Marcelo Figueras

Kamchatka

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An O, The Oprah Magazine Summer Reading Pick. A “brilliantly observed, heartrending” novel of a Buenos Aires boy in exile (Financial Times).
In 1976 Buenos Aires, a ten-year-old boy lives in a world of school lessons and comic books, TV shows and games of Risk. But in his hometown, the military has just seized power, and amid a climate of increasing terror and intimidation, people begin to disappear without a trace.
When his mother unexpectedly pulls him and his younger brother from school, she tells him they’re going on an impromptu family trip. But he soon realizes that this will be no ordinary holiday: his parents are known supporters of the opposition, and they are going into hiding. Holed up in a safe house in the remote hills outside the city, the family assumes new identities. The boy names himself Harry after his hero Houdini, and as tensions rise and the uncertain world around him descends into chaos, he spends his days of exile learning the secrets of escape.
Told from the points of view of Harry as a grown man and as a boy, Kamchatka is an unforgettable story of courage and sacrifice, the tricks of time and memory, and the fragile yet resilient fabric of childhood.
“[Figueras] vividly evokes a child’s reaction to a world beleaguered by violence . . . [A] hopeful message about the healing powers of imagination and love.” —The New York Times
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285 printed pages
Original publication
2011
Publication year
2011
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Impressions

    Сергей Грудининshared an impressionlast year

    I read the book with pleasure. Was in full resonance with the author. Very useful for parent's. I feel shrill love to my relations. Thanks.

Quotes

    Алина Лепёшкинаhas quotedlast year
    the back of the head being the least expressive part of the human body (I think it’s called the ‘occiput’ just to make it sound interesting)
    Алина Лепёшкинаhas quotedlast year
    Snakes shed their skin, cats their fur, manta rays their teeth. Man sheds used-up objects: he leaves an open Nesquik tin and a dirty glass on the kitchen counter, an open toothpaste tube, unmade beds
    Алина Лепёшкинаhas quotedlast year
    Made in Poland.’ What had Lucas been doing in Poland? It was a weird place to go, even for tourists who go to Europe. Tourists go to Madrid or Paris, or London or Rome, but Poland? It would have been better if it read ‘Made in Transylvania’, because at least then it would have made sense.
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