Sunday, 7 June 2009

In the Wilderness by Manuel Rivas

This is an intriguing novel, set in north west Spain. The central idea is that the characters are reincarnated as animals in the area where they once lived as humans. This gives rise to fascinating insights into the human relationship with the natural world and to ideas about continuity of life and how the past is never really that far away. Unfortunately the language is overly flowery at times and sentences sometimes seem to be endless, carried away with the immensity of the ideas in them. Still, any book is worth reading with such a strong central theme and with descriptions like this:

In the grief of the hedges, a stonechat tried not to sing, disguised as a sparrow.

In the Wilderness by Manuel Rivas, published by Vintage

5 comments:

Michelle Johnson said...

I've often wondered what animal I would be reincarnated as if I died. Your book sounds interesting if for no other reason than for that one line you shared with us. Enjoy your read. Have a nice night.

nadia said...

this really sounds an interesting book. i often wonder what it would/will be like to be reincarnated as an animal after living as a human. sounds a very interesting read.

Coastcard said...

You always introduce us to most unusual books. Do you belong to a book club/reading circle... or do you have a good library, charity shop or bookshop nearby?

Crafty Green Poet said...

Nadia, Michelle - thanks, I've often wondered too how it would be to be reincarnated...

Coastcard - Edinburgh is full of really charity shops, with at least four selling nothing but books plus a couple of other second hand bookshops.

Coastcard said...

I'm feeling quite jealous!

We love a browse in a secondhand bookshop... and are lucky to have the ones in Hay on Wye within reach for an occasional day out. Loved the Oxfam stall at the Hay Festival this year.