Las películas de mi vida
Alberto Fuguet

NOVEL | 2003 | 304 pages

Beltrán Soler is from Chile, a land in constant movement. A seismologist who knows more about the science of tectonic plate movement than about life, he is cocooned in a world of seismic data, scientific articles, and natural disasters. Beltrán believes he can protect himself from the world around him by losing himself to theoretical pursuits, but thousands of feet above the ground he so meticulously analyzes, on a flight to L.A. -- the capital of film and the city in which he was raised -- he has a conversation that sparks in him a firestorm of nostalgia. Suddenly, Beltrán finds himself recalling the fifty most important movies of his life -- films both precious and absurd that affected him during his childhood and adolescence in the 1960s and '70s.

From Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to Close Encounters of the Third Kind to kitschy disaster films such asEarthquake!, as well as cult classics of '70s sci-fi such asLogan's Run, Beltrán connects with his past by remembering the films he saw, the people with whom he saw them, and even the theaters in which they were shown. Recalling one movie after another, he reconstructs the unusual history of his eccentric and dysfunctional family, coming to terms with his obsession with the movies that helped define him -- often whether he wanted them to or not.

Set in the oddly parallel worlds of Nixon's suburban California and Pinochet's Santiago de Chile, this ingenious novel throws us into the claustrophobic world of an adolescent who tries to escape from a tumultuous and fragmented existence, one caught between two languages, two cultures, and two families that watch the same movies. Written in the eloquent, compelling, and often hilarious style that has brought Alberto Fuguet world renown, The Movies of My Life is a book about film and about how movies embed themselves in our souls, helping us all share a blinding fondness for the magic of make-believe.

RIGHTS: spanish (spain & latin america) ALFAGUARA | english & spanish (usa) HARPERCOLLINS | german ZEBU | danish SKOJDT | italian Marcos y Marcos | polish MUCHANIESDA | portuguese (brazil) AGIR | finish JOHNNY KNIGA

An original novel, filled with adventures, surprises, movies, like a bridge between the United States and Latin America, wildly entertaining.
— Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel Prize Winner
Chillingly incisive... Fuguet has created a modern bildungsroman in which American culture enhances, rather than suffocates, the protagonist’s understanding of his native country.
— The New Yorker
Alberto Fuguet has written an elegant, slick, and slyly unnerving novel about family, the immigrant experience, and about the bizarre ways American culture sneaks up on us and (whether we like it or not) manages to shape our lives.”
— David Amsden, author of Important Things that Don't Matter

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