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Sem Sangue by Alessandro Baricco
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Sem Sangue (original 2002; edition 2002)

by Alessandro Baricco, Ann Goldstein

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461922,528 (3.29)6
Member:piroclasto
Title:Sem Sangue
Authors:Alessandro Baricco
Other authors:Ann Goldstein
Info:Edinburgh : Canongate, 2005.
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
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Without Blood by Alessandro Baricco (2002)

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English (3)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (9)
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The book opens in an old isolated farmhouse, with a father and his two children (a boy and a girl). The father goes and looks out of the window at the sound of a car engine. What happens next is a shocking act of violence, that leaves the father and son shot dead. The daughter (Nina) although hidden away is discovered by Tito, the youngest of the killers.
“The child turned her he

This Novel could so easily have become a tale of revenge, carrying on with the bloody path it first seems to be taking, but it becomes so much more, with it’s beautiful understated prose, placing it in a no mans land, in a time and place unstated. It’s myth and like myth it’s relevance is timeless & like myth it mines the human psyche.This book is 87 pages of viscerally shocking, mesmerising writing. It takes no time to read and yet its stark landscape will become a backdrop to your thoughts .

http://parrishlantern.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/without-blood.html ( )
  parrishlantern | Jun 29, 2012 |
'Without Blood' is unquestionably unsettling. It took me barely an hour to read (it's a skinny 87 pages of widely-spaced prose), so it's definitely a novella rather than a novel, but many of the images resonate long after I'd put the book down.

The story opens with a man hiding Nina, his 4-year-old daughter, under the floorboards before he is murdered - together with his son - by a gang of men. One of the men - actually a 20-year-old boy - discovers the girl's hiding place but eventually decides to keep her presence there a secret.

The story then fast-forwards forty-odd years. Nina tracks down the man who effectively saved her life - now an old man - and invites him for a drink. He is aware that the other men present at the murder have died under mysterious circumstances, and assumes the woman is going to kill him, too, in revenge for her father's and brother's deaths.

Baricco's writing is as sparse as you can imagine - not a word more than necessary - which gives the story its unsettling air. That, and the fact that we are given only glimpses of the lives of these two people - just the bare, necessary details. Minimalist and haunting, there's something of the fairy tale about this story. [September 2006] ( )
  startingover | Feb 2, 2011 |
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Toen bedacht ze dat hoe onbegrijpelijk het leven ook is, je het
waarschijnlijk doorbrengt met niets anders dan het verlangen om terug te
keren naar de hel die je heeft voortgebracht, en om daar te leven aan de
zijde van degene die je ooit uit die hel heeft gered.
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"When - in an unnamed place and time - Manuel Roca's enemies hunt him down, they fail to discover Nina, his youngest child, hidden in a hole beneath his farmhouse floor. And so, doing just as her father instructed, she neither speaks nor stirs as he is viciously slain above her hiding place. Only after this carnage will one of the murderers discover Nina's trapdoor. But Tito, a mere boy himself, is so enthralled by the sight of Nina's perfect innocence that he says nothing to his accomplices." "By the time she has grown up, Nina's innocence will have bloomed into something else altogether, and one by one the wartime hunters will become the peacetime hunted. But not until a striking old woman calls upon an old man selling newspapers in town - the old man Tito has become - can we know what Nina will ultimately make of her brutal legacy. With the indelible truth of a fable, Without Blood reminds us that all wars are the same - the same mistake infinitely repeated in the hearts and deeds of wronged men and women - and that no life can remain untouched by loss or by hope."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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