Read Camanchaca by Diego Zúñiga Online


La historia parece simple: un muchacho viaja desde Santiago hasta Iquique con su padre y la familia de él, para luego de unos días marchar hacía Tacna, por un tratamiento dental. A medida que los kilómetros avanzan, los años retroceden y el muchacho reconstruye su infancia, las jugarretas con los amigos, la vida de sus padres y la relación a veces obsesiva que tiene con elLa historia parece simple: un muchacho viaja desde Santiago hasta Iquique con su padre y la familia de él, para luego de unos días marchar hacía Tacna, por un tratamiento dental. A medida que los kilómetros avanzan, los años retroceden y el muchacho reconstruye su infancia, las jugarretas con los amigos, la vida de sus padres y la relación a veces obsesiva que tiene con ellos; sus abuelos, tíos y primos, pero sobre todo la búsqueda de los ausentes, de aquellos desparecidos que a ratos asoman como fantasmas en las paginas del libro. Camanchaca, la primera novela de Diego Zúniga, atraviesa el desierto de noche. Con un lenguaje sintético e íntimo entrama la aventura inevitable de enfrentar una realidad familiar que no se escapa de lo que sucede afuera. Así, al develar el manto que oculta una historia, aparecen otras, como si cada una de ellas estuvieran al acecho de algo, o a la espera de que pase la neblina....

Title : Camanchaca
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789568228422
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 120 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Camanchaca Reviews

  • Laurent
    2019-03-07 08:41

    Behoorlijk indrukwekkend debuut uit 2009 van een jonge Chileen, maar pas vorig jaar in het Nederlands verschenen. Bijzondere verteltrant, die ervoor zorgt dat je het boek in één ruk uitleest (ik las het op amper 4 uur). Teenage angst en spleen zijn zelden zo indringend beschreven. De narratieve 'camanchaca' of 'mist' omhult het verhaal met een zweem mysterie en het gevoel dat er wel degelijk meer dan één werkelijkheid is. Knap.

  • Tonymess
    2019-02-22 14:33

    A short novel Zúñiga’s work is a coming-of-age story undertaken by a young boy, traversing the country with his father;My father’s first car was a 1971 Ford Fairlane, which my grandfather gave him with he turned fifteen.His second was a 1985 Honda Accord, lead gray.His third was a 1990 BMW 850i, navy blue, which he killed my Uncle Neno with.His fourth is a Ford Ranger, smoke colored, which we are driving across the Atacama Desert. (p1)So opens this book, a work where you learn so much from being presented with so little. From this opening quote (which is the whole opening page) we can see our narrator’s father moving into money somehow, killing his own brother (or brother-in-law) and now onto a road trip, are they escaping something?Written in sparse open prose, the pages are filled with blank spaces, there are pauses and silences, the detached tone, invoking isolation, you are stranded with our narrator in the desert.For my full review go to

  • Phoebe
    2019-03-02 15:32

    Bizarre little book. Not bad, but I prefer something that has a higher question-to-answer ratio. Too many whisperings, not enough concrete storytelling.

  • Ethan
    2019-03-03 14:28

    So good I had to read it twice!

  • Alan
    2019-02-19 14:30

    Interesting account of a Chilean youth and his interactions with his rather strange family.

  • jeremy
    2019-03-14 07:21

    the debut novel from chilean author/journalist diego zúñiga, camanchaca is the pensive, meditative tale of a young narrator and his quest to make sense of his family's history, its secrets, and the conflicted moments that arise therefrom. the brevity of zúñiga's style (each page is but a paragraph or two long) lends itself to the infidelity of memory, where life blinks in and out in its import. suggestive of the foggy motif saturating the story, camanchaca resides in the spaces between the mundane and the singular; sad without the was one of those nights, in total darkness, when my mother told me what happened to my uncle neno. she said there was a lot i didn't know, that it hadn't been her idea to lie to me, but she'd made an agreement with my grandparents. and she told the story. in complete detail. full of silences. a few days after that, we'd never mention uncle neno again. a few days after that, there'd be another story nobody would want to tell.*translated from the spanish by megan mcdowell (zambra, meruane, fonseca, schweblin, et al.)

