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The Island of Last Truth by Flavia Company

The Island of Last Truth (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Flavia Company

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Title:The Island of Last Truth
Authors:Flavia Company
Info:Europa Editions (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 144 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, novella

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The Island of Last Truth by Flavia Company (2011)



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I picked up this novella almost at random in a bookstore, never having heard the title or the author, and liked the first page enough to buy it and start reading it on the spot. It was a quick read, a nautical tale in the tradition of Defoe and Conrad by an Argentine woman who moved to Barcelona and wrote it in Catalan. And it was excellent.

It begins with a mysterious doctor at a New York party who was rumored to be shipwrecked on a deserted island for five years. The bulk of the story is told by him through the woman he falls in love with and lives with for seven years. The epilogue following his death is by the woman, and puts a fascinating twist on everything that came before it.

The bulk of the novel is a castaway story as the man is trapped on a small deserted island with a pirate he thought he had killed. In almost the opposite of the civilization depicted in Robinson Crusoe, in this novella they divide up the island, each have territories the other is not allowed in, and rarely cooperate or trade. The tension mounts as he doctor becomes increasingly impatient to find out what is going on in the territory of the pirate.

Ultimately, it is not clear whether it should be read as a realistic story or as an allegory of two sides of a man struggling with himself. But it reads well either way. ( )
  jasonlf | Dec 26, 2012 |
The tenses in the narration change, but throughout the writing is crisp and precise. A disappearance of five years, a reappearance and a story, pirates, stranded on a deserted island and a mystery. How did he survive? How did he escape? A taut psychological thriller, a secret and questions of morality that are all explored in this rather small but extremely interesting novel. ( )
  Beamis12 | Nov 6, 2012 |
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Preface: I don't remember who introduced me to Dr. Prendel.
Chapter I: The first incongruity that occupies Matthew Prendel's mind is thinking, just as he feels the roughness of the damp sand against his face, that he doesn't know if he is alive.
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Book description
The Island of Last Truth is a story of many mysteries, principal among them the true identity of the enigmatic Dr. Matthew Prendel. Legend has is that Prendel, an expert sailor, had been shipwrecked years before the story opens in contemporary New York. His boat was attacked by pirates. He survived thanks to an incredible stroke of luck, while his entire crew perished. But then found himself embroiled in a ferocious fight for survival between two castaways on a desert island. There, too, he was lucky and came out the victor. Or perhaps luck played no part in it. Perhaps something darker was at play. And at stake. The only thing sure is that Matthew Prendel disappeared for five whole years. He has been back in New York now for a couple of years. That’s what they say at least. Though one should never rely entirely on hearsay…

The Island of Last Truth is part adventure story, part noir, and party mystery. Company has written a great page-turner that, like many novels belonging to the adventure genre, doesn’t shy away from incisive observations about the nature of human relations.
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After a pirate attack on his sailboat and the death of his shipmates, Mathew Prendel, a doctor, is shipwrecked on an almost entirely uninhabited island. The only person who lives there is Nelson Souza, the pirate responsible for the deaths of his friends and for his being shipwrecked. Mathew thought he had killed him in his escape and now, paradoxically, the pirate saves his life. This is the start of a difficult coexistence marked by Souza's dominance and his secrets that will end with Souza's death and Mathew's return to civilization.Years later on his deathbed, Mathew asks his lover Phoebe Westore, Ph. D. in literature, to write up his life story in a letter and send it to the Souza family.… (more)

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