Chronicle of San Gabriel by Julio Ramon Ribeyro - Review & Giveaway
Travel by book. It’s the only hope most of us have to go globetrotting and see places we’ve dreamed of, always feared, or never even heard of. In Chronicle of San Gabriel, Julio Ramon Ribeyro will take you to a Peru you never knew existed. Based on his own experience, this fictional work recounts one 15-year-old boy’s trip with his skirt-chasing, ever-drinking uncle to visit relatives in the mountains of Peru. The world he discovers there at the family hacienda is like nothing he could have fathomed.
The hacienda of San Gabriel is more of a pit stop, being the only place along the way for travelers to rest for the night and get a home cooked meal and perhaps a few too many adult beverages. While a large number of rebellious cousins and quarreling aunts and uncles call it home, others drift in and out causing a constantly changing series of interactions between contrasting people in the middle of nowhere - a sort of mini galaxy.
I couldn’t help but draw comparisons between Chronicle of San Gabriel and one of my favorite books The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. In both instances, you have an unusual group of people placed together in a remote location. Both groups form their own hierarchies, smaller groups, etc. as people are prone to do. But in Chronicle of San Gabriel, the outcome is more wild, passionate, and even sometimes lawless than the mostly-European group in The Magic Mountain. Oh, would I love to sit down and talk with someone else who has read both! This could consume the better part of an afternoon.
If you’d like to win your own copy of this fascinating book, I have one to give away. As usual, there are three ways to enter: 1.) Subscribe to this blog to be entered into this and all future giveaways here. 2.) Leave a comment telling me what intrigues you about this book (something more than “Sounds good” is kindly requested). 3.) Post a link back to this giveaway on your blog. Or do all three, and you have three entries. The winner will be drawn on April 3, 2008, at 12noon EST. (Please enter themommyspot(at)gmail(dot)com into your address book so you don’t miss the email telling you the book is yours.)
Posted in Book Review and Giveaway