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Shape of the Ruins
Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
18 posts | 11 read | 20 to read
A sweeping tale of conspiracy theories, assassinations, and twisted obsessions -- the much anticipated masterpiece from Juan Gabriel Vsquez. The Shape of the Ruins is a masterly story of conspiracy, political obsession, and literary investigation. When a man is arrested at a museum for attempting to steal the bullet-ridden suit of a murdered Colombian politician, few notice. But soon this thwarted theft takes on greater meaning as it becomes a thread in a widening web of popular fixations with conspiracy theories, assassinations, and historical secrets; and it haunts those who feel that only they know the real truth behind these killings. This novel explores the darkest moments of a country's past and brings to life the ways in which past violence shapes our present lives. A compulsive read, beautiful and profound, eerily relevant to our times and deeply personal, The Shape of the Ruins is a tour-de-force story by a master at uncovering the incisive wounds of our memories.
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gradcat
The Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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1. The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vásquez ?
2. I‘m with the crowd—black ?!
3. Broke a tooth ?, and it really hurts ?
4. Yes, loudly, and yes
5. Hello @Velvetfur — This is probably too late (I‘m always behind)—but I‘m really just saying, Hi, how are you? ? ♥️

EadieB Did you get to the dentist? 2mo
Velvetfur Hi sweetie! I'm OK thanks, still crazy busy with work, we've been making aprons for brands' events, as well as the bridesmaid dresses and some christening gowns too! (and all the home decor) I'm sorry to hear you broke a tooth, ouch! How did that happen? 💜 2mo
gradcat @EadieB Yes, but I have to go back...ugh! I really hate stuff like this—I‘m not afraid of the dentist, but I‘ve never broken a tooth before—I didn‘t realize they have to do so much to fix it! Oh, well, it‘s certainly not the worst thing that can happen, right? 2mo
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gradcat @Velvetfur I‘m not really sure! I felt something hard in the back of my mouth, but I didn‘t even know what it was at first—it didn‘t hurt or anything—but then I felt this sharp thing in the back of my mouth & realized it was a broken tooth! Anyway, I‘m glad you guys are so busy...I mean, that‘s a good thing, right? 😂 2mo
EadieB @gradcat Amazing what the dentist can do today! Still feeling lousy after I just finished my antibiotics. Coughing and gagging on the Phlegm still dripping down my throat. Babysitting today so may go back to doctor in a day or two. 2mo
Velvetfur @gradcat Oh gosh, that's not fun for you, get well soon 💜 2mo
gradcat @Velvetfur Thanks for the get-well wishes! ♥️ 2mo
gradcat @EadieB Hope you‘re feeling better today...sounds awful. What about babysitting? Wasn‘t it hard being sick and watching children? Or did you have lots of fun that diverted you from feeling yucky? 2mo
EadieB @gradcat I think I'm getting better everyday but still coughing. Babysitting was very hard especially since I was not feeling well. I was trying to get my granddaughter to go on the potty and she pointed her finger at me and said, “Don't speak to me as I am not talking to you. I only go for my Daddy!“ That made my day as I thought it was so funny. But she will not be taken advantage of as she speaks her mind! 2mo
gradcat Wow, @EadieB — that‘s what I call a real “daddy‘s girl”! 😂🤣😂 Glad you feel better, but sorry you still have the cough...is it making your throat sore? 2mo
EadieB @gradcat No my throat is not sore. Just a lot of dripping! 2mo
gradcat @EadieB Hope you‘re getting better. Plus, I hope you‘re not still dripping! 🤧 2mo
52 likes1 stack add12 comments
review
gradcat
Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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Pickpick

#Booked2019 #Summer #GenreBusting

This is such a gorgeous book, so well written—there were moments that brought tremendous feelings of nostalgia for me; there were moments of poetic beauty; but most of all, there were long passages about history. And it‘s strange, because even though Vásquez writes about the history of Bogotá, he writes about his own history as well. He writes of verifiable events at the same time as he writes of the inner ⬇️

