A mosaic portrait of contemporary Venezuela emerges with seductive intensity, if only imperfect clarity from this first...

READ REVIEW

MOONLIT: Stories

A mosaic portrait of contemporary Venezuela emerges with seductive intensity, if only imperfect clarity from this first collection of 61 variously related vignettes and meditations, many scarcely a page in length. The long first section, entitled ""Moonlit,"" gathers ""stories"" that seemingly re-imagine in different forms an unnamed family's experiences (particularly vacations and miscellaneous excursions) and traumas (the abduction, perhaps death, of a wife; the dangers to which young siblings are exposed; a failed artist's suicidal fantasies). The briefer ""Futures and Other Times"" assembles more general images of annihilation and apocalypse; and a concluding section (""Extremes"") juxtaposes the family's stories against such real events as the horrendous murder of a three-year-old by two Liverpool preadolescents. One admires Ortega's concision and mastery of tone, but the opacity and redundancy also prominent in these accomplished miniatures discourages us from fully entering their dark, disintegrating world.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1998

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Lumen/Brookline

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1998