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The Book of Chameleons

The Book of Chameleons Cover

ISBN13: 9781905147151
ISBN10: 1905147155
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This unusual novel about the landscape of memory and its inconsistencies follows Felix Ventura as he trades in a curious commodity—he sells people different pasts. He can create entirely new pasts full of better memories and complete with new lineage or augment existing pasts as needed. Narrated by an exceptionally articulate and rather friendly lizard that lives on Felixs living-room wall, this richly detailed story explores how people can remember things that never happened—and with extraordinary vividness—even as they forget things that did in fact occur.

About the Author

José Eduardo Agualusa is the author of the award-winning novel, Creole.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

sharif78, May 17, 2007 (view all comments by sharif78)
The Book of Chameleons (O vendedor de passados in Portuguese) by Angloan author Jos? Eduardo Agualusa is one of the best things I have read so far this year. I have found the book very witty, filled with originality. A nice translation done by Daniel Hahn. It is a poetic tale narrated by a mysterious gecko that lives with Felix Ventura, an albino who sells histories for a living. If you want a distinguished past filled with heroes and luminaries, hire Felix. He will invent a family line for you with proper documentations. His business card reads 'guarantee your children a better past'. In the story, he gets involved with one of the fantasy worlds that he created when a secretive foreign photographer asked for his service.

The chapters in book read like short stories, somewhat disconnected, yet at the end one can find the thread. The style is very similar to magical realism with a small dose of murder mystery and thriller. Here's one of my favorite passages, where Felix talks about his childhood:
"The priest talked of angels, and I saw chickens. To this day, in fact, of all the things I've seen, chicken are still the ones that most closely resembles angels. He talked of heavenly joy, and I saw chickens scrabbling away in the sun, digging up little nests in the sand, turning their little glass eyes in pure mystical bliss. I can't imagine Paradise without chickens. I can even imagine the Great God, reclining lazily on a fluffy bed of clouds, without his being surrounded by a gentle host of chickens. You know something -- I've never known a bad chicken -- have you? Chickens, like white ants, like butterflies, are altogether immune against evil."
Beautiful. I highly recommend this book.
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Product Details

Arcadia Books <DIV><B><DIV>Jos&#233; Eduardo Agualusa</B> is the author of the award-winning novel, <I>Creole</I>.<BR></DIV></DIV>
Agualusa, Jose Eduardo
General Fiction
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
8.46x5.54x.63 in. .54 lbs.

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The Book of Chameleons
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Product details 194 pages Arcadia Books - English 9781905147151 Reviews:
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