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The Old Man Who Read Love Stories [Paperback]

Luis Sepulveda
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 12 2001 Harvest in Translation
In a remote river town deep in the Ecuadoran jungle, Antonio Jos Bolvar seeks refuge in amorous novels. But tourists and opportunists are making inroads into the area, and the balance of nature is making a dangerous shift. Translated by Peter Bush.

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The Old Man Who Read Love Stories + Almanac of the Dead + The Heart of Redness
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In a remote Ecuadorean river town, an elderly widower-who finds comfort in reading romance novels brought to him by the visiting dentist-joins in the hunt for an enraged ocelot whose cubs were killed by a gold prospector.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

From a Chilean living outside his country, a provocative novella set in the Amazonian region of Ecuador. The village of El Idilio is remote, to say the least, and twice a year an itinerant dentist makes his way up river to rid the villagers of their oral afflictions. One of the dentist's buddies is an old-timer to whom he brings a six-month supply of the romance novels he loves to read. Antonio Jos{‚}e Bol{¡}ivar and his wife had gone into the jungle to live, but the jungle claimed the life of his beloved; Antonio at first blamed the jungle, but as time passed--as he passed time spent with the Indians of the region--he came to appreciate the jungle as the magnificent entity it is and to appreciate the destructiveness "civilization" brings to it. Now Antonio lives a village existence, alone with his romance novels. But when a female ocelot begins carrying out a reign of terror in the area, Antonio's expertise in jungle ways is called upon to get rid of the problem. Over her beautiful dead body he sheds tears, and to his romance novels he retreats. As simple on the surface as a fable, this economically presented tale is, true to a fable, deeply resonant--in this case, about the need for a worldwide ecological mind-set. Brad Hooper --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely satisfying March 26 2002
Format:Paperback
i picked up this book, without any expectations for it, because it looked like a thin and easy to read book; but i was thoroughly surprised by its beauty and its fluent translation. i learned much from this incredible novel, about ecuador, about ocelots; but most importantly i learned what we are doing to the depleting rain forests in the world, and how this is affecting both those who inhabit it and ourselves. this book is poignant and picaresque, and it seems to evoke a sense of passing of a world and a self that find it increasingly difficult to continue to exist in the current environmental conditions. i think everyone who loves animals, who is disturbed by the way technology is destroying the natural world, and who is fascinated with cultures and peoples should not give this book a miss.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story with classic proportion Jan. 24 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
"Old man" is a short but beautiful and poignant story. I cried at one point. It is not a sentimental love story. In fact, it's not a love story at all, so don't be misled. It's a simple and moving story about life set in the Amazon. It felt much like Hemingway's "Old Man and the Sea" and had the same feeling of directness and simplicity combined with profound truth. Sepulveda is much more in tune with contemporary sensitivities than most people would find Hemingway (although I love Hemingway's stories). A major theme of Old Man who Read Love Stories has to do with the destruction of the Amazon. This is not to say the story is any sort of politically correct pablum. It is much more profound than that. I think Hemingway would have approved with gusto.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review of the Movie, Starring Richard Dreyfuss Aug. 3 2001
Format:Paperback
I was introduced to this book through seeing the premiere of this movie at the Melbourne International Film Festival. I must stay that the screen adaptation of this book is moving and a delight to see, the photography and direction impressive and Richard Dreyfus as Bolivar is in my opinion his greatest acting achievement that I have seen to date.
Hugo Weaving plays the Dentist and puts in a superb performance.
Filmed on location in French Guyana, the director has succeeded in creating a film that, thanks to an excellent cast, is full of originality and humor, which leaves you with plenty to think about long after you leave the theatre.
At this stage it is unclear what sort of broad release this movie will see, so ask around and lobby for it.
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