gradcat ⬆️ (Cont.) wounds to his psyche, of how the history of geographical location has shaped his own life. Vásquez is a character in the book—this device is not new—but his deconstruction of history (written by the winners) is a form of deconstruction of autobiography, of memoir, even of memory. If you are not someone who enjoys reading a lot of historical reconstruction, this may not be the book for you. There is an overlong section on the first ⬇️ (edited) 2mo
gradcat ⬆️ (Cont.) half of 20th-century Colombian history that is, at times, slightly tedious. But it is also interesting if this is not an area you know well. Also, again...did I mention how beautiful the writing is? The reconstruction of the history is the reconstruction of the self (the author), and how politics and history can carve out a soul, a body, a self. ♥️ (edited) 2mo
Cinfhen What a passionate review. Thank you for sharing 💜 2mo
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batsy Lovely review! I've read Reputations by the author and found it quite intriguing, though I had a few issues with it. His writing is very compelling. 2mo
andrew61 I didn't get to this when it was nominated for mib but had enjoyed his previous book so after such a good review ill try and find it. 2mo
gradcat @Cinfhen Thank you...it‘s so nice of you to say that...I think I‘m quite passionate about his writing, + he writes things that go directly to my soul...it‘s as if he can iterate things that I feel...I love that, because sometimes I cannot. ♥️ 2mo
gradcat @batsy I love his writing sooo much, but I agree. Even with this book, the centerpiece—Bogotá‘s history—seemed to drag...really slowed the pace of the book. But in the end, I must say he‘s incredibly interesting. ♥️ 2mo
gradcat @andrew61 I think it‘s well worth picking up...I had not read anything by him before, but I definitely intend to read more of his work now. I‘m open to suggestions, if you have any, by the way... 2mo
andrew61 I've only read 'the sound of things falling' but enjoyed it a lot 2mo
gradcat @andrew61 I‘ll take that! That‘s the one I had uppermost in my mind anyway .... 2mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage Definitely stacked, based on your review. 2mo
gradcat @BarbaraTheBibliophage I really hope you like it. I fear this book would have passed right by me if it weren‘t for this challenge, so #blameitonLitsy ... I found myself going back & forth to Google to check out the historical events that Vasquez describes. I think I‘m guilty of knowing only 1st-world & Western history...I was absolutely enthralled, in a way I never would have imagined, by the political history of Bogotá. ♥️ 2mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage I love hearing that #booked2019 prompts have brought people to books they wouldn‘t have read! Yay! 2mo
gradcat @BarbaraTheBibliophage It‘s a wonderful thing! 😉 ♥️ 2mo
67 likes4 stack adds14 comments
review
DreeMorris
The Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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Pickpick

5 stars! Vasquez looks at conspiracy theories, focused on 2 assassinations in Colombia. He looks at how historical events continue to affect regular individuals even 100 years later. Long, complicated, intense, and masterfully done. On the Man Booker International shortlist. I need to read more by this author! #intranslation #colombianliterature #mbi2019 #manbookerinternational #5stars

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mkinney10
The Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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Mehso-so

I liked the concept of this book but would have enjoyed it a lot more at 300 pages instead of 500! It dragged in a lot of places for me.

review
sophierayton
The Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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Mehso-so

Sigh. For me this book just went round and around in circles and never stopped or got anywhere. Plus when that is the feeling you're getting, having it be the length of two books is especially tedious. I'm sure it's rather literary but the story wasn't compelling enough to hold my interest.

Emilymdxn I felt exactly the same 8mo
41 likes1 comment
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Simona
The Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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My personal shortlist for #MBIP2019 #ManBookerInternationalPrize
My opinion - interesting and diverse longlist, but unfortunately very weak. Worthy candidates for shortlist are only three books (Shape of the Ruins, Four Soldiers and The Years) ... the other three are interesting, worth reading, but not strong enough to be shortlisted.

BookwormM I loved Ruins and 2 of your short list I haven‘t read 8mo
Simona @BookwormM The Years and At Dusk? I think that is interesting that The Shape of Ruins is the only ‘classic‘ novel on the longlist and I would be very surprised if it won‘t be on the shortlist... 8mo
BarbaraBB Interesting to see your choices. I haven‘t read any of them. Will the shortlist be announced tomorrow? 8mo
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Simona @BarbaraBB Yes, tomorrow is the big day, and I‘m really curious about announcement! 8mo
BookwormM At Dusk and Four Soldiers I also predict Years will go through 8mo
Simona @BookwormM I just looked at your blog post and our predictions couldn‘t be more different 😁 8mo
70 likes6 comments
review
BookwormM
Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
Pickpick

#MBI2019 #ReadAroundtheWorld #Colombia

I really enjoyed this book about writing a book about conspiracy theories surrounding historical political murders in Colombia.

Full review here www.thereadersroom.org

review
Emilymdxn
The Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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Panpan

It‘s too many damn pages for any man to understand!

