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Swift as Desire: A Novel Kindle Edition

23 customer reviews

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Length: 210 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews Review

Laura Esquivel's Swift as Desire, an enchanting and sensuous romance, reflects upon an undying love and the will to overcome an unspeakable tragedy. As in her bestselling novel Like Water for Chocolate, Swift as Desire is rich with metaphor, coated with magic, and very much about the power of desire. Júbilo, a telegraph operator blessed (or cursed) with the ability to hear what people feel, radiates joy from his birth. He spends his life mediating for others and salvaging their relationships, until disaster strikes his own life and causes him to question, even loathe, his supernatural gift.

He who knew that no matter how quiet the air was, there were always hearts beating, planets spinning in the heavens, bodies breathing, plants growing; and all producing sounds, but he hadn't heard anything! He hadn't heard anything!

Writing the novel as a tribute to her father (himself, a telegraph operator), Esquivel integrates her belief in the power of words. Swift as Desire is an engaging and enjoyable story that anyone with the slightest interest in a sensually romantic novel will find quite desirable, indeed. --Yvonne Schindler

From Publishers Weekly

The princess of modern Latin literature (second only to Isabel Allende) has written yet another quirky and sensual story with a moralistic twist, its cute-as-can-be characters arguing and loving with equal passion. But Esquivel's fourth novel lacks that certain something that enthralled readers of Like Water for Chocolate. Her writing is choppy, clich‚-laden and has the feel of a translation (no translator is credited). Yet it invokes chuckles and sighs, and if a reader craves more of the sweet wackiness that made the author's first book so appealing, Swift As Desire certainly delivers. Since birth, J£bilo has had a zest for life and an uncanny ability to hear the words in people's hearts before they are able to (or just didn't want to) say them. He puts his talents to good use as a telegraph operator in 1920s Mexico and falls in love with beautiful, wealthy Luz. The couple marries, has children and enjoys a heavenly existence. But something happens during their idyllic life together that drives them apart. Now, their daughter Lluvia is nursing her father as he is bedridden with Parkinson's disease. Before J£bilo dies, Lluvia desperately wants to know the cause of her parents' separation. Through Morse code, she communicates with her father and uncovers the secret nothing juicy, just a sad story that could have been avoided if the lines of communication between husband and wife had been more open. Esquivel's storytelling abilities are in top form here, and, despite its unoriginality, the novel succeeds in conveying a touching message of the power of familial and romantic love.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 435 KB
  • Print Length: 210 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1407096494
  • Publisher: Anchor (August 27, 2002)
  • Publication Date: August 27, 2002
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,674 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Laura Esquivel is the award-winning author of Like Water for Chocolate, which has sold over four and a half million copies around the world in 35 languages, The Law of Love, and most recently, Between Two Fires. She lives in Mexico City.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By MoiJill on October 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As a fan of both "Like Water for Chocolate" and "The Law of Love" I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into Laura Esquivel's latest work "As Swift As Desire." To me, she's a writer who carries her readers through a magical, mystical journey through Mexico's culture and history through food, sexuality and love. But with this novel, I found little of what I enjoy most about reading Esquivel. This time, my teeth bit into the book hitting nothing but hard cardboard. The story felt like a repetitive draft of a novel she's sent to her publisher to edit or guide. The first chapter leads you to believe you'd be guided by the Mayan calendar and spirit of a people to another perfect love story. But, that theme is quickly forgotten as the story unfolds. I think that Esquivel attempted to create what Isabel Allende did with her book "Paula" (The true story of the relationship Allende had with her beloved daughter who lies comatose throughout the entire book.). "Paula" is heart-wrenching and powerful as we learn about the Allende family history with each chapter of the book. Esquivel tries a similar approach in this story of her dying father, but for me it fell short of the passionate enlightening prose I've become accostumed to with her previous work. The transitions from past to present weren't always clear enough for me. Esquivel's usual magic and passion was completely absent in this story. True Esquivel fans most likely will read it for themselves -- as I did. But if you are just "curious," I recommend waiting for the paperback.