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The Tunnel

by

The Tunnel Cover

 

Staff Pick

Dark and dizzying, Ernesto Sábato's debut novel is a chilling existential thriller that became an important work in the canon of Latin American literature. The Tunnel, first published in 1948, is one of three revered novels written by the late Argentinian writer (who passed away earlier this year at the age of 99). In addition to being a respected human rights advocate, Sábato also published over a dozen collections of essays.

At the book's onset, painter Juan Pablo Castel has already been tried and imprisoned for the murder of María Iribarne. Writing while incarcerated, Castel offers a recounting of the events that led to her murder, "to tell the story of my crime: that and nothing more." Castel is both obsessive and neurotic, and his diabolical attempts to win maría's love are mostly in vain, yet are marked by an ever-escalating desperation as the story progresses. As Castel's compulsive actions and psychological state become increasingly frantic (and paranoid), the novel's short chapters themselves seem punctuated by ever greater frenzy. While the reader is already well aware of the story's outcome, it is startling to witness castel's delusional thinking lead to his own near-collapse.

While The Tunnel is indeed a short work, it remains a remarkably engrossing one. Although the characters elicit little in the way of sympathy, their actions and interactions offer a compelling glimpse into psychological illness and despair. Sábato's prose directs the story's arresting pace, and makes the inevitable outcome seem all the more disturbing. The Tunnel is a fantastic, foreboding portrait of both mania and man's struggle for meaning in a "life nothing more than a sequence of anonymous screams in a desert of indifferent stars."
Recommended by Jeremy, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One of the great short novels of the twentieth century — in an edition marking the 100th anniversary of the author's birth.

An unforgettable psychological novel of obsessive love, The Tunnel was championed by Albert Camus, Thomas Mann, and Graham Greene upon its publication in 1948 and went on to become an international bestseller. At its center is an artist named Juan Pablo Castel, who recounts from his prison cell his murder of a woman named María Iribarne. Obsessed from the moment he sees her examining one of his paintings, Castel fantasizes for months about how they might meet again. When he happens upon her one day, a relationship develops that convinces him of their mutual love. But Castel's growing paranoia leads him to destroy the one thing he truly cares about.

Synopsis:

One of the great short novels of the twentieth century—in an edition marking the 100th anniversary of the author's birth.

An unforgettable psychological novel of obsessive love, The Tunnel was championed by Albert Camus, Thomas Mann, and Graham Greene upon its publication in 1948 and went on to become an international bestseller. At its center is an artist named Juan Pablo Castel, who recounts from his prison cell his murder of a woman named María Iribarne. Obsessed from the moment he sees her examining one of his paintings, Castel fantasizes for months about how they might meet again. When he happens upon her one day, a relationship develops that convinces him of their mutual love. But Castel's growing paranoia leads him to destroy the one thing he truly cares about.

About the Author

Ernesto Sabato (1911-2011) was born in Rojas, Argentina. He obtained his Ph.D. in physics but in 1945 dedicated himself exclusively to writing and painting.

Margaret Sayers Peden is the award-winning translator of more than forty books, including, for Penguin Classics, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz's Poems, Protest, and a Dream and Cesar Vallejo's "Spain, Take This Chalice from Me" and Other Poems.

Colm Toibin is the bestselling author of numerous novels, including the Costa Award-winning Brooklyn and the Pulitzer Prize and Booker Prize finalist The Master.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143106531
Author:
Sabato, Ernesto
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
Toibin, Colm
Author:
Peden, Margaret Sayers
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20120631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
160
Dimensions:
7.77 x 5.12 x 0.43 in 0.29 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Latin America

The Tunnel New Trade Paper
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Product details 160 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143106531 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Dark and dizzying, Ernesto Sábato's debut novel is a chilling existential thriller that became an important work in the canon of Latin American literature. The Tunnel, first published in 1948, is one of three revered novels written by the late Argentinian writer (who passed away earlier this year at the age of 99). In addition to being a respected human rights advocate, Sábato also published over a dozen collections of essays.

At the book's onset, painter Juan Pablo Castel has already been tried and imprisoned for the murder of María Iribarne. Writing while incarcerated, Castel offers a recounting of the events that led to her murder, "to tell the story of my crime: that and nothing more." Castel is both obsessive and neurotic, and his diabolical attempts to win maría's love are mostly in vain, yet are marked by an ever-escalating desperation as the story progresses. As Castel's compulsive actions and psychological state become increasingly frantic (and paranoid), the novel's short chapters themselves seem punctuated by ever greater frenzy. While the reader is already well aware of the story's outcome, it is startling to witness castel's delusional thinking lead to his own near-collapse.

While The Tunnel is indeed a short work, it remains a remarkably engrossing one. Although the characters elicit little in the way of sympathy, their actions and interactions offer a compelling glimpse into psychological illness and despair. Sábato's prose directs the story's arresting pace, and makes the inevitable outcome seem all the more disturbing. The Tunnel is a fantastic, foreboding portrait of both mania and man's struggle for meaning in a "life nothing more than a sequence of anonymous screams in a desert of indifferent stars."

"Synopsis" by ,

One of the great short novels of the twentieth century—in an edition marking the 100th anniversary of the author's birth.

An unforgettable psychological novel of obsessive love, The Tunnel was championed by Albert Camus, Thomas Mann, and Graham Greene upon its publication in 1948 and went on to become an international bestseller. At its center is an artist named Juan Pablo Castel, who recounts from his prison cell his murder of a woman named María Iribarne. Obsessed from the moment he sees her examining one of his paintings, Castel fantasizes for months about how they might meet again. When he happens upon her one day, a relationship develops that convinces him of their mutual love. But Castel's growing paranoia leads him to destroy the one thing he truly cares about.

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