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Thomas Mann, John E. Woods
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Norman Manea, Angela Jianu
Jurnalul unui killer sentimental. Yacaré - Luis Sepúlveda, Irina Dogaru With this book I've completed the Romanian translations available for Sepúlveda. None of them is as good as The Old Man Who Read Love Stories, but I became attached to his writing style: sometimes funny, sometimes poetical, pleasant as a mild-sweet cake, simple as a white summer dress, with magical glimpses of places throughout South America.

With these two stories, Sepúlveda explores the detective fiction genre, as he also did in Hot Line.

The Diary of a Sentimental Killer is about a professional assassin who makes some mistakes that are not allowed in his field of work: he falls in love with a young French woman and he takes an interest in his latest target, to which he'll get dangerously close. No, the woman and the target are not one and the same. The ending was more suited to a soap opera, so I was a bit disappointed.

I enjoyed more the second story, Yacaré. A former Chilean policeman is sent to investigate the apparently natural death of a business magnate, only to discover that things are much more complicated. Plus there is an invisible and unusual killer who might strike again.

If you're wondering what Yacaré means, it is a species of small caiman found in central South America.


I felt sorry for the little fellows, as in the story they were ruthlessly hunted down by an Italian company dealing with leather goods. But I felt even more sorry for the tribe of Indians that revered the caimans as some sort of deity. I didn't find any clue that they actually existed. Anaré, as they were called, had an interesting mythological story about the Yacarés (I'll do my best with the Romanian-English translation):

They were Anaré Indians and they followed an ancient law, because in the early years of mankind, the world was entirely made of water, and humans and animals alike lived on the back of the big Yacaré. The reptile dreamed of fruits and there were fruits, it dreamed of fish and there were fish, it dreamed of turtles and there were turtles. But one day, the first Jeashmaré appeared and shot a fiery arrow through the big reptile's heart. Deadly wounded, for days on end it splashed the water with its tail. A thousand baby reptiles were born, some small as larvae, others big as hunters, but the ancient Yacaré left no clue as of which should be its heir. Even nowadays, the Anaré Indians have to take care of all the babies, so that the sweet time of dreams would return, on the back of the big Yacaré.

Man, that felt good! If the stories are not translated into English, you can send me the usual book fee and I'll translate them to you! Or half of it, if you are only interested in Yacaré. *Smile*