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Hernán Díaz (1973–)

Author of Trust

Hernán Díaz is Hernan Diaz (1). For other authors named Hernan Diaz, see the disambiguation page.

5 Works 2,341 Members 109 Reviews 1 Favorited

Works by Hernán Díaz

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Common Knowledge

Birthdate
1973
Gender
male
Nationality
Argentina
Country (for map)
Argentina
Birthplace
Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Reviews

It’s a cross between [b:A Little Life|22822858|A Little Life|Hanya Yanagihara|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1446469353l/22822858._SY75_.jpg|42375710] and [b:The Martian|18007564|The Martian|Andy Weir|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1413706054l/18007564._SY75_.jpg|21825181]. Man has incredible bad luck, goes through tortures, and hacks a solitary life to survive. Entertaining.
 
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lelandleslie | 34 other reviews | Feb 24, 2024 |
2023 winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Hernan Diaz's Trust was an unusual but interesting reading experience. There are four sections to the piece: a novel, an outline of an autobiography, a memoir, and a journal.
First we read a novel written by Harold Vanner called Bonds.
We are introduced to the peculiar man Benjamin Rask, son of a wealthy tobacco producer, a shy reticent boy with no inclination toward social friendships. The death of both parents leaves him with a vast empire which he begins to grow based on his found talent when it comes to investing. "he discovered a hunger at his core he did not know existed until it was given a bait big enough to stir it to life.....If asked, Benjamin would probably have found it hard to explain what drew him to the world of finance. It was the complexity of it, yes, but also the fact that he viewed capital as an antiseptically living thing. It moves, eats, grows, breeds, falls ill, and may die. But it is clean."
He takes on valuable assistants as needed, and seems to build his wealth into an even bigger empire without so much as being connected to anything but the growth of money. When He does decide it might be time to marry, he meets a woman introduced to him by his associate, Mr. Sheldon.
Helen Brevoort, raised unconventionally by her parents Catherine and her eccentric father, travels across Europe, amazing people with her ability in languages and culture. She happens to meet Mr. Shelton who takes it upon himself to rescue their family from the perils of impending World War I. He safely returns them back to New York, where he gives them a place to stay in Madison Avenue right next to his employer, Mr. Benjamin Rask. Helen meets Mr. Rask at a party, held at his spacious and tastefully decorated house, and she decides maybe because of his loneliness and his silence that she will marry him. They are happy in their pursuit of independent passions :his money, hers, the arts. But Helen begins having episodes of mania and scratches at her eczema until Benjamin seeks help in a sanatorium in Switzerland. Her condition worsens. Shortly after the sad conclusion of this short novel, a new section introduces us to Andrew Bevel whose outline of his own autobiography tells a very similar story with drastic detail changes. We come to realize that this is his attempt to refute the novel written about his life with his beloved wife Mildred. The third section is a memoir written by Ida Pretenza detailing her time working for Bevel and helping him construct his autobiography and paint a generous, kind portrait of his life and love of Mildred. Ida, now in her 70's, uncovers the personal correspondence of Mildred who was suffering from cancer in a Swiss hospital. Needless to say each section makes the reader question the truth of the one before. The word Trust in the title may refer to the bond created between writer and reader to supply us with a satisfying character study, or a historical portrait of the old money icons of the early 20th century, and though this unusual structure may break that trust, trust me- this is a remarkable reading experience.

Lines:
he was an inept athlete, an apathetic clubman, an unenthusiastic drinker, an indifferent gambler, a lukewarm lover. He, who owed his fortune to tobacco, did not even smoke. Those who accused him of being excessively frugal failed to understand that, in truth, he had no appetites to repress.

It was only in hindsight that she saw that all this prying had driven her to create a quiet, unassuming character, a role she performed with flawless consistency around her parents and their friends—inconspicuously polite, never speaking if it could be helped, responding with nods and monosyllables whenever possible,

Intimacy can be an unbearable burden for those who, first experiencing it after a lifetime of proud self-sufficiency, suddenly realize it makes their world complete. Finding bliss becomes one with the fear of losing it.

Her face was a desolate ruin. A thing broken and abandoned, exhausted of being. Her eyes did not look at Benjamin but seemed to be there only so that he could peer into the rubble within.

Mrs. Brevoort was exuberant in her grief, exploring all the social possibilities of mourning. She found unsuspected radiance in the deepest shades of black and made sure to surround herself with particularly plaintive and misty-eyed friends so that she could highlight her arrogant form of sorrow,

the trials of her tender years and her always delicate health had given her the innocent yet profound wisdom of those who, like young children or the elderly, are close to the edges of existence.

A selfish hand has a short reach.

Every single one of our acts is ruled by the laws of economy. When we first wake up in the morning we trade rest for profit. When we go to bed at night we give up potentially profitable hours to renew our strength. And throughout our day we engage in countless transactions. Each time we find a way to minimize our effort and increase our gain we are making a business deal, even if it is with ourselves.

Money is a fantastic commodity. You can't eat or wear money, but it represents all the food and clothes in the world. This is why it's a fiction. ... Stocks, shares, bonds. Do you think any of these things those bandits across the river buy and sell represent any real, concrete value? No. ... That's what all these criminals trade in: fiction

My job is about being right. Always. If I’m ever wrong, I must make use of all my means and resources to bend and align reality according to my mistake so that it ceases to be a mistake.”

The more people partake in your everyday life, the more entitled they feel to spread stories about you. I’ve always found this baffling. You’d think closeness would engender trust.” “Are you saying even your friends spread rumors about you and your wife?” “Mainly my friends. That’s what they think friendship means: the freedom to turn you into a topic of conversation.”

We cared for each other, but care’s demanding. Did our best to fulfil what we imagined the other’s expectations were, repressed our frustration when we failed, and never allowed ourselves to be pleased when we were the recipients of those same efforts.

For I’ve come to think one is truly married only when one is more committed to one’s vows than the person they refer to.

God is the most uninteresting answer to the most interesting questions.

“Imagine the relief of finding out that one is not the one one thought one was”

In and out of sleep. Like a needle coming out from under a black cloth and then vanishing again. Unthreaded.
… (more)
 
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novelcommentary | 73 other reviews | Feb 24, 2024 |
This books sits on the outstretched arm of the fifth star. Diaz's story, "Trust", in all it's many meanings, unravels across a century, twirling through fact and fiction, revealing the hidden truth by reflecting and projecting tiny hints of it through the mirrors of conceit and ego and, finally, a ravaged elegance.
 
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ben_r47 | 73 other reviews | Feb 22, 2024 |
A journey through the imagination of Hernan Diaz.
 
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ben_r47 | 34 other reviews | Feb 22, 2024 |

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Josefina Caball Translator
Ada Arduini Traduttore
Mozhan Marnò Narrator

Statistics

Works
5
Members
2,341
Popularity
#10,957
Rating
3.9
Reviews
109
ISBNs
60
Languages
13
Favorited
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