• Title: Good Offices
  • Author: Evelio Rosero Anne McLean Anna Milsom
  • ISBN: 9780857050670
  • Page: 363
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Good Offices Tancredo a young hunchback observes and participates in the rites at the Catholic church where he lives under the care of Father Almida Also in residence are the sexton Celeste Machado his goddaugh
    Tancredo, a young hunchback, observes and participates in the rites at the Catholic church where he lives under the care of Father Almida Also in residence are the sexton Celeste Machado, his goddaughter Sabina Cruz, and three widows known collectively as the Lilias, who do the cooking and cleaning and provide charity meals for the local poor and needy One Thursday, FathTancredo, a young hunchback, observes and participates in the rites at the Catholic church where he lives under the care of Father Almida Also in residence are the sexton Celeste Machado, his goddaughter Sabina Cruz, and three widows known collectively as the Lilias, who do the cooking and cleaning and provide charity meals for the local poor and needy One Thursday, Father Almida and the sexton must rush off to meet the parish s principal benefactor, Don Justiniano It will be the first time in forty years Father Almida has not said mass Eventually they find a replacement Father Matamoros, a drunkard with a beautiful voice whose sung mass is spellbinding to all The Lilias prepare a sumptuous meal for Father Matamoros, who persuades them to drink with him Over the course of the long night the women and Tancredo lose their inhibitions and confess their sins and stories to this strange priest, and in the process re veal lives crippled by hypocrisy.

    One Reply to “Good Offices”

    1. good offices (los almuerzos) is the second work by colombian novelist evelio rosero to be translated into english. his first, the armies (los ejércitos), is a compelling story about the horrors of war that garnered him a pair of prestigious literary awards. good offices lacks the intensity of the previous work, yet is still an engaging read, albeit one with a more measured trajectory. set in the capital city of bogotá, the novella deals with the hypocrisies and moral injustices of the local ca [...]

    2. Fuck you. This is a book you need to read. Fuck you. You don't understand the longtime repression of the fucking Catholic Church. This is an illuminated novel. One of the best.

    3. Though not as compelling as The Armies, The Good Offices is a chilling little book worth attention. All of the events elapse in just one day and are focused on the hunchback named Tancredo, who is lives as an indentured servant in a Catholic Church in Bogota, Columbia. From the opening line we learn that Tancredo, “has a terrible fear of being an animal,” yet as the narrative unfolds we witness that it is not only Tancredo who is subject to primal instincts.The little church that is home to [...]

    4. What a strange and surreal little book! I feel like I have to explain my three stars though. While I would strongly recommends that people read this, and I managed it beginning to end in about 3 hours hence the “little book” statement, I didn’t enjoy the subject matter. I have never been one for books in religious settings (Apart from "In the name of the Rose"). The book is a religious satire, and it has a very dark undertone, especially in the characters of the three Lilias and to me that [...]

    5. Good Offices' greatest strength it the tightness of the narrative. It's short for a reason; this is exactly how long was needed to execute the plot and develop the themes. And the themes are what the book is all about. Repression and vice, and the interesting fact is that self-repression is its own sort of vice, and like any vice, if it is inflicted upon another, it becomes an insufferable burden. The players in the novel are the repressed/oppressed residents of a church and the one man, a visit [...]

    6. By chance the second book in a row I've read that involves cat-strangling. Both fantastic books, but take it easy on the cats okay?A weird little book. There's a hunchback, and three witches, and a near-albino nympho-maniacal angel, and a priest with a hauntingly holy voice and a drinking problem. There's also some elderly people who will tell you they are already dead when they're obviously not. As the night grows darker all these characters get mixed into a bizarre anxiety dream. The witches w [...]

    7. A great fan of Rosero's earlier book, The Armies, I found this short novel more difficult to read. A young hunchbacked man is living in a Catholic Church in Bogota with the priest, the sacristan and his goddaughter, Sabina, and old women - all of whom play important parts in this story. Tancredo, who has been promised an advanced education by the priest ( a promise he understands will never be fulfilled) is angry, fearful, confused, sexually conflicted. In writing this summary I realize how much [...]

    8. A timely book, considering the Catholic Church is currently steeped in controversy. The book features a somewhat unreliable narrator who is at times humorous, other times darkly passionate. Sometimes simultaneously. It is a slim, fast read that is best enjoyed in one sitting so it allows you to enter this strange and mysterious world where things may not always be as they seem. A world filled with varied passions, young and old oppressed women, dim light, alcohol, shovels, gardens, and cats. The [...]

    9. 4 1/2 Stars. At the center of Good Offices, a new novel by Evelio Rosero and translated by Anne McLean with Anna Milsom, is Tancredo—a hunchback and an orderly at a Catholic church in Bagotá, Columbia with an almost pathological fear of becoming an animal, a recurring anxiety no doubt provoked by suppressed guilt over his love affair with Sabina, a pale, moonfaced secretary and close friend since childhood, who pleads Tancredo to run away with her. Read our whole review at nthWORD Shorts:shor [...]

    10. A short, detailed account of lives interwoven into the activities of a church: several people supporting the churches rites & giving through hard, laborious work & yet two find a bit of passion if not love. Ultimately, two others find their end, but the novel stops, suddenly, not tying up loose ends, but leaving us wondering.

    11. Magnificent. Keeps getting better and better, leading up to an increasingly surreal and shocking ending. Fabulous translation by the always-dependable Anne McLean (this time with Anna Milsom). I get the feeling that there are some very weird novels that remain untranslated in Rosero's oeuvre.

    12. Creepy, disturbingly funny and oddly captivating. Killer first sentence: "He has a terrible fear of being an animal, especially on Thursdays, at lunchtime." Would be fun to read this alongside Bolaño's "By Night in Chile."

    13. I don't have the moments to write a detailed review but I will say this book was a quick read. "Good Offices" provides a look at the corruption of a small Catholic church. Read this if you like your mind to be gently proded.

    14. I enjoyed Good Offices but was very aware that I was not getting it. Maybe I would understand better if I had been raised Catholic.

    15. Great, short, demented book. It presents some amazing, dare I say painterly scenes along the lines of Goya's "Witches in the Air"

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