Hour of the Star

“Hour of the Star” by Clarice Lispector (Brazil)

Review

Challenging, frustrating, meditative and surrealistic were some of the adjectives that readers used to describe this modern classic. They found it difficult to get into and agreed that it needed more than one reading. They called it a thinking book and would not recommend it for escapism. The multi-layered narration was challenging for some readers, who wondered about the choice of a male narrator who is the writer of a story about a female protagonist: they found him contemptuous and irritating. They also noticed that all the male characters were unpleasant and felt that this was intentional on the part of the author. Readers found that she addressed the themes of life and death, and poverty in a poetic and subtle manner leaving them with feelings of sadness and pity. They also felt the book was a writers’ book about the challenges of writing. They were nonplussed by the writing style and said that at the end some things still remained a mystery (explosion)! Overall, it averaged a 7.5 out of 10.

Synopsis

Narrated by the cosmopolitan Rodrigo S.M., this brief, strange, and haunting tale is the story of Macabéa, one of life’s unfortunates. Living in the slums of Rio and eking out a poor living as a typist, Macabéa loves movies, Coca-Cola, and her rat of a boyfriend; she would like to be like Marilyn Monroe, but she is ugly, underfed, sickly, and unloved… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading list

Season 18 (Feb – Jun 2015)
“I Am A Japanese Writer” by Dany Laferrière (Haiti)
“Hour of the Star” by Clarice Lispector (Brazil)
“The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman” by Denis Thériault (Canada) *
“Tiare” by Célestine Hitiura Vaite (Tahiti)
“Apocalypse Next Tuesday” by David Safier (Germany) 

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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