O Vendedor de Passados characters å 7

O Vendedor de Passados

review O Vendedor de Passados

Félix Ventura trades in an unusual commodity; he is a dealer in memories clandestinely selling new pasts to people whose futures are secure and who lack only a good lineage to complete their lives In this completely original murder mystery where people are not who they seem and the briefest of. We’re in Angola after that country won independence from Portugal But even though the fighting is over there is still political upset and people trying to settle old scores There are so many folks who want to run away from their pasts that our main character an African albino has a business inventing new past lives for people He’ll give you old family photos and biographical sketches of your mother father siblings and tell you what your childhood was like Most of the plot in this short book consists of interactions with the main character’s “clients” and the women he brings home with some surprises in both departments We learn a little bit of the horrors of the war Splendor of Portugal by Antonio Lobo Antunes which I reviewed gives us about war in Angola And did I say the narrator is a gecko A bit strange but a good read that has won several literary prizes

summary Ò eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ✓ José Eduardo Agualusa

Connections leads to the forging of entirely new histories a bookish albino a beautiful woman a mysterious foreigner and a witty talking lizard come together to discover the truth of their lives Set in Angola Agualusa's tale darts from tormented past to dream filled present with a lightness that. Very strange novella and I don't know why it won the awards and plaudits that it did Am I the boy declaring the emperor has no clothes or have I missed the point Either way I wouldn't recommend spending your own money on it This should probably be either 1 or 4 but as I don't know which I'm compromising on 2THEMESIt is about truth and lies dreams and reality memory predestination fitting in and the difference between having a dream and making one but it's superficial than that makes it soundPLOTIt's set in Angola though there's little sense of Africa in it and is about Felix an albino bibliophile with mild OCD whose business is to Guarantee your children a better past I invent dreams for people I am not a forger Some chapters they are typically only a page or two tell of José Buchmann acuiring a new past and others are dreams Felix says his job is an advanced kind of literature I create plots I invent characters but rather than keeping them trapped in a book I give them life launching them into realityFelix isn't the only one changing the past and creating new futures his teacher was moved by the helplessness of certain words He saw them as down on their luck abandoned in some desolate place in the language and he sought to recover them while his client Buchmann comes to believe in his new past than Felix thought possible and is told You invented him and now he's begun to invent himselfIMAGERYThere are some nice images It was as though it were raining night as though falling from the sky were the thick fragments of that sleepy black ocean through which the stars navigate their course and uirky ideas a castle which had crenelations added to make it look authentic and soon the locals swore it had always had them If it were authentic no one would believe in it but the plot meanders until suddenly the penultimate chapter ties up everything in a mad rush Very unsatisfyingGECKO or CHAMELEONFor no very obvious reason much of this story is told by a gecko rather than an eponymous chameleon Granted there are parallels with people living chameleon like lives but if that's the point why not have a chameleon narrator maybe it's because Geckos are uniue among lizards in their vocalizations according to Wikipedia More likely it's a translation problem albeit a rather prominent one original Portuguese title is O Vendedor de Passados which means something like Seller of the Past Lies are OK because they are common in nature What is camouflage for instance but a lie Back to chameleons rather than geckosCONCLUSIONI think it's somewhat pretentious lacking the profundity it seems to crave the pacing is annoyingly inconsistent slow and apparently aimless most of the time until a frantic end and I never understood the point of the gecko