  • K Todd Ramer
    2019-03-17 07:26

    Camanchaca is such a unique read, and I will tell you, my review will reflect that. I bought this novella while searching for boutique pub'd books to give out in a contest. After several hours, I stumbled across Camanchaca.As a reader, this is a 5 star book. I want to give a 4.5, but I can't as that half star loss is because of me. I don't read Spanish proficiently enough, so I made the choice to read the English translated version (by Megan McDowell). The half star loss would be a result of the fact that I think in the original language, the story would have landed with even more impact. As it stands, even in English, this is a powerful, pseudo coming of age story. More like a serial of incidents with the pacing of a journal written by a poet. I found myself relating, though from a completely different culture, to the main character in ways I cannot even describe. It was incredibly human, opaquely raw and subversive with heartbreak. Though not every experience is word for word a place I have been, I can say, the feelings he felt, I felt almost in exact parallel at that age. Bleeding teeth, bullies, disappearance of friends, mysterious death of family. I, too, was pawned off to spend countless summers and weekends with grandparents. This is the kind of story that I love to read because I feel like I learn, not just about a culture I haven't experienced, but I learn that they're not so much different from me than one would think growing up.As a writer, if I could give this more than 5 stars I would. The dual set format of alternating page entries, dancing between his life with his mother and the opposing life he lives with his father, that ends where both become a single stringed arc, was masterful. Again, I wish I could have enjoyed this in it's original language. I feel like there was more to take in, if it had been in Spanish.The unbroken thought blocks, used to tell the dual, alternating story also add to this reality where he doesn't separate things, but instead makes it clear that as a child, one thing is everything, and vise versa. And the part of this that sold me the hardest on how well this author is at reaching the reader, is the fact that this child character only appears to be ignorant and innocent with his use in front of adult characters, but in actuality, he has been aged and burdened far beyond the years he's been alive. Like alot of kids (like myself) you have to be so many different people just to attempt to fit in, forsaking any need you may have, any questions you may need answered and any attention you may be starved for. You wear these masks and have these trained responses just so you don't make others uncomfortable.Diego NAILS this concept of the elder soul wearing a child's mask. You don't like his father (and the family he's forced to accept) and you pity the mother in such a way that when things take an unthinkable turn, you don't find it repellent, but instead hurt with pity. It's a hard reality, and this novella exquisitely and unapologetically puts it on paper in a manner that keeps you turning pages til there are no more pages to turn.This is my favorite random find and I am honored to have a copy on my shelves.K.

  • paul
    2019-03-14 08:35

    Me crucé por la primera vez con la narrativa de Diego Zúñiga en una antología, con el título Trucho, curada por el autor argentino Federico Falco para Traviesa. Fue el cuento Omega. Ese cuento y Camanchaca comparten características similares y por lo tanto las dos obras demuestran que la voz narrativa de Zúñiga es consistente y propio. Sin embargo no es único, sino colectivo de una generación joven nacida en la víspera de democracia que comparte tonos y temas comparables a otros autores jóvenes que he leído en la Argentina. Aunque me agradó leer a Zúñiga en formato novelesco porque experimenté más su fortaleza todavía en un texto más largo de 120 páginas que lo distingue de aquellos autores contemporáneos argentinos. Además, nací en los 80s y provengo del país padrino del neoliberalismo, el invasor desenfrenado que obraba en Chile mucho más que en Argentina y que me hizo sentir una cierta afinidad con la historia y el autor nacido bajo la manta de la dicha influencia sobre su país. En la novela, el mundo está saciado con obsesiones de vanidad y de compras banales de ropa de marca y autos, escenas enfrente de la TV sin diálogo y en caminos por carretera sin intercambio sentimental, y otros rasgos de una sociedad entonada por el neoliberalismo y consumo. Ese contraste de unos deseos de un chico de conectar con sus padres y vislumbrar sus pasados, y de saber o escuchar explicaciones de algunas razones por lo que ha sucedido la desaparición de una prima, una muerte de un tío, están sujetas a la banalidad del consumo y progreso materialista. Similitudes que marqué de una adolescencia de clase media en los EEUU. Entonces capaz yo sea parcial a esa conexión que no he encontrado en la literatura Argentina tan palpable. Este libro provee una tensión bárbara y llevadora que mueve el argumento que se potencia en el flujo y reflujo de lo siguiente. Primero en la operación mental que hace Zúñiga. Es tajante; episodios cortos y contados con pocas palabras, a veces un par de renglones por página, un conservadurismo en cuanto a la información que brinda sobre los personajes que genera un misterio y ambiente onírico se embellece adentro del marco que se manifiesta en los pueblos chilenos, el desierto chileno, y en el urbano chileno, también. Estas escenas se entrelazan en ese viaje que cuenta Camanchaca por las memorias borrosas del chico. Segundo, se encuentra un viaje que está sincopado con las apariencias de algunos personajes que nunca se materializan completamente, sino en una memoria animada por el chico- el menor- y oprimida por sus padres separados - los adultos responsables. Estas personajes casi fantasmas son las piezas faltantes de la historia del personaje principal, el narrador, que deja que la maquinación y técnica de Zúñiga trabaja sobre ellas y que se hace posible que esta sencilla, sino pesada, historia ser un viaje en sí, abriendo un panorama de la clase media chilena de los últimos 30 años con toda la carga latente que podrá estar ahí en el firmamento, o cosmos, o en la grana de arena en el desierto chileno que se monta y a veces parece como un dragón muerto y enterrado.

