walton

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mr C J White

  24. 4 out of 5

    Looney

  25. 4 out of 5

    Diane

  26. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Adriazola

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alexander

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  29. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lori Michaelson

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