José Eduardo Agualusa ✓ 7 characters

Belies the savage history of a country in which many have something to forget and to hide A brilliant American debut by one of the most lauded writers in the Portuguese speaking world this is a beautifully written and always surprising tale of race truth and the transformative power of creativi. Brief and rather uirky novel set in Angola The narrator is a gecko living in the house of Felix Ventura The gecko is articulate and charming; he appears to have been a man in a previous life and he dreams Felix likes the lizard and talks to him Felix is an albino who creates memories and a past for people Come to Felix and he will provide documentation and photographs of grandparents and illustrious ancestors One client in particular really believes in the past he has been given and becomes the person that has been created for him The novel employs magic realism and is at times rather disjointed; there is a basic storyline with someone's real past catching up with him There is a love interest and a fair amount of photographyOn the whole I enjoyed the novel; it is a little slight but the dream seuences are good and there is one great line; spoken to Felix when young and about to lose his virginityChastity is a pointless agony kid And one I'm happy to fix The Web and The Wing in which many have something to forget and to hide A brilliant American debut by one of the most lauded writers The Web and The Wing in the Portuguese speaking world this Vernon Downs is a beautifully written and always surprising tale of race truth and the transformative power of creativi. Brief and rather uirky novel set An Alpha's Trust in Angola The narrator Yahweh's Wife: Sex in the Evolution of Monotheism : A Study of Yahweh, Asherah, Ritual Sodomy and Temple Prostitution (Woman in History) is a gecko living The Love Child's Mother in the house of Felix Ventura The gecko Shrouded Memory is articulate and charming; he appears to have been a man The Gypsy's Song (Destiny's Consent) in a previous life and he dreams Felix likes the lizard and talks to him Felix Titanic Lessons for It Projects is an albino who creates memories and a past for people Come to Felix and he will provide documentation and photographs of grandparents and Prayers of the Eucharist: Early and Reformed: Texts Translated and Edited with Introductions illustrious ancestors One client Dragon Age (Dragon Age 1) in particular really believes Origins Rising in the past he has been given and becomes the person that has been created for him The novel employs magic realism and Keteknikan Videografi: Membuat Film Pendek dan Video Iklan untuk SMK Semester 1 is at times rather disjointed; there Beware a Scots Revenge (School for Heiresses, is a basic storyline with someone's real past catching up with him There Humor Writing: Activities for the English Classroom is a love The Dewdrops ... a journey begins interest and a fair amount of photographyOn the whole I enjoyed the novel; The Dewdrops ... a journey begins it Bußpredigt: Ein Krimi aus dem Bayerischen Wald is a little slight but the dream seuences are good and there Gëzofi folës dhe Luka i vogël is one great line; spoken to Felix when young and about to lose his virginityChastity Two Wheels and a Map is a pointless agony kid And one I'm happy to fix


10 thoughts on “O Vendedor de Passados

  1. says:

    The Past Isn’t What It Was “Given a choice between life and books my son you must choose books” The gecko protagonist he was he believes previously human remembers his father’s advice Fiction is the only refuge from a reality which is always painful It is the means of escape from a world in which we can never really be at home the gecko on the other hand is very much at home; in fact he is a so called house gecko prized for keeping the home free of nasty bugs like mosuitoes; and despite the intimation of the book’s title in translation a gecko is not a chameleonTo fictionalize one’s life therefore not just in private but as one’s public persona is essential therapy Childhood trauma can be eliminated Unfortunate parentage corrected Gaps in education filled Crimes erased The gecko’s housemate Felix has found his calling as “a man who dealt in memories a man who sold the past clandestinely the way other people deal in cocaine”Felix is an artist As he confides to the gecko “‘I think what I do is really an advanced kind of literature’ he told me conspiratorially ‘I create plots I invent characters but rather than keeping them trapped in a book I give them life launching them out into reality’” His philosophy conforms nicely with the advice of the gecko’s father “Literature is the only chance for a true liar to attain any sort of social acceptance”And who could argue? If national history is a matter of variable interpretation why not individual life histories? Truth Felix believes is a superstition We are happy only for those brief moments we close our eyes to realityBesides do we not grow into our fictions? Is it better we merely accept those given us by our parents or boldly create our own? Isn’t this what setting goals in life is about telling ourselves stories about ourselves and then living up to the stories? And where can truly original authentic stories come from but an imaginary past? And of course if one can successfully invent oneself it is possible to invent one’s family one’s ancestors one’s friends and acuaintances with euivalent ease With only a little practice we can be discussing them with others visiting their graves posting newspaper adverts to find those with whom we have list touch If reality is a convention our living it makes it realThe difficulty naturally with fictional reality is that it gets out of control rather easily For example the President the government even in principle the entire country can be replaced replicated and there would be no way to know A fantasy police force a fantasy justice system with stand ins created by the Mafia or the Russians or Mossad And this long before the person of Donald Trump emerged as an international figureBut there’s an even fundamental problem “All stories are connected In the end everything is connected” Eventually the lies collide with each other The 17th century philosopher Gottfried Leibniz speculated that God told everyone’s story and ensured that all stories were consistent It’s not a bad theory if one is a theist But if there is no one coordinating the self generated fictions the results can be disastrous especially when things like revenge for atrocities are at stake The network of lies then threatens to unravel violently The gecko is Agualusa’s god like presence He doesn’t know the real stories of Felix’s clients; but he does know the fictions that Felix creates for them and he knows these to be fictitious geckos can’t blink and their adhesive feet make them uite literally part of the walls; so they see and hear everything Apparently geckos are long lived creatures but they are not immortal And they are vulnerable to the demonic scorpion What happens when the gecko dies?


