Libra by Don Delillo****

18 May 2015 | ,

Reading dates: 28 December 2014–17 May 2015

Don’t be fooled by the amount of time it took me to read this book. I loved it and I think it is a masterpiece. I savoured every intricate moment of the life of Lee Harvey Oswald told through the impeccable prose of Delillo. I wish this is how history was told. The book shows a lot of research. Invention too, for it is a work of fiction. Like when I read La Fiesta del Chivo, I was amazed at how accurate the account is, how much factual checking has gone into this work. Yet, I did not give it five stars because my criterion for that is whether I would re-read, and I am not sure I could go through the paranoiac roller coaster of Libra again. Whereas Vargas Llosa’s account of assassination is heart-wrenching but somewhat removed, Delillo is an expert at the psychological and, at times, I felt so involved I had to pinch myself to remember that it was only a book. I could not always read it before bed because it would play tricks on my dreams. This is precisely the power that makes it so accomplished and unique. It is definitely a reading experience, a good insight into conspiracies and the American mind and a beautiful historical account of a troubled time, culminating in a couple of bizarre days that changed the world. Can you imagine what it must have been like to live the events of 22–24 November 1963?

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