Félix Ventura trades in an strange commodity; he's a broker in stories, clandestinely promoting new pasts to humans whose futures are safe and who lack just a reliable lineage to accomplish their lives. during this thoroughly unique homicide secret, the place individuals are now not who they appear and the briefest of connections ends up in the forging of fullyyt new histories, a bookish albino, a gorgeous lady, a mysterious foreigner, and a witty speaking lizard come jointly to find the reality in their lives. Set in Angola, Agualusa's story darts from tormented previous to dream-filled current with a lightness that belies the savage historical past of a rustic within which many have whatever to fail to remember -- and to conceal.
a super American debut through some of the most lauded writers within the Portuguese-speaking international, this can be a superbly written and continually remarkable story of race, fact, and the transformative energy of creativity.
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Extra info for The Book of Chameleons: A Novel
His consumers wanted simply to climb a flight of stairs to have loose entry to his books, piles and lumps of them, laid out at random at the powerful lounge ground. Félix Ventura and that i percentage a love (in my case a hopeless love) for previous phrases. Félix Ventura used to be initially schooled during this by way of his father, Fausto Bendito, after which through an previous instructor, for the 1st years of highschool, a guy topic to melancholic methods, and so slim that he appeared constantly to be jogging in profile, like an outdated Egyptian engraving. Gaspar – that was once the teacher’s identify – was once moved by means of the helplessness of definite phrases. He observed them as down on their good fortune, deserted in a few desolate position within the language, and he sought to get well them. He used them ostentatiously, and again and again, which frustrated a few humans and unsettled others. i believe he succeeded. His scholars began utilizing those phrases too, first of all only in jest, yet later like a personal dialect, a tribal marking, which set them except their friends. these days, Félix Ventura guaranteed me, his scholars are nonetheless fairly in a position to recognising each other, no matter if they’ve by no means met ahead of, on listening to quite a few phrases… ‘I nonetheless shudder at any time when I listen a person say ‘duvet’, a repulsive gallicism, instead of ‘eiderdown’, which to me (and I’m convinced you’ll accept as true with me in this) looks a truly gorgeous, quite noble observe. yet I’ve resigned myself to ‘brassiere’. ‘Strophium’ has a type of historic dignity approximately it, however it nonetheless sounds a bit abnormal – don’t you think that? ’ Dream No. 1 I’m crossing a highway in a few alien urban, making my manner in the course of the crowds of individuals. humans of all races, all creeds, all sexes (for a protracted whereas I used to imagine there have been simply two…) cross me through. males wearing black, with darkish glasses, wearing briefcases. Buddhist clergymen, guffawing heartily, chuffed as oranges. Gossamer girls. fats matrons with purchasing trolleys. thin children on skates, moderate birds slipping in the course of the crowds. Little boys in unmarried dossier, at school uniforms, each one conserving fingers with the only in entrance, one instructor within the lead and one other at the back of. Arabs in djelabas and skullcaps. Bald males strolling killer canines. law enforcement officials. Thieves. Intellectuals misplaced in concept. employees in overalls. not anyone sees me. now not even the teams of eastern, with their video cameras, and slim eyes alert to every thing round them. I cease correct in entrance of individuals, I converse to them, I shake palms with them, yet they take no discover of me. They don’t converse to me. I’ve had this dream the final 3 nights. In an prior existence, my lifestyles nonetheless in human shape, a similar factor used to occur to me rather usually. I take into account waking up afterwards with a sour flavor in my mouth, my middle choked with nervousness. again then i assumed it used to be a premonition. Now i believe it can be a affirmation. both means, it now not upsets me. Alba while she awakened, she was once referred to as Alba, or Aurora, or Lúcia. within the night, she used to be Dagmar. At evening: Estela. She used to be tall, very white – no longer that opaque, milky kind of white so universal in northern ecu ladies, yet with the sunshine whiteness of marble, translucent, less than which you can stick with the impetuous flowing of her blood.