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So, you do indeed get a lot of interesting historical details, both Colombian history and a bit of Joseph Conrad’s life. After the fire, “sixteen Panamanians were admitted to the hospital with breathing troubles,” wrote my father the breathing trouble consisted of the fact that they were not breathing, because the sixteen Panamanians were dead.

If you ve to understand the history of Colombia and the birth of Panama, this book is perhaps not the place to start. Then there is the fictional aspect of the book, which is easily separated from the historical facts.

Lisa rated it it was ok Feb 05, I struggled to begin with and then really got in to it. Interestingly, when I read the book some years ago, I had read that Conrad based his account on the true secreeta of Paraguay, not Panama. You have to start somewhere, so if you don’t demand complete understanding, OK, give this a try.

Actualmente vive cerca sedreta su ciudad natal en Colombia. Except for some historical facts, it could interest me, it didn’t make me want to know the rest of the story. I like this author a lot and the narrative combining the history of Panama and Joseph Conrad is compelling but the rather baroque tone didn’t work for me.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, Conrad histogia many thousands in his cinematic writing style of “turn on the camera and describe everything” in a seemless opening framing shot. Jul 21, Michaela Dean rated it really liked it.

My last example, but not the only one left in the novel, is Jose himself. We follow as their son later Gustave as well as hundreds of other white people die of yellow fever. And the narrative describes the internal civil war known as La Guerra Coxtaguana.


Historia secreta de Costaguana in SearchWorks catalog

A big theme is the story of individuals versus that of Big Historical Events, and what gets forgotten as opposed to remembered. The story starts with the events that lead his father, Miguel Altamirano, to Panama. There are also flashes of brilliance in the writing that will probably land this one on one or more seceta for a literary award.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work. The novel he is working on is set in South America, where he briefly captained a ship along the Colombian coast, but he finds himself unable to recall details about the country or its people, as he spent very little time there.

Which costaguuana me to the second theme of the book: I would not recommend the audiobook if you are reading this for its historical content.

SearchWorks Catalog

Seeing the United States intervention and colonialism during that period through the eyes of a Colombian author was very interesting. Another example is Charlotte. The result is a major success and our narrator feels that he has been robbed of something precious. There is also a connection with Joseph Conrad, tenuous at first but explained fully towards the end. Mar 02, Toby rated it it was amazing. Ah, well, did I mention that the story is told in a non-linear hisforia Many years before, he confessed to Conrad his life’s every delicious detail-from his country’s heroic revolutions to his darkest solitary moments.

Any great event like this in those days necessarily costaguaa thousands of lives and our main character initially becomes aware of the project while in medical school arranging for Chinese workers who coxtaguana on the project to be shipped to Bogota medical schools to be used as cadavers.

Altamirano is horrified, however, to find himself written out of it and history altered.

Historia Secreta De Costaguana by Juan Gabriel Vasquez | eBay

He had been conceived in a brief encounter between his mother, a married woman, and his father and had never known the name of his father until he was a teenager. Conrad uses this knowledge almost word for word with no reference to where he got the information gistoria changes the place name to Costaguana. He was born a bastard; followed his father’s life and story; made a family and watched as it broke apart; histofia part in costaguaana revolution that he cared nothing about; told his story and it was twisted and he died having lived for nothing and regretting many decisions that he made.


Look for example at this article: I was disappointed by this book and was tempted to quit reading it at almost every point. Actualmente vive cerca a su ciudad natal en Colombia.

Perhaps the name of Costaguana, which sounds very much like Cartagena.

View all 3 comments. I know, I know: Subject is the building of the Panama Canal, Colombian secrera, Panama’s eventual “independence ” from Colombia- but also a story of love and heartbreak.

The Secret History of Costaguana

Aug 13, Chrissie rated it liked it Shelves: Second, he kisses his teenaged daughter goodbye while she sleeps and heads off to London with xostaguana a secrfta glance. Look for example at this article The similarities to Venezuela of which you speak are striking, but the sources I have read refer instead to Colombia. A disappointment for me as I’d really appreciated an earlier book by this author. Jun 04, Todd Costaghana rated it really liked it Shelves: Jim rated it it was ok Jul 27, Other famous people who actually visited Panama at the time of the novel have walk-ons, such as Sarah Bernhardt and Paul Gauguin.

Vasquez is a very interesting writer and I look forward to reading more of his work.