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{{infoboxsort infobox1
|title=The Armies
|author=Evelio Rosero
|publisher= Quercus Publishing plc
|date=November 2008
He is an old man, with an old wife, a dodgy knee, and oranges to be picked, which enables him to look over the wall.
Occasionally, the explosions are heard and the shooting, and the fear rises that the war is going to come again to San José. ''The Armies'' tells of the few days when it does. Death, destruction, abduction and abandonment: and no apparent purpose to any of it.
With only the merest touch of hallucination and magical realism that we have come to expect of Latin American writers, Rosero stays mainly in the real world where there is sorrow enough to engender a poignant tale of human degradation and the madness of unwinnable wars. It is a very personal story. We follow Ismael as he loses his way, among either the brutality or his own age-related frailties.
It is a poetic telling of violence and loss in which words are not wasted. A short novel of less fewer than 200 pages, it is spell-binding, and does that most important work of the novelist: to give us a little of the truth and encourage us to seek out more.
As ever in translated works , one has to trust the intermediary. Anne McLean's prize-winning credentials and author-link CV speak for themselves. My personal experience of the Spanish language is limited, so all I can say is that it feels right.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag. We also have a review of [[Good Offices by Evelio Rosero]].
{{toptentext|list=Top Ten Books Not Originally Written In English}}
{{amazontext|amazon=1847244858}} {{waterstonestextamazonUStext|waterstonesamazon=62318901847244858}}
[[Category:Anne McLean]]

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