Natural History by Carlos Fonseca Suárez audiobook

Natural History

By Carlos Fonseca
Translated by Megan McDowell
Read by Jonathan Davis

Blackstone Publishing 9780374216306
12.48 Hours 1
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From Carlos Fonseca comes a dazzling, kaleidoscopic epic of art, politics, and hidden realities. Just before the dawn of the new millennium, a curator at a New Jersey museum of natural history receives an unusual invitation from a celebrated fashion designer. She shares the curator’s fascination with the hidden forms of the animal kingdom—with camouflage and subterfuge—and she proposes that they collaborate on an exhibition, the form of which itself remains largely obscure, even as they enter into a strange relationship marked by evasion and elision. Seven years later, after the death of the designer, the curator recovers the archive of their never-completed project. During a long night of insomnia, he finds within the archive a series of clues to the true story of the designer’s family, a mind-bending puzzle that winds from Haifa, Israel, to bohemian 1970s New York to the Latin American jungle. On the way, he discovers a cast of characters whose own fixations interrogate the unstable frontiers between art, science, politics, and religion: an aging photographer, living nearly alone in an abandoned mining town where subterranean fires rage without end, who creates models of ruined cities; a former model turned conceptual artist—and a defendant in a trial over the very nature and purpose of art; a young indigenous boy who has received a vision of the end of the world. Reality is a curtain, as the curator realizes, and to draw it back is to reveal the theater of obsession. Natural History is the portrait of a world trapped between faith and irony, between tragedy and farce. A defiantly contemporary and impressively ambitious novel in the tradition of Italo Calvino and Ricardo Piglia, it confirms Carlos Fonseca as one of the most daring writers of his generation.

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Summary

Summary

From Carlos Fonseca comes a dazzling, kaleidoscopic epic of art, politics, and hidden realities.

Just before the dawn of the new millennium, a curator at a New Jersey museum of natural history receives an unusual invitation from a celebrated fashion designer. She shares the curator’s fascination with the hidden forms of the animal kingdom—with camouflage and subterfuge—and she proposes that they collaborate on an exhibition, the form of which itself remains largely obscure, even as they enter into a strange relationship marked by evasion and elision.

Seven years later, after the death of the designer, the curator recovers the archive of their never-completed project. During a long night of insomnia, he finds within the archive a series of clues to the true story of the designer’s family, a mind-bending puzzle that winds from Haifa, Israel, to bohemian 1970s New York to the Latin American jungle. On the way, he discovers a cast of characters whose own fixations interrogate the unstable frontiers between art, science, politics, and religion: an aging photographer, living nearly alone in an abandoned mining town where subterranean fires rage without end, who creates models of ruined cities; a former model turned conceptual artist—and a defendant in a trial over the very nature and purpose of art; a young indigenous boy who has received a vision of the end of the world. Reality is a curtain, as the curator realizes, and to draw it back is to reveal the theater of obsession.

Natural History is the portrait of a world trapped between faith and irony, between tragedy and farce. A defiantly contemporary and impressively ambitious novel in the tradition of Italo Calvino and Ricardo Piglia, it confirms Carlos Fonseca as one of the most daring writers of his generation.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Jonathan Davis’s intelligent narration is a wonderful vehicle through which to delve into this inventive novel…a quietly lush voice that conveys just the right emotional nuance…There’s a hypnotic quality to Davis’s narration…[and] listeners will appreciate his wise guidance as they navigate an intricate plot and piece together this multilayered story.” AudioFile
“A delight that serves up narrative twists at every turn of the page.” Daily Beast
“The various characters’ perspectives blur the line between memory and fantasy, and their charm will keep readers along for the very intricate ride…[an] innovative puzzle box of a novel packs a powerful punch.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“An elegant meditation on art, inconstancy, and hiding, with a deftly woven subtext of camouflage that emerges as the narrative progresses.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Fonseca’s challenging and transcendent novel offers a prescient message about media fabrications and the unreliability of history.” Booklist
"[A]kaleidoscopic novel…[that] invites reflection about the weight of legacies and about the masks that make up what we call identity.” Alia Trabucco Zeran, author of The Remainder

Reviews

Reviews

by Odin 10/21/2020
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Dense and compelling

Here is a bizarre tale that has so many layers to decipher, there are times when one might feel overwhelmed. But let that not discourage you, for in working through the complexity of topics including photography, art and the real word of boundaries, dealing with history as a farce, with fire, fanaticism et al. you will be compelled to keep turning the pages. Don’t be surprised at the end wondering what conclusion you should draw. Suffice to say questions will beget more questions and you will have entered into a realm of critical thinking like never before. Highly recommended.

Author

Author Bio: Carlos Fonseca Suárez

Author Bio: Carlos Fonseca Suárez

Carlos Fonseca Suárez was born in Costa Rica in 1987 and grew up in Puerto Rico. His work has appeared in publications including the Guardian, BOMB, the White Review, and Asymptote. He currently teaches at the University of Cambridge and lives in London. Colonel Lágrimas is his first novel.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Literary
Runtime: 12.48
Audience: Adult
Language: English