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InstaReview: Twilight Zone by Mona Fernández

"It isn't true that criminals are masterminds. It takes a vast amount of stupidity to assemble the parts of such grotesque, absurd, and cruel machinery. Pure brutality disguised as a masterplan. Small people, with small minds, who don't understand the abyss of the other. They lack the language or tools for it."

The Twilight Zone by Nona Fernández is unlike anything we've read; a genre eluding fusion of non-fiction and fiction. The seed of this novel is based on a real person, Andrés Valenzuela, who confessed to torturing people during the Pinochet regime in Chile of the 1980s. The novel interpolates between the known facts pieced together from Valenzuela's testimony to construct a plausible version of the lives of those who were tortured, along with many of their captors. This novel reads like a series of vignettes, and while deeply discomforting, and despite the stellar translation by Natasha Wimmer, it began to feel repetitive. However, this is a novel approach to a novel and we recommend it to anyone seeking a fresh perspective on true historical events in Chile under Pinochet.


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