  • Anneke van dijken
    2019-03-11 13:16

    Bij het zien van de cover verwacht je een reisverhaal te lezen, maar niets is minder waar. Evengoed past de cover bij het verhaal.Het boek is geschreven vanuit de hoofdpersoon, waardoor je eigenlijk maar een eenzijdig beeld krijgt. Toch is dat niet erg, want door de informatie die hij probeert te krijgen van anderen krijg je een redelijk beeld van wat er gebeurd kan zijn in zijn jeugd. Maar evengoed heb je aan het eind het gevoel dat het verhaal niet af is, dat je een gedeelte van het verhaal mist. Als je tussen de regels doorleest, dan kan je wel raden wat er echt is gebeurd. Enerzijds wil je dat bevestigd zien en anderzijds is het misschien maar beter van niet omdat de waarheid misschien wel te gruwelijk voor woorden is. Evengoed had er nog wel een hoodfstuk of meer bij gemogen waarbij het verhaal vanuit de ouders wordt verteld. Dan was het verhaal af geweest. Nu blijf je toch met een soort van kater zitten.Het is een verhaal waarbij je te doen hebt met de hoofdpersoon omdat je merkt dat hij probeert achter bepaalde dingen uit zijn jeugd te komen. Of hij daar ook achter komt, dat laat ik in het midden, dat mogen jullie zelf gaan lezen. Je voelt in ieder geval zijn eenzaamheid, zijn desinteresse voor zijn uiterlijk, zijn verdriet, maar anderzijds ook weer de liefde voor zijn hond.Het verhaal is op een indringende manier geschreven, maar hier en daar is het ook monotoon geschreven waardoor je op moet passen dat je niet in slaap valt tijdens het lezen, maar over het algemeen leest het boek vlot weg en heb je het in een paar uur uit.Het plot is een verrassing, daar moet je echt even over nadenken voor je het door hebt.Lees verder op

  • Chris Tutolo
    2019-03-01 15:24

    A novella worth reading. Its staccato style creates sparse but somehow searing imagery of a twisted life for a young boy growing up in Chile with more questions than answers. Written from the perspective of the boy, we learn of his divided family beginning with the divorce of his parents, the unspoken murder of his uncle, the sudden absense of his cousins, and the time in transit between Iqueque and Santiago, between his mother's and father's house and even, occasionally, his grandfather's house. The passages are in fact the boy's confessional, about the struggles of being alone with company, overweight, emotionally and physically neglected, and without a home or at the very least a place he can go with people he can trust. If only there was more. The prose leaves the reader to do some of the heavylifting through interpretation, which isn't unwelcome, but it may come to a conclusion before it's time, leaving us with too little to interpret.

  • Michelle Despres
    2019-02-18 13:32

    From World Literature Today: "Among this novel’s many merits (which go far beyond the stylistic), Zúñiga has achieved something more: he has depicted, with astonishing perfection, the mediocrity of the Chilean middle class, its simplicity and its emptiness: characters who barely communicate and pass their time watching TV, sleeping, and eating sandwiches wherever they may be; half-brothers who hardly know each other and look at each other with jealousy; families whose only epic, at the end of the day, is an attempt to buy brand-name clothes and take care of a dying dog." - Marcelo RiosecoThat sums it up. I thought the book was very well done, but the mediocrity got to me.

  • Dree
    2019-03-14 08:42

    A very quick read by a Chilean writer. This is more novella than novel, or a long short story, with a page for each "episode".A 20-year-old man narrates time spent with his mother, his grandfather, his father and his new family, his memories of childhood, his dying dog, and his greatest love/need--food. As his father alternately rejects and welcomes him, as his mother struggles with supporting him, he eats a month's worth of university food coupons in a week. And he acts more like a 15-year-old than a 20-year-old.The geographic details are interesting--I ended up on googlemaps to see the places mentioned.

