The Book Beat Reading Group selection for March is The Tunnel by Ernesto Sabato. The Reading Group will meet on Wednesday, March 30 at 7pm in the Goldfish Tea Cafe (117 W 4th St #101, Royal Oak, MI 48067). Books are discounted 15% at Book Beat. All are welcome!
“An existentialist classic… Retains a chilling, memorable power.”- The New York Times book review
An unforgettable psychological novel of obsessive love, The Tunnel was championed by Albert Camus, Thomas Mann, and Graham Greene upon its publication in 1948 and went on to become an international bestseller. At its center is an artist named Juan Pablo Castel, who recounts from his prison cell his murder of a woman named María Iribarne. Obsessed from the moment he sees her examining one of his paintings, Castel fantasizes for months about how they might meet again. When he happens upon her one day, a relationship develops that convinces him of their mutual love. But Castel’s growing paranoia leads him to destroy the one thing he truly cares about.
“The Tunnel is a novel about madness recollected in a prison cell, but it is not an apology for the madness or the actions that the madness caused, nor is it a rational explanation of them. Instead, it leads the reader into the world of the protagonist, using a deliberately calm style to suggest that this world is normal. The mind of Juan Pablo Castel is given a kind of logic by the tone and sentence structure of the novel, which are precise and clear.” – from Colm Toibin’s introduction to The Tunnel. Read the full introduction here.
Ernesto Sabato was an Argentine writer, painter and physicist. He wrote three novels: The Tunnel, On Heroes and Tombs, and Angel of Darkness. His writings led him to receive many international prizes, including the Legion of Honour (France), the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (France) and the Miguel de Cervantes Prize (Spain). Sabato died on April 30, 2011, two months short of his 100th birthday. Upon his death El País dubbed him the “last classic writer in Argentine literature.”