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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

     

Traveler of the Century

by
Andrés Neuman


[an overview of the reviews and critical reactions]


general information | review summaries | links | about the author

To purchase Traveler of the Century



Title: Traveler of the Century
Author: Andrés Neuman
Genre: Novel
Written: 2009 (Eng. 2012)
Length: 564 pages
Original in: Spanish
Availability: Traveler of the Century - US
El viajero del siglo - US
Traveller of the Century - UK
Traveler of the Century - Canada
Traveller of the Century - India
Le voyageur du siècle - France
Il viaggiatore del secolo - Italia
El viajero del siglo - España
  • Spanish title: El viajero del siglo
  • Translated by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia
  • UK title: Traveller of the Century
  • US title: Traveler of the Century
  • Winner of the Premio Alfaguara de Novela, 2009

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Why we haven't reviewed it yet:

Maybe came at this with far too high expectations, but put it aside after a hundred disappointing pages; poorly paced, lazily quirky, and it just dragged and dragged with barely anything (even the salons) or characters (like the cave-dwelling organ grinder ...) the least enticement to carry on; it read like an amateurish modern attempt at writing what was supposed to (but didn't) read like a German novel of ca. 1800 (the sort of thing I'm a fan of)


Chances that we will review it:

Decent; will probably try to return to it

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Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
El Cultural A- 10/7/2009 Joaquín Marco
The Guardian A+ 21/6/2012 Juan Gabriel Vásquez
The Independent A+ 20/4/2012 Richard Gwyn
London Review of Books . 5/4/2012 Christopher Beha
San Francisco Chronicle . 10/6/2012 Roberto Ignacio Díaz
Wall Street Journal . 20/4/2012 Sam Sacks
World Literature Today . 9-10/2012 Leigh Cuen


  From the Reviews:
  • "Neuman se sirve de ambigöedades, juega con el lector con misterios y construye un relato aparentemente germánico, lento y discursivo, pero nunca exento de interés. Constituye un tour de force, un experimento difícil también para un lector, alejado de cualquier concesión. Debe admitirse como una auténtica pieza literaria, pese a algunos reparos en reiteraciones, personajes secundarios no bien definidos y un exceso de pedantería." - Joaquín Marco, El Cultural

  • "Traveller of the Century is a novel of ideas, but it is also a conventional love story between conventionally unconventional people; it is a novel about history, but never just a historical novel; it is a novel about politics of the past that continuously and unashamedly comments on present politics. It is a novel about wild sex and literary translation, sometimes in the same sentence. Oh yes: it is also, finally, a murder mystery. (...) Traveller of the Century doesn't merely respect the reader's intelligence: it sets out to worship it. An unusual talent is required to pull this off, and Neuman has it. (...) (A) beautiful, accomplished novel: as ambitious as it is generous, as moving as it is smart." - Juan Gabriel Vásquez, The Guardian

  • "We cannot predict how this book will be received in the months and years to come, but there is little doubt in my mind that it deserves its place in the sun, as a work of true beauty and scintillating intelligence by a writer of prodigious talents." - Richard Gwyn, The Independent

  • "Traveler of the Century unfolds as a story of both mind and body; Hans and Sophie love each other for their imperfect yet sensual flesh and for the liberty and equality of their fraternal thoughts. Reading texts in various languages as they plan an anthology of European poetry, lying together in bed, they practice translation as an erotic art and lovemaking as an intellectual pursuit. As we read about these passionate readers, we too can see ourselves strangely transported into Neuman's powerfully imagined century." - Roberto Ignacio Díaz, San Francisco Chronicle

  • "So Traveler of the Century is not really a Victorian triple-decker and not really a modernist allegory in the vein of Mann or Kafka. It is simply an elaborate exploration of the erotics of intellectual discourse -- and should therefore probably be classified as the kind of long novel that has no business being so long." - Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal

  • "This is a book written for writers. The pages of garrulous dialogue contemplate classic literature, theater, and philosophy. The characters critique modern art and politics through indirect historical parallels. Neuman does not only trust the intelligence of his readers; he builds the story upon that foundation." - Leigh Cuen, World Literature Today

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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Links:

Traveler of the Century: Reviews: Andrés Neuman: Other books by Andrés Neuman under review: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       Andrés Neuman was born in Argentina in 1977 and grew up in Spain.

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© 2012-2014 the complete review

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