The Old Man Who Read Love Stories is the first book I’ve read from Luis Sepúlveda, and it will certainly not be the last. I read it with so much excitement and curiosity; I just couldn’t put it down. If I had to describe this novel in one word, it would be outstanding. The only thing that upset me is that it is short. I didn’t want it to end and read his words all day long.
Luis Sepúlveda managed to talk about all these topics and a lot more in this tiny novel: the destruction of the rain forests and the Amazon, peoples problems with “different” cultures, escaping from reality by reading and thus finding yourself, the relationship between humans and nature and of course, love.
You will find yourself in this story. And you’ll see that you’ll feel like what our hero Antonio José Bolívar feels like sometimes. You will instantly identify with Antonio José Bolívar, especially when you see that reading meets the inevitable needs of people, even in the most absurd times.
The love story that impressed me in the novel was the story of the female jaguar, who avenged her family. As humans, we think that we are the masters of the universe. Animals, of course, teach us otherwise every time.
The Old Man Who Read Love Stories is an exquisite novel that instantly catches the readers attention. It received the Premio Tigre Juan award in 1988. And I’m sure it’ll be read for years to come. Please, read this book; it’ll make you smile.
The Old Man Who Read Love Stories
An old man lives in a hut in El Idilio, a village on the Nangaritza River, in the southeast corner of Ecuador. The village is so small, the dentist comes only twice a year, to pull teeth and bring books to the old man— love stories, with gliding gondolas and ardent kisses, the kind that guarantee maximum heartache. This is a story of the jungle, green hell and Eden; of the Shuar Indians, who know how to live in harmony with it; of the machines and settlers and gold prospectors and gringos who have invaded it. Nature, out of balance, becomes vengeful and violent. An ocelot stalks the village, and only the old man, who once lived with the Indians and knows the jungle, is able to face the animal. An enchanting adventure of personal honor in the magical, savage world of Amazonia.
Born in Santiago, Chile, Luis Sepúlveda is the multi-award-winning author of many adult novels and stories for children. Politically and socially engaged, he was persecuted and jailed by the Pinochet regime and worked for years as a crew member on a Greenpeace ship.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: