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The Invention of Morel (New York Review Books Classics) Paperback – August 31, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
Essentially, this book imagines what happens when the reproductions become faithful enough to be indistinguishable from the real thing. It is narrated by a man hiding from the police on a deserted island for an undisclosed crime. One day people appear, and the man quickly falls in love with one of the women; strangely enough, they often disappear for short stretches of time, and seem to repeat the same conversations and actions again and again.
All of this is well-written, but when the explanation is given, all that preceded seems to have been time spent waiting for the a-ha twist: it's only after this point that the book becomes really interesting. I won't give away the story, because the plot is worth getting through yourself: let me mention something that it reminded me of, though.
When Apocalypse Now: Redux came out, they restored scenes of Martin Sheen's brief love affair with a French woman on the river, a storyline completely left out of the original cut. The actress, now an old woman, went to the theatres and saw herself young and beautiful again. And something about her youth is now eternal, or at least as eternal as film proves to be.Read more ›
This may be read as a metaphor of the compromises that we accept in order to be part of a society: in the end our feelings, our dreams, our goals are only representations and, when we are finally part of it, our individuality expires.
The images in the novel are even more extraordinary: people in 1920's formal dress dancing on the grassy hillside in the summer evening to the music of a distant phonograph, two suns rising and setting overhead each day, the erratic tides, strange machines in the basement.
But more than anything is the narrator's desire to be with the mysterious Faustine. His solution at the end of the story is perfect and also sadly touching. I kept thinking about those lonely people you see on the internet who badly photoshop themselves into pictures of more interesting situations or with people they've never actually met.
Overall the novel deals with the nostalgia for a time that never really existed but which our memories have tricked us into believing are real. You could say that the process our narrator goes through is a literal interpretation of what our own brain does when, given enough time, it alters our memory of past events and paints a more pleasing image. If you could study the phenomena of lost memory under the microscope you might see one scene slowly dissolve away into nothingness and you might even be a little frightened by the whole process, too.
This one will stay with me for awhile (I hope).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Borges and Cortazar apparently praised this book and that's pretty impressive.They apparently saw more in it than I did. Read morePublished 4 months ago by JAK
A very strange novella, and one where in retrospect I think the reader actually benefits from having read spoilers as to what's going on, otherwise it all seems too weird and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by sally tarbox
First the setup then, the story stalls forever. It's a simple premise that poses a simple question but it puts off the answer for too long. Read morePublished 7 months ago by J. Frost
The novel is glowingly reviewed by Jorge Luis Borges in the foreword. He is not wrong. After the first reading, I judged the book clever and well-conceived. Read morePublished 9 months ago by David
Highlights the true beauty of love. Short yet sweet, an amazing tale of the insane brain driven crazy by love, loneliness and despair. A work of art and genuinely my fav book. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
Can't figure out why such great people love this book. I could barely force myself to finish. Oooooohhhh, crazy twist.... Read morePublished 18 months ago by R. O'Neil
This is my first review, so I'm excited!
Anyway, I wanted to say that this book is short and I wish that it was longer because it really is so... Read more
God, how are Argentine writers so good at this? This is a pensive, endlessly mysterious little tale about a fugitive hiding out on an Island where... Read morePublished 21 months ago by jafrank