The Sickness – Alberto Barrera Tyszka

The Sickness is an award-winning, highly exquisite novel by Venezuelan author Alberto Barrera Tyszka. I started reading fearing that I thought it would be very upsetting and making me cry because of its subject. However, after a few pages, it turned into a book that I could not stop reading. Tyszka has been one of the best authors I have discovered recently.


The Sickness exquisitely tells how people are helpless in the face of sickness and death. On the other hand, it touches on the various attitudes we take against them. Although we all know that we will die one day, none of us wants to die. If people have one thing in common, this is it.

The Sickness - Alberto Barrera Tyszka

Dr Andres Miranda’s father has cancer. However, he is hesitant to tell this to his father. On the one hand, we read about their long-standing relationship and the effects of the disease on this couple. At the same time, the absurd relationship between the doctor’s secretary and Ernesto Duran, a former patient of the doctor, is growing. The focus of this relationship is, of course, another disease.

Alberto Barrera Tyszka is an author you should read. I am sure you will love him very much. Enjoy!

The Sickness

The Sickness

Ernesto Durán is convinced he is sick. It becomes an obsession far exceeding hypochondria, and when Dr Andrés Miranda gives up responding to e-mails, Durán resolves to stalk him. The fixation has its own creeping effect on Karina, the hospital secretary, who cannot resist becoming involved.

Meanwhile, Dr Miranda is coming to terms with a tragedy of his own: his father has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and yet the doctor – the son – finds it impossible to tell him. He hopes that by taking his father on a trip to Isla Margarita, where they once went when he was a child, he might be able to reveal the truth.

The nature of sickness as experienced by two individuals provides the backbone to this tender, thoughtful and refined novel. The Sickness is profound and philosophical, and yet written with an agility that expresses the tragedy, but also the comedy of life itself. A brilliantly achieved first novel.

Alberto Barrera Tyszka

Alberto José Barrera Tyszka is a Venezuelan writer. In 2006, he received the Herralde Prize for his novel La enfermedad. Barrera Tyszka was born in Caracas, and grew up in Venezuela. He graduated from the Central University of Venezuela, where he is now a professor in the Department of Literature.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Reading Challenge 2020 – Spanish Language

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