Burning patience

by Antonio Skármeta

Other authorsKatherine Silver (Translator)
Paperback, 1987




New York : Pantheon Books, c1987.


The unforgettable inspiration for the Academy Award-winning Il Postino, this classic novel established Antonio Skármeta's reputation as "one of the most representative authors of the post-boom generation in contemporary Latin American letters" (Christian Science Monitor). Boisterously funny and passionate, The Postman tells of young love ignited by the poetry of Pablo Neruda. Set in the colorful, ebullient years preceding the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, the book has been translated into nearly twenty-five languages around the world.

User reviews

LibraryThing member stubbyfingers
When I read a novel, I want to be rock thrown *kerplunk* into the story, totally immersed. Reading this book I felt like a stone the author was skimming across the surface of the story. The metaphors were fun, but overall I was bored because I felt like I wasn't being allowed in.
LibraryThing member FPdC
This famous book by Skármeta came to life as the result of the success of the movie Ardiente Paciencia, directed by Skármeta himself in 1983, after his homonym play got an entusiastic reception in Europe and the US. Another film adaptation (The Postman), by Michael Radford, won an Oscar and
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became a sort of cult movie. To capitalize on its sucess, the novel started to be published with its current name (sometimes with its original title in parentesis.) It is a lovely novel, about the friendship between a young postman and the poet Pablo Neruda, mixing in a beautiful way tales of friendship, love, politics, literature, and the everyday life of a small fishing community. All interwoven with an exquisite sense of humor. Definitely worth reading.
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LibraryThing member soylentgreen23
A love story - and how! Like a modern Cyrano Bergerac, an un-named poet living in the Italian countryside teaches a young postman how to write beautiful prose to woo the woman of his dreams. What begins as such an idyllic and romantic story ends so sadly - the presence of fascist oppression is only
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ever a post-script away.
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LibraryThing member edwin.gleaves
A charming little book, with its dark political side. But mainly it's about poetry and the magic of language, as experienced by Pablo Neruda's postman. Made into a great Italian movie.
LibraryThing member johnbakeronline
The the most powerful story of seduction in recent times is contained in this novella. 'All men who touch first with words go much further afterwards with their hands,' Beatriz's mother warns her. But Beatriz has already been seduced by Neruda's metaphors.
LibraryThing member Salsabrarian
There are moments that are funny and others that are sexy, but I really needed to know Chilean history or have studied Latin American literature to fully appreciate this.
LibraryThing member DonnaMarieMerritt
A delightfully different book, imagining a friendship between a postal worker and poet Pablo Neruda (though this description is misleadingly simple). Here's a bit of a conversation between two characters:

Rosa: "What were you talking about?"
Beatriz: "Politics."
R: "Oh no, so he's a communist too?!"
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"Mother, Neruda is going to be the next president of Chile."
R: "My dear, if you start confusing poetry with politics, you'll end up a single mother. What did he say to you?"
Beatriz had the word on the tip of her tongue, where she held it for a few seconds to savor its connotations.
B: "Metaphors."
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LibraryThing member kellifrobinson
This quick read led me straight to the Internet to research Pablo Neruda, Salvador Allende, Allende's death at the hands of Augusto Pinochet, and to see a picture of Neruda's house in Isla Negra. A historical context of Chile in the early 1970s was crucial to fully appreciating this work of fiction
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which draws heavily and quite accurately on true events. The essence of this book, however, was the Postman (of course) and his discovery of poetry and love. This is also a book whose setting in the idyllic seaside community of Isla Negra casts its own spell over the story and characters. The movie based on this book was nominated for five Academy Awards and I saw the movie when it first came out in 1995 but never sought out the book it was based upon until now. Good book for piquing interest in a little world history.
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LibraryThing member amydelpo
Beautifully written, whimsical, and sweet. A love song to Pablo Neruda in particular and art and poetry, in general.


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