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Sea monsters : a novel por Chloe Aridjis
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Sea monsters : a novel (edição 2019)

por Chloe Aridjis

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1125193,344 (3.07)4
"One autumn afternoon in Mexico City, seventeen-year-old Luisa does not return home from school. Instead, she boards a bus to the Pacific coast with Tomás, a boy she barely knows. He seems to represent everything her life is lacking--recklessness, impulse, independence. Tomás may also help Luisa fulfill an unusual obsession: she wants to track down a traveling troupe of Ukrainian dwarfs. According to newspaper reports, the dwarfs recently escaped a Soviet circus touring Mexico. The imagined fates of these performers fill Luisa's surreal dreams as she settles in a beach community in Oaxaca. Surrounded by hippies, nudists, beachcombers, and eccentric storytellers, Luisa searches for someone, anyone, who will "promise, no matter what, to remain a mystery." It is a quest more easily envisioned than accomplished. As she wanders the shoreline and visits the local bar, Luisa begins to disappear dangerously into the lives of strangers on Zipolite, the "Beach of the Dead." Meanwhile, her father has set out to find his missing daughter. A mesmeric portrait of transgression and disenchantment unfolds. Sea Monsters is a brilliantly playful and supple novel about the moments and mysteries that shape us."--… (mais)
Membro:wesmrlnd
Título:Sea monsters : a novel
Autores:Chloe Aridjis
Informação:New York : Catapult, [2019]
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Fiction, PFw

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Sea Monsters por Chloe Aridjis

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Mostrando 5 de 5
That just did not pay off. I was kinda behind the ennui for a while, but it didn't really go anywhere. Baffled by the father's overindulgent monologue at the end. The home metaphors seemed a bit heavy handed. Ah well. ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
Winner of this year's Pen Faulkner Award, Sea Monsters is the memoir- like story of a 17 year old Luisa, living in Mexico City in the late 80's. She attends a boarding school where rich kids have a bodyguard pick them up at the end of the day. She's not one of them but she is bright and her teachers know it, giving her special books to read and topics to explore. She is near graduation and looking for adventure since ,"There is no woodworm in the door hinges, someone once said, a good motto for any age, even at seventeen, and I knew it was wise to keep everything in motion." She decides to run away with Tomas, her latest infatuation, in search of dwarfs that have recently run away from the visiting Ukrainian Circus, (true historical event). She meets Tomas at a party and decides , "that the portrait from up close was even better than from afar: grayish eyes and tufts of hair in all directions, and a gap between the front teeth, surely excellent for whistling. He seemed older than me, by two or three years, and was unusually pale, not in the synthetic manner of the blond stars of Televisa but rather like a güerito de rancho. His face was very round, almost lunar, and more than anything he reminded me of someone handsome I’d once seen in a music video, not the lead singer but someone in the periphery, on a parallel plane."
Their journey lands them in the costal town of Zipolite, where she tires of Tomas in favor of a more exotic sand castle builder whom she refers to as a merman. The plot is not important here. It is the language and imagery that make the novel interesting, that and the appreciation of a time and place unfamiliar to most. The author's descriptions of the waves and the landscapes demonstrate her poetic skills.
The Atlantic sums it up: "the novel’s satisfactions come not from character growth or plot resolution, but from the evoking of emotion through symbols. As Luisa wanders through Zipolite, she returns to a handful of images: iguanas, breaking waves, shipwrecks, the island of Kythera, an ancient Greek predictive device known as the Antikythera Mechanism. Each one shifts in meaning, like the seashells, and tracking their evolving significance pulls readers deep into the novel’s interpretive project."
Some lines:
Sometimes I would see Tomás walk past, his shadow easy to pluck out from the rest, and although he kept a certain distance I recognized him instantly, tall and slender with a jaunty gait, like a puppet of wood and cloth slipped over a giant hand.

Remember, he’d say, society is like a fish tank, only less beautiful to watch. The structure is not so different, however: here we have the shy fish who spend their lives hiding between the rocks, missing out on moments both important and trivial, then the gregarious types who crisscross the water in search of company or adventure, always on the move without knowing where they’re headed, and then the curious ones who hover close to the surface, first in line for food but also first should any hand or paw plunge in.

