This was another find at a book exchange in a campground on our travels this summer. The author is well-known (but not by me) for his Kurt Wallander mysteries however this story is a departure from his usual writing.
Nelio is a nine or ten year old boy in Africa, living on the streets after his village was attacked by bandits and he escaped their insane violence. The narrator, Jose, finds him shot on a theatre stage behind the bakery where Jose works. He carries him to the rooftop where over the course of nine days, Nelio tells him the story of his life before dying from his wounds. Jose chronicles the story carried by Nelio’s last breaths.
It’s a short tale that seeks to reveal how humanity can survive evil and violence if we would pay attention to even the least of ourselves.
The translator is the same woman who translated Smila’s Sense of Snow, another Norweign book that I enjoyed much more than this one.
Published: 1995 (translated 2006) Read: June 2016 Genre: Fiction, philosophy