“Juan Gabriel Vásquez . . . has succeeded García Márquez as the literary grandmaster of Colombia.”


Just finished Songs for the Flames by Juan Gabriel Vasquez. Short stories.
The nine stories that comprise this book are totally character driven. The intensity of the feelings of these people burn through the pages. The author who writes mostly about his native Columbia, and especially about the political problems there, this time leaves the politics behind for the most part and instead delivers people who face different kinds of adversity in their lives, from the photographer who witnesses an accident on a well known private ranch, to the writer who in a bar is told a fascinating story about how a man had to deliver very bad news to a wife of a friend, and years later tries to look that man up only to find a different story.

Their is the friend who receives a letter from his dead friends father, shocking him with the pain he feels in the letter, and the two friends at a military reunion who we discover didn’t know the truth behind their war experiences.
Vasquez to me never disappoints. He is always on point and his stories are hard hitting. Another fine collection.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 14th January 2022

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Richard Franco