Thursday, July 03, 2008

What We're Reading: The Dancer and the Thief

Antonio Skármeta, author of The Postman, has crafted a leisurely novel that is both gritty and poetic, which is an impressive combination. In his latest work of fiction, The Dancer and the Thief, a number of nonviolent prisoners in Chile are released due to overcrowding; among them is a young man accused of stealing a horse and an older gentleman whose safe-cracking abilities are legendary and romanticized by all. The young man, Ángel, has two wishes: to kill the warden who had made him suffer violence and humiliation in prison, and to convince the older thief, Nico, to partake in one last great robbery with him. The warden, fearing for his life, secretly releases one more inmate to murder Ángel.

Once free, the young man falls for an expelled student and graceful ballet dancer by the name of Victoria Ponce. He spends his time courting her and trying to convince his elder to join him in the ingenious plan. The book's story seems to go in slow motion; for a time I wondered if anything would actually happen. However, in the end, you see that it was simply a slow boil. The story suddenly lurches into action and you wonder...will it have a happy ending?

...sorry, you will have to read to find out!

No comments: