The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios

The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios

Book - 2004
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Here are four unforgettable stories by the author of Life of Pi. In the exquisite title novella, a very young man dying of AIDS joins his friend in fashioning a story of the Roccamatio family of Helsinki, set against the yearly march of the twentieth century whose horrors and miracles their story echoes. In "The Time I Heard the Private Donald J. Rankin String Concerto with One Discordant Violin, by the American composer John Morton," a Canadian university student visits Washington, D.C., and experiences the Vietnam War and its aftermath through an intense musical encounter. In "Manners of Dying," variations of a warden's letter to the mother of a son he has just executed reveal how each life is contained in its end. The final story, "The Mirror Machine", is about a young man who discovers an antique mirror-making machine in his grandmother's attic. The man's fascination with the object is juxtaposed with the longwinded reminiscences it evokes from his grandmother.

Written earlier in Martel's career, these tales are as moving as they are thought-provoking, as inventive in form as they are timeless in content. They display that startling mix of dazzle and depth that have made Yann Martel an international phenomenon.

Publisher: Orlando : Harcourt, [2004], c1993
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780151010905
0151010900
Characteristics: xi, 208 p. ; 22 cm

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Persnickety77
Nov 24, 2014

none of these blew me way, but they are all well written and interesting. i like the way Martel thinks, and the way he writes. he really works to touch upon universal human sadness and doesn't shy away from the dark side of life.

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