Author: Benito Taibo
Year Published: 2016
Page Number: 160
Genre: Children, Novel
Benito Taibo is a Mexican author known for being fun, passionate and a promoter of reading.
I hadn’t heard of him before, mostly because I’ve always paid more attention to English authors (even though I’m from South America). I decided to change that, getting more into Hispanic Authors and literature. I started with Benito Taibo because he was one of the invited authors to this year’s book fair in Lima, Peru. Booktubers from Lima started promoting him and his books. Three in particular were going to be presented at the fair, and a fourth in collaboration with two other authors (that last one was so popular it sold out, much to my disappointment).
But anyway, I picked up this one Corazonadas and Cómplices. Both are aimed more at young audiences. They both have a small page count and interesting topics.
Corazonadas basically means hunches or feelings. At first it’s not very clear to what ‘hunch’ the book is referring to, but I think it might have been a character’s hunch about something… spoilery that I won’t talk about. You’ll have to read it and share your thoughts on the matter with me later. ; )
It starts with our protagonist Sebastián, who, searching for something in the attic of his old home finds a box with the name of his uncle on it: Paco. Opening it, he finds notebooks of all shapes and sizes and one simple instruction: Viernes: Haz con ellos lo que quieras. – Friday: Do with them what you want.
From there, we read entries of this one notebook with the title Corazonadas. It’s the moving thoughts and observations Paco has since his nephew came to live with him after his parents died in a tragic accident. Each chapter is a story, and the best part is that Paco is an avid reader, and not really knowing how to raise a child or what to do and what to say, gives Sebastián books that would answer his queries or help him. In one of the first chapters for example, he asks Paco: What is love? Because there was a girl he liked at school, so Paco gave him Pablo Neruda’s 20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair to try and answer such a big question as that. And so on. There are many literary references. Paco calls himself Robinson for Robison Crusoe and so he calls Sebastián Viernes (Friday) in honor of Robinson’s friend. From there we see references for Don Quixote, Frankenstine, The Lady of the Camellias, Love in Times of Cholera and so forth.
It’s a lovely book and I had a lot of fun reading it. I thought it was an easy read and perfect for anyone learning Spanish. The references also keep you on your toes and has you thinking about what other stories could have been used to answer one of Sebastián’s questions.
Have you read this book? Any Mexican author that has taken you by surprise? Please share your thoughts. ^^