Saturday, August 15, 2009

Snapshot Book Review: Rosario Tijeras

Rosario Tijeras Rosario Tijeras by Jorge Franco Ramos
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am more willing to accept this book as a translation, but ultimately, the language did not quite fit the novel. Its constructions and vocabulary were too simplistic for the deep emotions it was trying to convey, and therefore it came across as not presenting anything new or unique: it was just a story of unrequited love. The main characters--at least the narrator and Rosario--were complex and interesting enough to remain engaging throughout the novel, but the actual story of Rosario and the narrator's love for her was not new or innovative enough to deserve any praise.

The format of the book was both untraditional and appropriate--interweaving the narrator's present-day hospital waiting room thoughts with his memories that told the actual story of his life with Rosario--but the lack of break between them sometimes made the narration confusing and forced me to go back and reread the transition (or lack thereof) so I was certain I had entered a new timeframe. This is jarring and disruptive in any book and detracts from the ideal immersive reading experience.

To its credit, however, it was a short and quick read. I wish I knew Spanish, because I would be very inclined to read the novel in its native language. Alternatively, I would also be interested in reading it translated by a different translator, because I am sure this would also affect the interpretation. What a fascinating job that would be!

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