Item description for Vida feliz de un joven llamado Esteban (Ficcionario) by Santiago Gamboa...
A lucid and emotional homage to the simple life, this reflective novel plays with the notion that it is only possible to understand one's own life by reflecting on those of other people. On a snowy day in Paris,Esteban Hinestroza gazes out of his window and loses himself in memories of his 1960s childhood in Colombia. As he sorts through memories of his ownpast, Esteban recalls the personal history of Too, who loved Delia but couldn't defend himself againstCory's jealousy;of the child Ismail, whose family guarded the bones of his dead uncle; and of Federico, an expert in suicides with a profound understanding of interpersonal relationships, particularly thosefrom his own past.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 5.8" Height: 1.4" Weight: 1.8 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2007
Publisher Ediciones B
ISBN 8440698720 ISBN13 9788440698728
Availability 0 units.
More About Santiago Gamboa
Santiago Gamboa is a correspondent for several Spanish-language newspapers and the author of several novels in his native Spanish.
Reviews - What do customers think about Vida feliz de un joven llamado Esteban (Ficcionario)?
Innocents at Home and Abroad Jul 8, 2005
Just finished reading this book the other day and figured I might as well review it, since it sort of got me thinking. But don't worry! Not too much or about anything too deep. Just about Gamboa and the other Latin American writers I've been reading lately. And what struck me most clearly is that _Vida feliz_ is a much more appealing novel than most of those written by Gamboa's more famous Latin American colleagues: the characters are likable, they lead ordinary lives recognizable to almost anyone likely to read the book, and the prose style is pleasant and accessible.
These attributes are in direct contrast to the ugliness of Roberto Bolaño's _Detectives salvajes_ or the ridiculous magic realism of GGM and his mediocre acolytes (Gamboa can be forgiven his one lapse in this regard: he describes a cry so loud it causes two unripe papayas to fall from the tree in the patio of the family house outside Medellín). In some ways, especially in the earlier sections of the novel, it seems to me that the greatest influence is the late work of Julio Ramón Ribeyro, whose verve and irony make his stories of childhood essential reading. But _Vida feliz_ is what it says it is, a book about a happy life. Innocence is preferred to irony.
In the book, Gamboa looks back on a middle-class childhood that has none of the exoticism of life in Macondo or aboard a tramp steamer plying the Magdalena River. Instead, kids go to school, play with their friends, get their diver's licenses. All in all, a refreshing change. One thing that was a bit exotic--for this gringo reader, anyway--was to see upper-middle class kids old enough to have sex and do drugs ask their families' live-in maids, as if it were the most normal thing in the world, to serve them and their friends coffee and snacks. Weird. But all the same the kids seemed mostly unspoiled, so I didn't mind.
I didn't think the novel was flawless: for one, it was laid out too clear. Every time the narrator mentioned a Colombian personality he followed with a parenthetical phrase saying who the person was and what he was famous for. As it happens, I didn't always know who the people were and the explanations were sometimes interesting, but they still annoyed me. I wanted the narrator to speak to me as if he were speaking to himself or to his friends and not as if I were listening to a schoolteacher. It wouldn't have mattered if I had missed some allusions.
On the whole, though, I'd recommend _Vida feliz_, especially to readers who are looking for Latin American books that don't have levitating beauties or death rattles heard across the oceans or excessively handsome drowned men.
Gamboa una vez mas. Oct 1, 2003
Santiago Gamboa continua con su encantadora prosa. En un libro simple, divertido y elegantemente escrito, Gamboa logra situar al lector en varios pasajes importantes de la historia Colombiana del siglo pasado. La vida del joven Esteban puede ser feliz, pero es aburrida. Contrario ocurre con todos los que se topan en su camino: viven vidas tristes y tragicas pero interesantes. Esto ubica a Esteban como un observador ideal de la evolucin de un pais como Colombia. Antes de leer este libro recomendaria leer "Perder es Cuestion de Metodo", una novela policiaca en la que Gamboa hace una muy divertida exposicion de todas sus habilidades.
Vida cotidiana en tiempos hostiles Jun 29, 2003
Santiago Gamboa forma parte de esa generación de escritores colombianos nacidos en los años sesenta que cambiaron las mariposas amarillas del realismo mágico por mariposas grises de la violencia urbana; sin embargo Gamboa en su estupenda novela Vida feliz de un joven llamado Esteban nos demuestra que a pesar de vivir en un país marcado por la guerrilla, el narcotráfico y los paramilitares, todavía es posible llevar una vida feliz, llena de esas cotidianidades que nos permiten abstraernos un poco de la cruda realidad. El joven Esteban Hinestroza reflexiona sobre su vida asomado a una ventana una nevada tarde parisina y evoca a un niño que nace en los años sesenta y crece en una Colombia polarizada, hundida en una cruenta guerra despues del asesinato del lider Gaitán; Esteban es un niño clase media hijo de padres intelectuales que le dan una infancia llena de amor, de juegos, de libros; y alrededor de Esteban se van tejiendo decenas de historias de personajes que viven y aman, que sufren por causas ajenas a la política. Vida felíz de un joven llamado Esteban es un excelente libro, porque a pesar del dolor y la miseria que corroen a Latinoamerica, nuestra vida es mucho más que conflictos políticos.