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. H. Bayliss on December 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed the opening chapters with the Mayan calendar theme and the period details, but then things fall apart as Esquivel either recycles older material or whips off the remainder of the book in 10 minutes time. It's a quick read so it's not like you'll spend more than an hour reading it and the plot was interesting and touching, but it just doesn't hold together. In short, it's not very magical or interesting past the opening chapters. Her father sounds like an amazing man -- there are some great scenes, but a bunch of great scenes don't make a great novel unless they are more seamlessly intergrated. I couldn't get over the feeling that this was an old composition dressed up quickly for publication. Fans should read it anyway for the plot, but don't expect anything on a par with Like Water for Chocolate. This translation felt stilted in places.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author of "Like Water For Chocolate" has provided readers with another entertaining story, this one a tribute to her father. By no means is "Swift as Desire" as magical as her first novel, but I found it to be a quick and pleasurable novel to read. The plot is compelling and the reader quickly becomes invested in the outcome of the characters. Comparisions to "Like Water for Chocolate" will occur, as Ms. Esquivel writes within the same genre of literature as her first book. Yet, there is a magical quality about "Swift as Desire": the author is able to effectively tell the story of her father and his life as a telegraph operator. The parallels and dualisms that operate on many different levels due to his occupation as an interpreter will keep the reader's interest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Busy Mom VINE VOICE on October 31, 2003
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up because I thoroughly enjoyed Like Water for Chocolate (and the movie) ~~ and while it doesn't compete with her famous novel, this book is a very sweet story.
A man has a gift to make everyone around him happy ~~ he is able to discern their discontent and find a way to make them feel better. Only one person who he cannot make happy and that is his wife. Lucha is a Mexican girl who has never known want or hunger. Jubilio tries everything in his power to make her happy and succeeded for many years till a tragedy drove them apart.
The story is told from their daughter's point of view ~~ how a man driven to please his woman loses his woman after all ~~ and the secret yearnings of all of our hearts. This is an exquistely-written novel on the heart and love between a man and a woman.
And this is also a reflection on a daughter's love for her father ~~ this is a must-read for every daddy's girl. Sometimes you don't realize how blessed you are till something happens. And sometimes it is too late. This is a poignant story and a reminder that life is ever-fleeting.
Even though it's not written in the same calibar as Like Water for Chocolate, it is still a lovely tome to add to your library or reading list. Sometimes one needs a small novel to remind us of the important things in life.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
No, this book is not like "Like Water for Chocolate", but then why would you expect it to be. This book was wonderful, I could not put it down. This book has it all.....a little mysticism, some humor, and love and passion. Read between the lines and you will not be disappointed. It tells about how Jubilo is born, how much his grandmother loves him, a little about the culture of Mayan and Spanish. Jubilo falls in love with Lucha, the daughter of a wealthy mexican family. Lucha loves Jubilo also. Their passion goes on for years.....from when Lucha is 13 till they marry. Lucha is feeling such passion for Jubilo that she decides to marry him so they can fullfil their desire. But married life isn't what she expected. They go through many trials and tribulations. Their passion never seems to die. Jubilo works as a telegraph operator......he changes the messages of his customers to help them communicate what they hope to. Lucha is upset that her life isn't fullfilled enough like when she was a little girl living with her parents and had everything she wanted. They have children and somewhere along the storyline......things aren't communicated and life is not as it seems. And the passion seems to die.......or does it??? The story goes back and forth from the present to the past.......telling how Jubilo's daughter is trying to help him to communicate again since he has Parkinson's and is blind. With the help of his friends and her daughter...they do this. What did I get out of this book? The fact that many times we marry young and don't realize what we are getting into. That many times we make assumptions of what the other spouse is thinking, when it isn't that way at all. That if we just accepted life as it were......would we all have the problems we do today?Read more ›
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