Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Nest In The Bones by Antonio Di Benedetto

Nest In The Bones by Antonio Di Benedetto
Individual stories written in Spanish from the 1950s to the 1970s. Published in this collection in America by Archipelago Books today, the 23rd May 2017. English language translation by Martina Broner.

Featured in WorldReads: Argentina

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Philosophically engaged and darkly moving, the twenty stories in Nest in the Bones span three decades from Antonio di Benedetto's wildly various career. From his youth in Argentina to his exile in Spain after enduring imprisonment and torture under the military dictatorship during the so-called "dirty war" to his return in the 1980s, Benedetto's kinetic stories move effortlessly between genres, examining civilization's subtle but violent imprint on human consciousness. A late-twentieth century master of the short form and revered by his contemporaries, Nest in the Bones is the first comprehensive volume of Benedetto's stories available in English.

Generally I find I have quite an affinity to South American fiction because I love its mystical elements. In Nest In The Bones however I was frequently completely baffled as to what was going on. I love Di Benedetto's prose. He employs beautiful metaphors and turns of phrase which bring particularly the Argentine scenes vividly to life. My problem though was that a significant proportion of the twenty short stories in this collection felt like middles of stories rather than the full tale. I appreciated the scene as I was reading, but on finishing had no real idea of the point of what I had read! The selected stories are representative of Di Benedetto's work over three decades and I did find those later in the book much easier than the earliest examples. I don't know if that is due to differences in his writing or that I was getting more accustomed to the style. All in all, this was an interesting collection and I enjoyed the insights into Argentine and Spanish life, but I didn't think I got as much from reading the book as I had hoped to.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Antonio Di Benedetto / Short stories / Books from Argentina


  1. Aw that sucks. I hate it when stories feel like you were dropped off in the midst of it.

    1. It's a strange book! Good atmospheric, but sometimes I really didn't know what was going on