  2. says:

    Yes it really is narrated by a gecko and a gecko who is a reincarnation of Jorge Luis Borges at that A gecko that laughs And dreamsMaria Helena my Brazilian friend who recommended it to me informs me that a gecko in Portuguese is osga Which makes me think of a drum playing glass shattering inmate of a mental hospital Sorry to ask but could you tell me your name?I have no name I replied uite frankly I am the geckoThat's silly No one is a geckoYou're right No one's a gecko And you are you really called Félix Ventura?Names Félix Ventura happy venture Félix can dream meeting the gecko Or is it the gecko who dreams meeting Félix? He has to find him a name Eulálio because he is so well spokenThis is stylish and witty and beguiling A dream like examination of identity and memory and literature But ignore the blurb that calls it 'as brisk as a thriller' for that it is not There is a murder but it takes a small while to get there Der Weg ist das Ziel


  3. says:

    We’re in Angola after that country won independence from Portugal But even though the fighting is over there is still political upset and people trying to settle old scores There are so many folks who want to run away from their pasts that our main character an African albino has a business inventing new past lives for people He’ll give you old family photos and biographical sketches of your mother father siblings and tell you what your childhood was like Most of the plot in this short book consists of interactions with the main character’s “clients” and the women he brings home with some surprises in both departments We learn a little bit of the horrors of the war Splendor of Portugal by Antonio Lobo Antunes which I reviewed gives us about war in Angola And did I say the narrator is a gecko? A bit strange but a good read that has won several literary prizes


  4. says:

    Very strange novella and I don't know why it won the awards and plaudits that it did Am I the boy declaring the emperor has no clothes or have I missed the point? Either way I wouldn't recommend spending your own money on it This should probably be either 1 or 4 but as I don't know which I'm compromising on 2THEMESIt is about truth and lies dreams and reality memory predestination fitting in and the difference between having a dream and making one but it's superficial than that makes it soundPLOTIt's set in Angola though there's little sense of Africa in it and is about Felix an albino bibliophile with mild OCD whose business is to Guarantee your children a better past I invent dreams for people I am not a forger Some chapters they are typically only a page or two tell of José Buchmann acuiring a new past and others are dreams Felix says his job is an advanced kind of literature I create plots I invent characters but rather than keeping them trapped in a book I give them life launching them into realityFelix isn't the only one changing the past and creating new futures his teacher was moved by the helplessness of certain words He saw them as down on their luck abandoned in some desolate place in the language and he sought to recover them while his client Buchmann comes to believe in his new past than Felix thought possible and is told You invented him and now he's begun to invent himselfIMAGERYThere are some nice images It was as though it were raining night as though falling from the sky were the thick fragments of that sleepy black ocean through which the stars navigate their course and uirky ideas a castle which had crenelations added to make it look authentic and soon the locals swore it had always had them If it were authentic no one would believe in it but the plot meanders until suddenly the penultimate chapter ties up everything in a mad rush Very unsatisfyingGECKO or CHAMELEON?For no very obvious reason much of this story is told by a gecko rather than an eponymous chameleon Granted there are parallels with people living chameleon like lives but if that's the point why not have a chameleon narrator maybe it's because Geckos are uniue among lizards in their vocalizations according to Wikipedia?? More likely it's a translation problem albeit a rather prominent one original Portuguese title is O Vendedor de Passados which means something like Seller of the Past Lies are OK because they are common in nature What is camouflage for instance but a lie? Back to chameleons rather than geckosCONCLUSIONI think it's somewhat pretentious lacking the profundity it seems to crave the pacing is annoyingly inconsistent slow and apparently aimless most of the time until a frantic end and I never understood the point of the gecko


  5. says:

    I read a recent novel by this author earlier this year A General Theory of Oblivion Both novels are set after the 1975 revolution in Angola where the Portuguese felt a shift in power and empire A General Theory of Oblivion focuses on a woman who walls herself up in her apartment for decades and experiences the conflict through what she hears and in how her food stores disappear; Chameleons tells the story of Felix Ventura a man who helps people construct new backstories through fake lineages The story is told by a former librarian who is reincarnated as a gecko Read that sentence again The chapters are short They alternate between characters coming in for a new skin and dreams the gecko is having Felix starts to share dreams with the gecko The violence happens between the events of the novel which is an interesting way for it to happen The characters have strong bonds that he may not know himself Very readable kept me hooked great coverI also think the translation deserves a mention because it is passages like this that kept me readingThe two guests remained seated opposite each other Neither spoke The silence that hung between them was full of murmurings of shadows of things that run along in the distance in some remote time dark and furtive


  6. says:

