The Armies is a disturbing allegory of life during wartime, in which little appears to happen while at the same time entire lives and worlds collapse. This is an important and powerful book.
(London) Times

The Armies

Fiction by Evelio Rosero

Translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean

Ismail, the profesor, is a retired teacher in a small Colombian town where he passes the days pretending to pick oranges while spying on his neighbor Geraldina as she lies naked in the shade of a ceiba tree on a red floral quilt. The garden burns with sunlight; the macaws laugh sweetly. Otilia, Ismail’s wife, is ashamed of his peeping and suggests that he pay a visit to Father Albornoz. Instead, Ismail wanders the town visiting old friends, plagued by a tangle of secret memories: Where have I existed these years? I answer myself: up on the wall, peering over. When the armies slowly arrive, the profesor’s reveries are gradually taken over by a living hell. His wife disappears and he must find her. We learn that not only gentle, grassy hillsides surround San José but landmines and coca fields. The reader is soon engulfed by the violence of Rosero’s narrative that is touched not only with a deep sadness, but an extraordinary tenderness.

Editions: Paperback

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Paperback (published September 1, 2009)

ISBN
9780811218641
Price US
14.95
Trim Size
5x7
Page Count
208

Evelio Rosero

Contemporary Colombian novelist

The Armies is a disturbing allegory of life during wartime, in which little appears to happen while at the same time entire lives and worlds collapse. This is an important and powerful book.
(London) Times