Asleep In The Sun Paperback – Dec 12 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
In a seriocomic saga of a man imprisoned by himself and the machinations of the world, a Buenos Aires watchmaker is talked into institutionalizing his wife because she can't decide what sort of dog she wants. "Casares's black comedy is a witty and ironic comment on our desires and the social structures we have created," determined PW.
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“A sweet, increasingly surreal fable….The fantastic events seem less momentous than the almost saintly likeableness of Lucio, one of those people whom things happen to with a cockeyed vengeance. Levine’s slangy, salt-of-the-earth translation helps to make this shapely and appealing."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Its broader themes of compatibility and well-being, and man’s attachment to place and routine, connect it with such older twentieth-century masterworks as Mann’s The Magic Mountain."
"A witty and ironic comment on our desires and the social structures we have created. This tale…weds laughter and terror in haunting fashion."
— Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In Asleep in the Sun, Lucio Bordenave experiences that leakage. His chronically unhappy wife, Diana, is further distressed when Lucio loses his job at the bank. Her mental health slips until she is anxious to enter a sanitarium which seems to combine elements of mental institution and pet hospital. Lucio desperately misses his choleric mate although his misery is challenged by the attentions first of his wife's lookalike sister and later by his neighbor's wife. When Diana finally returns, she is far more agreeable than previously. Lucio likes her better this way but is unsure if he loves her. As the sliphole into the fantastic leads in ever stranger directions, Lucio must decide if his dog, also named Diana, has become the true host of his wife's spirit. In trying to solve this problem, Lucio bravely enters the sanitarium and asks indelicate questions. It is at this point, the novel becomes ever more harrowing and the path back to "reality" more difficult to discern.
As with Kafka, Borges and Marquez, Bioy utilizes the fantastic to delineate the real. A Day in the Sun is a love story that explores the nature of connection and of identity. It also functions as political parable and cerebral adventure story.
Lucio's stolid nature, as well as his love for his wife, is his greatest asset as he enters this strange world lying so close to our own. Critic Thomas Beltzer says of Bioy's narrators: "The strangeness is not just in the observed but in the observer." Part of Bioy's art is to encourage the reader/observer to test the line between real and fantastic while experiencing the book. If the observer can accept and move through the small opening with the author, he will find Asleep in the Sun a rewarding fable.