A Guide to Central Europe (Penguin Handbooks)

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9780140467192: A Guide to Central Europe (Penguin Handbooks)
From Publishers Weekly:

Nightmare haunts the frantic child who sets down these memories: whether awake or sleeping, he is pursued by hatchets and brooms, witches and pecking birds, is eaten by his mother, whom he eats in turnall of this a product of fantasy-ridden imagination. Only in the company of his cousin Celestino, a poet and his other self, does he find love and solace, but the trees on which Celestino writes his verses are cut down by his grandfather until the landscape is as bare as the cupboards in the rat-infested house. The dead are all around him, dancing and mocking; they are variously his cousins, his aunts, his grandparents and especially Celestino, slowly being starved to death. Yet hope cannot be quenched, for the boy looks forward to Christmas, to the family's all-day feast in the midst of death by starvation. The narrative's first image and the last are of the well, with the face of the narrator reflected in the water. Although this is a book for special tastes, lacking as it does a story line, chronology and clear delineation of character, the world it creates is so strange and grotesque that reading it is like entering a dream. Cuban writer Arenas wrote Farewell to the Sea, the third volume in a pentagory, of which this book is the first.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Taunted by his schoolmates, subject to his mother's unpredictable hysteria and his grandmother's predictable hardness, the mystified young narrator of this tale escapes in various capers with his mischievous cousin Celestino, who writes poems on tree trunks. This surreptitious evasion of their bleak environment into oneiric fantasy has political overtones as well, as might be expected of the Cuban expatriate author of Farewell to the Sea (LJ 9/15/85). The episodic structure, negligence of plot and conclusive denouement, and dependence on magic realism may fail to attract traditional readers, but the lively translation accurately reproduces the author's mordacity, which is assuaged by a subtle touch of humor. For general collections. Law - rence Olszewski, OCLC, Dublin, Ohio
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Published by Penguin Books (1988)
ISBN 10: 014046719X ISBN 13: 9780140467192
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Bassett, Richard
Published by Penguin Books 1988-07-01 (1988)
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