I just couldn‘t get on with this one. I feel like a philistine but the politics was impenetrable and the characters didn‘t feel real enough to bear the weight of it. I spent most of it thinking about how much longer there was to go. #manbookerinternational2019

Kshumake omg Hamilton yes! 8mo
51 likes1 comment
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charl08
The Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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Just picked this one up: shortlisted for the #internationalbooker #Booker #prize #Colombia

charl08 And gave up! 8mo
37 likes1 comment
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Emilymdxn
The Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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Weekend away is over so back to reading hardcore to catch up with the man booker international list on the plane!

63 likes1 stack add
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Emilymdxn
The Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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Spanish tostadas are somehow 10000% better than any toast the uk has, I don‘t understand it but I want to eat 40 of them. Warm breezy morning in Alicante and I feel so relaxed and happy. Already planning more trips in Spain, I always adore it here.

BookwormM So jealous although it is a lovely spring day here 9mo
68 likes1 comment
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Expandingbookshelf
Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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He understood that terrible truth: that they were killed by the same people. Of course I‘m not talking about the same individuals with the same hands, no. I‘m talking about a monster, an immortal monster, the monster of many faces and many names who has so often killed and will kill again because nothing has changed here in centuries of existence and never will change, because this sad country of our relationship is like a mouse running on a wheel

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Emilymdxn
The Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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Hi Litsy family! I‘m in a hostel in Alicante, and will be going to Madrid tomorrow so I‘ll probably barely be able to post. I‘m still trying to make headway with the shape of the ruins, which is a bit of a struggle but I‘m persevering.

TrishB Enjoy 👍🏻 9mo
Naj Have fun! 😊 9mo
TheSpineView Have fun and travel safe! 9mo
SW-T Enjoy your trip! 9mo
62 likes4 comments
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Emilymdxn
The Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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Lunch date with the man booker shortlist. This book is pretty heavy and might require more Colombian history than I know. 3% in and I think this could be a long one

Redwritinghood Just picked it up from the library and it‘s a chunkster. 9mo
BookwormM 600 odd pages which is why I am hitting the shorter ones first 9mo
Emilymdxn @BookwormM I‘m keeping the shorter ones for later so I can read one chunky one rather than several short ones before I get paid... bit of a challenge buying lots of books atm 9mo
BookwormM That makes sense I went with buying the cheapest Kindle ones 🤣🤣🤣 this was one of them. I have a voucher I can use in WHSmith so I am hoping to find some there.... 9mo
64 likes4 comments
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Emilymdxn
The Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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Few pages of my next #manbookerinternational2019 pick before I go to sleep. This one is Colombian. It looks very unusual, drawing two different political crimes together in a series of investigations, and I‘m a bit confused about how it will fit together as a novel. I‘m hoping to find it surprising and original but it might just be odd. I have to go in optimistically tho!

review
Simona
The Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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Pickpick

The narrator of the story is the author himself, and who is very successful in weaving together Colombian socio-political situation from the past, with his personal, intimate moments from the present. Throughout the story runs several themes (parenthood, writing, violence...), which are background for one large topic - conspiracy theories. Interesting story, dynamic structure, but unfortunately in the middle parts the story starts to lose ... 👇

Simona ... its narrative power because of slow pacing. More heavy-handed editing, and that would be 5 ⭐️ book. #ManBookerInternationalPrize #MBIP2019 (edited) 9mo
Cinfhen This book sounds great but #pagecountphobia and slow pacing are definitely #RedFlag for me🚩🚩🚩 9mo
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RachelO You‘re flying though these! 9mo
Simona @Cinfhen ... and despite that it‘s still a very readable story 😘 9mo
Simona @RachelO I started on the announcement day ... and I had weekend without any obligations, and I want to finished before the announcement of the shortlist (with the exception of the one book which will be published two days after shortlist) 🤓😘 9mo
wordzie 💝 9mo
58 likes7 comments
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CaroPi
La forma de las ruinas | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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Almost in the middle of this amazing historical book. It narrates the conspiracy theories behind the death of Gaitán and it relationship with the Kennedy asesination. #spanish #espanol

ephemeralwaltz Que familiar ver libros de Alfaguara por aquí! (Vivo en Barcelona :)) 13mo
CaroPi @ephemeralwaltz Que alegría ver alguien más que habla español por acá! Yo soy colombiana pero vivo en Polonia. Los únicos libros de Alfaguara qué veo son los míos o los que me trae mi familia ? 13mo
RaimeyGallant Interesante! 12mo
CaroPi @RaimeyGallant Bastante. Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres 12mo
14 likes4 comments
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melissarochelle
Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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I‘m trying to read, but I‘m having a heck of a time focusing today. Does anyone else struggle with that? Or reading too late and not being sure if your dreams were the book or just dreams. #readingbuddies