Monday, May 14, 2012

Classic Makes a Return Appearance: The Tunnel

I am extremely disappointed that this is the first I have come across Ernesto Sabato because he is FANTASTIC! He has been compared to Gogol, Camus, Mann, and Greene and he certainly deserves that place amongst the greats. For the first time in almost 30 years, “The Tunnel” is being reprinted and it would behoove you to pick up a copy. I’m only looking out for you on this one!

Though it was written in 1948, the story couldn’t be more contemporary. The narrator, Juan Pablo Castel, is a successful artist who falls for a woman he sees at one of his exhibits. His adoration for her quickly becomes obsession and eventually paranoia which could put his love and life at risk.

The story is exceptional. It is dark, eerie, and has a very heavy atmosphere. Basically, it’s everything that I look for in a book. The language is sublime and not a single word is wasted. Still, the most amazing aspect of the book is the narration. At first, it seems very straight-forward in which Castel speaks directly to the reader about his past infractions. However, it quickly becomes clear that Castel is not a reliable narrator and his paranoia has made him delusional. Therefore, the novel changes from being about a heinous act and becomes a psychological drama that spirals further and further into Castel’s own psychosis. It is beautiful!

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