Eight of the best books of 2021
The disappearance of Adèle Bedeau by Graeme Macrae Burnet
‘ A bloody plan ‘, the first novel by Graeme Macrae Burnet Published by Impedimenta, was not only a gripping thriller, but it was also a historical and social novel in which its elegant and fluid style was striking, an imitation of the precise and elaborate language that it corresponded to the nineteenth-century documents that made up the text.
‘ The disappearance of Adèle Bedeau ‘, which now comes to us, is actually earlier. But we would be wrong to think that, because it is in the wake of a great success, conveniently aired in the advertising strip, it will be of inferior quality. Sometimes it happens when a reasonable editorial logic comes to the rescue of early works, but this is not the case.
It is true that we are not here in the Scottish Highlands, nor in a time when criminal psychology stigmatized the underprivileged. Now we find ourselves in a small French border town, where there are not many events that come to alter its monotonous existence, as invariable as that of the regulars of its dark bars and mediocre restaurants. In a corner of one of them, Manfred Baumann regularly stands, from where he can observe the usual daily timba, and the young waitress Adèle, whom he is encouraged to follow from time to time. Her disappearance and the evidence of such maneuvers are what lead Inspector Gorski to place Manfred in the spotlight.
William Boyd’s Trio
The world of cinema had already been present in the work of William Boyd: among the protagonists of his novels, we find a director (The New Confessions, 1987), or an actor (Waiting for the Dawn, 2012). But in ‘Trio’, his latest book, it serves as the setting on which his characters move: actors, producers, technicians, agents, lawyers, and all the fauna of that ecosystem in precarious balance.
Boyd has written scripts and adapted texts for himself and others, even going as far as going behind the camera as a director. From that extensive experience derives the knowledge of some ins and outs and practices that he now makes available for his new novel. A text that blends in with its content, acquiring the features of the type of film whose filming it tells, those entertaining stories with a message from the sixties, with what this can mean for the tone, casual, style, direct, and the result, round.
Graham Moore’s jury 272
There are detective novels that manage to stick their heads out of the suffocating crowd that surrounds them, get our attention, and, finally, fulfill the expectations created. That, which is not easy, usually happens because they contribute something different that distinguishes them, that allows them to shake off, without forced fuss, the dust of the beaten path. They can achieve this with an original setting, attractive characters, or an unexpected twist on familiar themes. And the latter is what Graham Moore proposes in his new novel.
‘ Jury 272 ‘ is a legal thriller that results from stirring up a mix of ‘ Twelve Merciless Men ‘, ‘ To Kill a Mockingbird ‘ or ‘ Witness for the Prosecution ‘. Moore offers it to a confident reader, against all logic, in a result, if not innocuous, at least controllable. But the explosive surprises, the unexpected twists, and the shocking ending are so intoxicating that they portend for the cocktail an inevitable version on the big or small screen, we do not know if it lives up to its components.
Natalia Ginzburg’s Sunday
The texts collected in ‘ Domingo ‘ function as a complete sample of Natalia Ginzburg’s work. They are brief texts that announce or summarize what we can find in her novels, stories, and essays, in such a way that they serve as a foretaste and lure for those readers who do not know the Italian author or a happy reunion for those who have already enjoyed her stories. , its characters and its unmistakable style.
Thus, the story ‘The passage of the Germans through Erra’ refers to us to his novel ‘ All our yesterdays ‘. Here also the motorized German troops cross the town causing the flight of some and the resistance of others. A story that is complemented in this volume with the autobiographical text ‘El Fear’, where the author recalls her frustration at the false news about the end of the war, and her concern at the passage of those military vehicles through Pizzoli, the town of Abruzzo to which she accompanied her exiled husband. There he would write his short novel ‘ The road that goes to the city ‘, and from there Leone Ginzburg will leave to die in Roman prisons.
