Kalpa Imperial by Angélica Gorodischer

(discussed October 30, 2003)

On a ten-point scale (1=bad, 10=good), the people who read the book gave the following ratings: 2 (Chris), 4 (Raja), 5 (Julie), 6 (T.C.), 7 (Lisa), 8 (Kate), 9 (Ignacio), 10 (Judy), 10 (Peter)
Average: 6.8

The book was sponsored by Ignacio Viglizzo, who said it was one of his all-time favorite books. I asked Ignacio for some comments, which I've posted as Ignacio's Notes on Kalpa Imperial.

Peter Kuchera, who finished the book the week after our discussion, emailed a rating of 10. I asked him for some comments, and this is what he said:

I thought it had a lot in common with Borges, but also García Márquez and Salman Rushdie: Lyrical storytellers who write from the deep wells of myth. I think it is not a short story collection but a novel made up of facets through which comes a radiance. The last chapter, where the universe of the novel intersects with our movies (collective dreams) and the Iliad, a pillar of myth, makes the world of the Empire as real, or as unreal, as our own; the myths are true and eternal. I think that the book is in touch with the psychological depths from which come our myths, and our dreams. I was hypnotized by the rhythym of the repetetive histories like I was when I read 100 Years of Solitude, to which it owes a debt. Something very profound is reached by this method, I think. This is the kind of book I search hard to find.