Thursday, February 11

Book Review: The Book of Sand

Title: The Book of Sand

Author: Jorge Luis Borges

Pages: 125

Summary: Jorge Luis Borges has been called the greatest Spanish-language writer of the twentieth century. Now Borges’s remarkable last major story collection, The Book of Sand, is paired with a handful of writings from the very end of his life. Brilliantly translated, these stories combine a direct and at times almost colloquial style coupled with Borges’s signature fantastic inventiveness. Containing such marvelous tales as “The Congress,” “Undr,” “The Mirror and the Mask,” and “The Rose of Paracelsus,” this edition showcases Borges’s depth of vision and superb image-conjuring power.

Short Story Titles are:

The Other
The Congress
There Are More Things
The Sect of the Thirty
The Night of Gifts
The Mirror and the Mask
Utopia of a Tired Man
The Bribe
Avelino Arredondo
The Disk
The Book of Sand

My Rating: 7/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: Overall this was a nice collection of short stories with elements of magical realism in them. Like with most short story collections there are some I enjoyed and others not so much, but I don’t think I disliked any particular story, just didn’t find much interest in some of them, or I was undecided on whether or not I liked it.

I enjoyed the magical realism side of the stories, and some, like The Book of Sand and The Congress had some good messages in them. In fact I think one of my favourite short stories in the collection was The Book of Sand (which is what the entire collection is named after). It was about a book that had no pages numbers, no indication where the book began or ended, and therefore no ending.

Writing style was fairly simple and easy to follow, this was a translated version from Spanish, and I think the translator did do a good job at keeping the original voice intact.
Not a bad collection of short stories, but not extraordinary either, but I may investigate the author further, and see what his other works are like.

Would I recommend it to read: If you enjoy magical realism, short stories then most likely yes. They aren't overly exciting or actiony for magical realism, but do have some interesting elements from the genre in them. I do think there would be some readers who would find the collection boring, so there is that. But, it could be worth a read.

What to read next: I'd try out more works by the author. Other than that, I'm not to sure where to go from here.

Challenges: Read 'n' Review, Pages Read, 10/10 Challenge, 100+ Challenge, A - Z Challenge,
Global Challenge, New Author Challenge, Support Your Library Challenge


  1. I've put this on my wish list since I love magical realism. It sounds like even though there are some less than stellar stories in this collection, some of them would be worth my while. Thanks for the enlightening review,I appreciate it very much!

  2. Zibilee - Glad I helped. But, I'm not responsible if your TBR list crashes down on you :D. This book was a good book, especially considering it was a fairly random pick based on the fact it was set in Argentina and I needed a book set there for the Global Challenge.