  • Paola Alarsil
    2019-02-23 08:33

    😂 no sé lo que acabo de leer, además que, según el autor: los peruanos no tenemos clase. No sé si sentirme incómoda (Soy peruana, vivo en Tacna) o reírme... porque todo el libro va de la travesía del protagonista de su país al mío para que le arreglen los dientes 😆.... (y de que nos cuente sus dramas familiares en el trayecto— literalmente hay hojas con menos de una línea escrita 😐)Ojo, también tenemos buenos oftalmólogos, por si quiere el protagonista darse otra vuelta por la ciudad 😂😂😂. En lo único que le doy la razón es en lo medio brutos que son algunos para conducir 🙊🙊🙊.

  • Catalina García
    2019-03-20 14:37

    Había leído previamente “El Sur” y admito que trasladarme al norte se me hizo difícil. Es una lectura foránea, como un safari. No pude conectarme porque en el fondo sabía que nada podía asemejarse a lo que ya me pertenece (salvo cuando el protagonista comenta que estudia periodismo, pero que su familia deseaba que él fuese abogado). Es una lectura interesante si se piensa desde afuera. Fui lectora, en ningún momento cómplice.

  • Xavier Errard
    2019-02-19 15:16

    It is written in an interesting way.It is short paragraphs and changing subjects often.It is really quick to read.I am not what to think about it when I finish reading it but I liked that it made me think, I didn't have the feeling that I loose time on the book.It might need a second read later to see if I miss something.

  • Hadyn
    2019-03-17 11:41

    Wow! This short book stays with you for a long time. I finished it and immediately re-read it. The writing is spare and each sentence packs a punch. It's dreamy and haunting and and lovely like the Camachaca fog the book is named for and the Atacama desert that serves as a major character in the story. On its face, it's the story of an unnamed young man who joins his absentee father on a roadtrip from Chile to Peru. But it's so much more than that, and the organization of the book flips back and forth between his childhood with his mom and the roadtrip until they converge in a devastating revelation that clarifies as much as it obscures.

  • Celeste
    2019-03-19 12:30

    I couldn't really get into it. Each page contained little snippets of thought and sometimes they really didn't mean much. I think this would have been more enjoyable as a full novel. I would have liked to have gotten more from the main character instead we don't get much.

  • Chris
    2019-03-06 07:33

    Finished this one several months back and enjoyed it, but not much stuck with me. Teenage awkwardness, a road trip, and not getting nice school clothes.

  • kasia
    2019-02-18 15:36

    A sad, broken sort of story. Flat and affectless, yet somehow evocative. It didn't quite come together for me, but I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it.

  • Andrea
    2019-02-22 08:33

    Brief, raw, somewhat disturbing. It leaves you wondering if the narrator will be okay.

  • Amy (folkpants)
    2019-03-01 08:46

    A beautiful, sad little story.

  • Johan
    2019-02-25 12:34

    Van een ruime 4, door een mooie opbouwende spanning en bijhorende verwachting, wegzakkend naar een kleine 3 door het niet inlossen ervan. Jammer.

  • !Tæmbuŝu
    2019-03-04 09:28

    Reviewed by Words Without Borders

  • g.low_koma
    2019-03-17 15:25

    Acutely (inadvertetly?) candy-minded ephemeral book; whether there is some real stuff to be absorbed in here, well, it is either all too nanoconsequential I'd just fail to verbalize it, or it completely eludes me.Some amusing dialogical instances are quite ahemmmm... 'amusing', but only as good as if you're targeting an audience who is mostly experienced in the Sundance's aesthetic penchants (in which case, they'll happen to be particularly amusing). Indeed, it feels like the entire book was an initially intended script for Solondz or Van Sant or something, eventually refitted to be an acutely candy-minded ephemeral book.

  • Javier Yáñez
    2019-03-08 15:28

    Utilizando las palabras de Patricio Prom y Alejandro Zambra en la contratapa: "relato fragmentario, sobrio y sorprendente"Un libro escrito de una manera muy singular: en cada página sólo un parrafo, largo, corto o mínimo, no importa, cada uno de ellos con un indispensable aporte al relato, con un gran poder narrativo.En un lado de la pagina el relato más actual, en el otro, los parrafos de la memoria. Casi al final se funden en el desenlace.Definitivamente Zúñiga tiene un don para el relato.

  • Bert
    2019-02-22 09:29

  • Anyela Galleguillos
    2019-03-15 12:27


  • Brunelio
    2019-02-20 09:20

    Una hermosa y repulsiva tragedia.

  • Agustina
    2019-02-26 14:32

    Una historia fácil de seguir y profunda.

  • Paloma Artigas
    2019-03-21 10:44

    Un relato simple pero complicado. Cotidiano. Tan cotidiano que me sentí identificada en todos los aspectos.