Synopsis: When a Brazilian man's face is disfigured, he attempts a grisly self-surgery in this novel of survival.
My Thoughts: This book has stared at me for years on my shelf calling me to read it. I don’t recall where I got it but I remember that the cover grabbed my attention. Not knowing what the story was about, I started reading this complicated but hauntingly story of a man who lost his face.
The story was told poetically but confusing at the same time. Though this was a narrative, the story developed as if it were a prose. The story of Helio Cara unfolded as Helio ran out to seek his dying mother but instead fell down a cliff where his face got destroyed, changing his life permanently. These events were described as if it were a bad dream; because of this, many of the chapters sounded complicated and I was not able to fully comprehend what was going on or who the characters were the first half of the book. Consequently, I found myself withdrawing from the book a few times.
Helio’s character was a tragic one. One can’t help but feel sympathy towards him. I cannot begin to imagine having Helio’s fate. Everyone he knew turned his or her back on him. He became an outcast and an excuse for people to treat him bad. I was appalled on some of the mentality that people had about him, especially those in the clinical field. Unfortunately, Helio had little choice but try to fix himself when he could not find any help. Helio's character really grabbed my attention and was the reason why I kept reading this book. I really wanted to know how everything was going to unfold for him.
Overall, I liked the detailed attention and style that Cecile Pineda used to tell Helio's story but this creativity fell a little short for me at the first half of the book. Wanting to know Helio's fate was what had me hooked in the last half of the book. I rate it: