It took me almost one month to finish this monster of a book. I hardly understood anything about The Savage Detectives. I didn’t get the jokes, the endless literary references, the politics, or the poetry. But I liked it. I tend to overanalyze and over-think everything; but while reading this book, I resigned myself to the fact that I was not going to understand everything so I might as well keep reading and try to enjoy it. And I did.
Every time I opened to the book to read it on the subway I was somewhere else. The book takes place in Mexico, in Spain, France, Israel, Sierra Leone, California, Argentina, Guatemala, Austria, Liberia, Chile and a bunch other places. Every time I read it I met a different character and heard another story. I won’t even try to summarize the book, but you can read excellent and insightful summaries here from the NY Times; and here from another book blogger.
Now I’m reading a book about bananas.
I spent my day off on Monday sitting in an ancient, abandoned volunteer firehouse in Passaic, New Jersey. This is where Manny works, where he has his office. The goal is turn this enormous, hollow, abandoned space into a community center for the growing Latino community that lives in this city. Right now the building is sort of a wreck, it has not been occupied for 2 years. But it has great potential; it has three floors of big open rooms with an entire gym on the top floor.
I walked around the building taking pictures, playing with the different flash settings on my little point and shoot camera. Here’s a few of them: