Books, Briefly: Signs Preceding the End of the World

I’m introducing Books, Briefly – a new segment to Archetypes and Anecdotes! For some books, I may decide to write shorter reviews instead of the longer, in-depth ones that I have been writing – hence the name “Books, Briefly”. A shorter review does not mean that a book is bad or that it’s less important than other books. This allows me to highlight various books – both old and new – in different ways to best suit their content, popularity, relevancy, etc.

Title: Signs Preceding the End of the World

Author: Yuri Herrera

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I guess that’s what happens to everybody who comes, he continued. We forget what we came for, but there’s this reflex to act like we still have some secret plan.

READ IF YOU LIKE: Short books (novellas); Translated fiction; Infinite Country by Patricia Engel or Exit West by Mohsin Hamid; Writing style of Cormac McCarthy and Franz Kafka; Exploring diverse voices/experiences and Latin American culture

MOOD: Serious, reflective

Short chaptersNo quotation marks to signify dialogue
Focused on the immigrant journeyLess focused on characterization; limited connection to characters
Provides perspective on a marginalized groupTranslated fiction often can feel less fluid

FINAL THOUGHTS: This work of translated fiction provides an opportunity for readers to experience the journey of an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, which is relevant and important for the growth of empathy. This book is worth the (short) read.


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