The Hervé Le Tellier anomaly
The scabs and miseries of our society and of ourselves loom ‘The anomaly’, but with the contained irony of one of its characters when noting that “loving avoids at least having to continually search for a meaning in life.”
The last Goncourt Prize is based on a fun scaffolding of literary and cinematographic genres. From this support, its author introduces the unusual to confront the reader with unexpected situations. To force him to ask himself uncomfortable questions, to do what great literature does: shake him until his glasses twist and the skirt of the camera sticks out. shirt.
Le Tellier draws on the thriller, the war tale, that of lawyers and powerful corporations, the college comedy, and the romantic drama to introduce a diverse group of characters that make up his heterogeneous cast. Thus we have a professional murderer with a double life, or an author of little success and unscrupulous translator, whose latest book, ‘The anomaly’, between poetic and metaphysical, will become a great success. That book will also be the gift of a mature architect uselessly in love with a young editor. We also have a Nigerian singer, forced by his violent environment to hide his feelings. A terminally ill, and a black lawyer hired by a pharmacist pointed out the effects of one of their products on black women. Almost nothing.
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
For his previous novel, ‘ The Buried Giant ‘ (2015), Kazuo Ishiguro chose the mythical territory of a medieval and magical England and loaded it with symbols. In his last work ‘Klara and the sun’, he returns to the futuristic fiction that he has already addressed in ‘ Never abandon me ‘ (2005), and which had loaded with black shadows.
Klara, the narrator, is a solar-powered B2 Model AA android, particularly gifted at empathizing with humans. Despite not being state-of-the-art, adolescent Josie chooses her without hesitation. As a companion after seeing her in the store window. Where the various AAs take turns sunbathing and gazing outside. We will soon learn of Josie’s failing health. And the promises she and her neighbor Rick have made for the future. Despite his abilities, Rick is not a genetically-enhanced boy. A quality that establishes a clear class difference from those who are, such as Josie and her friends.
Friends forever of Daniel Ruiz
Pedro, Lorite, el Rubio, Sebas, and Marcelo have been friends since high school. Together they have overcome numerous vicissitudes, they have lived luminous moments, faced misfortunes. And despite the fact that they took different paths. And that they no longer see each other with the frequency of yesteryear, they continue to remain united. They and their partners form the WhatsApp chat called “Friends forever.”
And tonight they have arranged to celebrate the fiftieth birthday of the eldest of the group, Pedro. The successful Pedro, CEO of an industrial company, owner of a villa. One of the most exclusive areas of the city, married to the elegant but unstable Belén, and a fan of art collecting.
Lorite, a lawyer, and his wife Aurora come there; el Rubio, a retail artist, and his girlfriend, the young and attractive Noelia; Marcelo, a high school teacher, and Luci, always combative and foul-mouthed; and Sebas, the group’s gay bachelor, who is going through a difficult period. They promise them very happy: there will be alcohol, music, good friends, the evening has to be unforgettable. And it will be, without a doubt. The most unforgettable night of their lives.
The Parisian of Hammad, Isabella
We are in 1914, at the beginning of the First World War. The Arab countries of the Middle East do not exist yet. Jerusalem and Damascus belong to the Ottoman Empire. The Palestinian Midhat travels to France to study medicine and falls in love with the daughter of his French host. But during a conversation, a misunderstanding occurs and the young man goes to Paris. Where he participates in controversies, seduces women, studies at the Sorbonne.
The European war ends and Midhat returns to Palestine, but he has not forgotten his French mistress. She has not forgotten it either and writes him a letter that Midhat does not receive. Meanwhile, France and Great Britain share control of the Middle East; In order to contain the Arab demands. Countries such as Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Syria are inventing. And they facilitate the immigration of thousands of Jews, who are taking over Palestinian soil. Midhat has gotten married, has a cloth business, everything seems to be going well.
The rich prose of Isabella Hammad. Which mixes the three languages heard in Palestine. At the time, Arabic, French, and English, seems to bring together a multitude of influences. And is like an invitation to the reader to discover them.
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