A compact but kaleidoscopic fable of Venezuela from a stunning new voice in the magical realism tradition.
“His body might have been hewn from a tree trunk; his heart would last for a hundred years. And, like a tree, he was one of those men who die standing up.” A chance meeting in the local pharmacy transforms the life of lonely, illiterate Octavio. He begins reading lessons and finds love and happiness for the very first time. But Octavio’s destiny lies elsewhere, as he will discover on a journey into the Venezuelan rainforest.
Shortlisted for the Goncourt first novel award, this short but epic fable is both a hymn to Venezuela and the magical story of an extraordinary hero.