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The Sound of Things Falling

by Juan Gabriel Vasquez

This book set in Bogota is at first a slow-burner and may take a while to grow on you. But persevere - it livens up to become a humdinger of a novel. A cursory friendship and the sudden death of that friend delivers an early historical insight into the beginning of the drug business in 1960s' Colombia. The author has entwined this social history into the narrative really well to create a great story.

Extract

And then came the rest, the other attacks, the other bombs. The DAS one with its hundred dead. That one at the shopping mall with fifteen. Then the other shopping mall with however many there were. A special time, no? Not knowing when it might be your turn. Worrying when someone who was supposed to arrive wasn't there. Always knowing where the closest pay phone is to let someone know you're OK. If there were no pay phones, knowing that anybody would lend you their phone, all you had to do was knock on a door. Living like that, always with the possibililty that people close to us might be killed.
Translated by Anne McLean

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