    “I think what I do is really an advanced kind of literature” he told me conspiratorially” I create plots I invent characters but rather than keeping them trapped in a book I give them life launching them out into reality” José Eduardo Agualusa The Book of ChameleonsRecently I’ve been reading a lot of books written by African writers and I am impressed by the wide range of subject matter and also the different writing styles I’ve encountered I took a break from reading African lit a few years ago because I became so tired of the doom and gloom coming from a continent I know has so much to offer It’s always nice when a book by an African author or a book set in Africa dwells on different subject matterThis was an interesting book written by an Angolan author with a gecko as a narrator a gecko who had been a man in a previous life The very elouent gecko lives in the house of Felix Ventura an albino man who invents people’s pasts for them to the point where they become very believable The gecko sees and hears all and remembers his past life which he dreams about He communicates with Felix through his dreamsThe book definitely dwells on lies a lot What is real? What isn’t? “Literature is the only chance for a true liar to attain any sort of social acceptance” “”Lies he explained” are everywhere Even nature herself lies What is camouflage for instance but a lie?”The writing style is definitely magical realism with a Latin American feel to it it’s a uick poetic read not complex at all Despite the fact that it was set in Angola I didn’t learn much about AngolaI wonder why a gecko though? What’s the significance? The only thing I could think of is how geckos are everywhere in Africa My aunt used to tell me that geckos don’t care about social class because they can be found in both mansions and mud hut I really wish I knew why a gecko was chosen as narrator


  7. says:

    Brief and rather uirky novel set in Angola The narrator is a gecko living in the house of Felix Ventura The gecko is articulate and charming; he appears to have been a man in a previous life and he dreams Felix likes the lizard and talks to him Felix is an albino who creates memories and a past for people Come to Felix and he will provide documentation and photographs of grandparents and illustrious ancestors One client in particular really believes in the past he has been given and becomes the person that has been created for him The novel employs magic realism and is at times rather disjointed; there is a basic storyline with someone's real past catching up with him There is a love interest and a fair amount of photographyOn the whole I enjoyed the novel; it is a little slight but the dream seuences are good and there is one great line; spoken to Felix when young and about to lose his virginityChastity is a pointless agony kid And one I'm happy to fix


  8. says:

    uite a different sort of book narrated largely by a gecko observing the proceedings from a wall in Felix Ventura's home He views and comments on Felix's visitors his odd career his unusual decor and in return Felix shares thoughts with him anthropomorphizing totally here about Brazil Angola people But then the gecko may have a human pastor did Felix make it up for him as a kindness of sorts This is such an interesting way to present the truths and lies of history especially in a country torn by revolt and resistanceIt's a fascinating premise well delivered Reality such as it is seen through the eyes of a lizard on the wall of Felix Ventura's home And Felix lives to provide desired back stories for those who come to him seeking a better family history than those life has given Who is real here? Even the gecko has a backstory that doesn't involve being an amphibian Very interesting take on the nature of realityIf you have followed me this far you might indeed enjoy The Book of Chameleons I do recommend you give this a tryRead with Great African Reads


  9. says:

    Tired of all these novels here with humans as narrators? Then try this one for a change It's told by a lizard specifically a spotted house gecko It was born in and has never left this house of an albino who brings home prostitutes sometimes decent women too and who is visited by people needing his uniue services This guy watched by this intrepid lizard narrator all the times manufactures the past for a living People who pay him for it get new sets of identification papers personal histories and backgroundsThe lizard can observe understand what it sees and relate stories because it was once a man For some reason after his death he reincarnated as a house lizard It dreams and remembers Even the albino dreams about it as a man and they have enjoyable discoursesThe author is an Angolan the setting is in Angola but this was originally written in Portuguese I read it not because it won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize of 2007 but because I like books written by Joses So far I've read Jose Saramago Jose Rizal Jose Luis Peixoto and now Jose Eduardo Agualusa Soon I hope to find copies of Memoirs of a Peasant Boy Xose Neira Vilas Martin Fierro Jose Hernandez and The Crime of Father Amaro Jose Maria Eca de ueiros which author the lizard here saw the albino reading and whose name the latter also mentioned to a lady friend


  10. says:

    I will never look at a gecko in the same way again I like geckos they are good company and always paying attention to even the smallest move I makeI have met African geckos South American geckos and Asian geckos and all of them had the same air of independence to them a free spirit so to speakNo wonder this particular member of the gecko species has a past we all have but this one inspires the reader in a very special wayWould you like a distinguished a noble or flashy family tree? Would you like to erase your past and replace it with something else for your own personal reasons?All can be done in the company of a gecko just don´t rely on coincidences


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