Monday, October 27, 2008

The Book of Chameleons by Jose Eduardo Agualusa

A beautifully written novel about memory and how our past can haunt our future. Narrated by a gecko, perhaps J. L. Borges reincarnated, The Book of Chameleons tells the story of Felix Ventura, an albino genealogist who sells new pasts to those that will pay. He sells such a past to a man who becomes known as Jose Buchmann. The story then tells of how Jose lives as though his new past were his actual past, questing after his "mother", visiting the place of his "birth", etc. During this time, Felix falls in love with the beautiful but broken Lucia. As the story comes to a close, we find that no matter the new past, the actual past can haunt our future.

Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for 2007, this is a lyrically written novel. A light read, until the final events of the book, I thoroughly enjoyed it.


No comments: