The Antiquarian

The Antiquarian

Paperback - 2014
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Three years have passed since Gustavo, a renowned psycholinguist, last spoke to his closest friend, Daniel, who has been interned in a psychiatric ward for murdering his fiancée. When Daniel unexpectedly calls to confess the truth behind the crime, Gustavo's long buried fraternal loyalty resurfaces and draws him into the center of a quixotic, unconventional investigation through an underground network of antiquarian dealers. While Daniel reveals his unsettling story using fragments of fables, novels, and historical allusions, Gustavo begins to retrace the past for clues: from their early college days exploring dust-filled libraries and exotic brothels to Daniel's intimate attachment to his sickly younger sister and his dealings as a book collector. As the circumstances grow increasingly macabre and intricate with every turn, Gustavo is forced to deduce a complex series of events from allegories that are more real than police reports and metaphors more revealing than evidence. And when a woman in the ward is found murdered, Daniel is declared the prime suspect, and Gustavo plummets deeper into the mysterious case.
Published: New York :, Black Cat, an imprint of Grove/Atlantic,, [2014]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780802121608
0802121608
Branch Call Number: F FAV
Characteristics: 209 pages ;,21 cm
Additional Contributors: Mulligan, Joseph - Translator

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FlingingPasta
Sep 24, 2015

I'm 3/4 of the way through this intense, intriguing novel. There's lapses of intensity and interest, but I'm still driven to find out the end to the mystery.

Lost its intensity. I took a break, signed it out again.

A complex, macabre read -- beautiful and ugly, brutal and sensual. Not for the squeamish. Reviewers raised similarities to Borges, Calvino, among others. Having recently read Meyrink’s The Golem, I would throw in that comparison as well as a hint of Brown’s The DaVinci Code. Beautifully designed and written book, and thankfully only one error made its way past the editors and proofreaders – a punctuation error on p. 193 (Black Cat, 2010). A film version of this would fall alongside Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth.

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mclarjh
Jun 07, 2015

The novel failed me completely. I felt nothing for any of the paper-thin characters, or the story. Written by a literary critic for other critics rather than for readers.

amf_0 Oct 22, 2014

Odd, bizarre and not for the faint-of-heart

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