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The Armies by Evelio Rosero
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Ismael is a retired school teacher in a small Colombian village. He gathers oranges, admires beautiful women and has an idyllic everyday life. When the village is ransacked by an anonymous army, he is thrown into the fray and his mental stability collapses. The tragedy which engulfs the inhabitants of this village has indeed become an everyday occurrence in this country. People are kidnapped; killed; they disappear at the hands of unidentified groups such as the armies of the title: Guerillas, Paramilitaries, narcotics traffickers. Instead of describing the reality of an unpredictable violent world, Rosero imitates it - with the dense, confused prose of a man going mad. Instead of portraying violence, he has created a violent novel. In this story, no-one is spared, no one is protected.
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