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24/30 Day Book Meme: Most Overlooked Book

Day 24: A book that you wish more people have read

I wish to say The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov but one book that deserves much more publicity and attention is Shadow Without a Name by Ignacio Padilla. The book made a quiet, clandestine release back in 2004, escaping the radar of almost all critics except for the newspaper book sections. I found the book while browsing the bookstore and bought it cold turkey. It turned out to be one of my all-time favorites. As befit a literary fiction, the writing is both ponderous and form-blurring. It cleverly evokes the question of identity and selfhood against the historical backdrop of the darkest period of the twentieth century, as men appropriated names of each other, shielded off past memories and adopted new identities in the hope of a changed, better destiny. It was a time in which the truth became shrouded by lies and the lies adopted as truth. The reading requires concentration and effort from readers. Four men contribute to the narrative, which, in an overlapping interval of time, recounted the sequence of events that spanned decades as well as continents following the chess game in 1916, between Viktor Kretzschmar and Thadeus Dreyer. This book presents a story within stories, twisted and shrouded. It holds my breath to the end.

3 Responses

  1. I’ve read the Master and Margarita and totally agree!

  2. Noted and have added the Padilla book to my wishlist. My contribution would be The Time of the Doves by Merce Rodoreda.

  3. […] 24: Most overlooked book Shadow Without A Name by Ignacio […]

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