His face was from another continent and another era, with hooded wide-set eyes and thick lips and sloping eyebrows. And even more like my favorite actor, Peter Lorre, his expression could go within seconds from gentle to glowering to broken and forlorn, the face of someone historically haunted, a face that seemed to carry in it several chapters of European history.

El Pitufo, a coke dealer who wrote poetry; people listened to him recite his latest poems in exchange for free samples, and the more they consumed, the better his poetry sounded to their ears. He longed to be taken seriously, but when people saw him all they could think of was fine white lines.

El Nueve was the nocturnal reply to the daylight hours, the place that drew those of us who preferred European moonlight to the Mexican sun. Located halfway down Londres in the Zona Rosa, it played dark wave, post punk, and industrial, often courtesy of its Scottish DJ, an angular Goth who wore pointy boots and a black suede tassel jacket.

There are two kinds of romantics, my older cousin had explained, the kind who is constantly falling in love and simply needs a person into whom they can pour every thought, dream, and project, and the kind of romantic who remains alone, waiting and waiting for the right person to arrive, a person who may not even exist. It was too early to know which kind I would be. ( )
  novelcommentary | May 18, 2020 |
A great read about growing in Mexico city in the 80s. Klaus Nomi, the antikythera mechanism, and defecting soviet dwarfs? Yes. ( )
  ThomasPluck | Apr 27, 2020 |
This book had me feeling “meh” and it took a while for me to get into it. The story is about 17 year-old Luisa’s adventure and a boy she meets, Tomás. Not a whole lot happens in this book and it had me going “was I that dumb at 17?” ( )
  Lauranthalas | Jun 24, 2019 |
*from the 2019 Camp ToB longlist*

SPOILERS BELOW! Full review on goodreads with tagged/hidden spoilers.

Sometime in the mid-1980s. This short novel follows 17-year-old Luisa. She disappears after school one day, traveling to Oaxaca (Zipolite) with her new friend/boyfriend Tómas (19). She claims to be looking for a group of Ukrainian dwarves who disappeared from the Soviet circus they were traveling with. Tómas takes her to a tourist beach he likes. They mostly hang out, eat lunch at one of the beach restaurants (which sounds much more casual and cheaper than a CA beach restaurant), drink beer, and sleep in hammocks--as they slowly run through their money. One day they walk to town. She thinks about calling her parents, but doesn't. She has not exactly run away (she knows she will return), but they do not know where she is. She and Tómas drift apart, as she realizes they don't have much in common. Instead she hooks up with an older (30ish?) man she imagines is from Eastern Europe and does not speak Spanish. They eat dinner together regularly, apparently never talking? She finally sees him during the day and learns that he is Gustavo, one of the Mexican men who has a dinghy that takes tourists back and forth to different beaches.

She does not head home herself, her father finds her, with the assistance of Tómas' father. She perfectly willingly returns home, and seems rather glad to be found.

A coming-of-age story, through really there isn't much here. She is gone maybe 10 days? The cover flap says "pulsing to the soundtrack of Joy Division, Nick Cave....". Not exactly. The best parts, for me, were the mentions of bands and songs (The Smiths, several times, and others). But I wouldn't call it a soundtrack.

Moody and atmospheric, but it doesn't really go anywhere. ( )
  Dreesie | Jun 3, 2019 |
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"One autumn afternoon in Mexico City, seventeen-year-old Luisa does not return home from school. Instead, she boards a bus to the Pacific coast with Tomás, a boy she barely knows. He seems to represent everything her life is lacking--recklessness, impulse, independence. Tomás may also help Luisa fulfill an unusual obsession: she wants to track down a traveling troupe of Ukrainian dwarfs. According to newspaper reports, the dwarfs recently escaped a Soviet circus touring Mexico. The imagined fates of these performers fill Luisa's surreal dreams as she settles in a beach community in Oaxaca. Surrounded by hippies, nudists, beachcombers, and eccentric storytellers, Luisa searches for someone, anyone, who will "promise, no matter what, to remain a mystery." It is a quest more easily envisioned than accomplished. As she wanders the shoreline and visits the local bar, Luisa begins to disappear dangerously into the lives of strangers on Zipolite, the "Beach of the Dead." Meanwhile, her father has set out to find his missing daughter. A mesmeric portrait of transgression and disenchantment unfolds. Sea Monsters is a brilliantly playful and supple novel about the moments and mysteries that shape us."--

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813.6 — Literature American and Canadian American fiction 21st Century

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