Labyrinths ~ Jorge Luis Borges

  • Title: Labyrinths
  • Author: Jorge Luis Borges
  • Genre: Literature, Classics
  • Format: Hardback
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewer: Soo
  • Rating: 5 out of 5

Description:  If Jorge Luis Borges had been a computer scientist, he probably would have invented hypertext and the World Wide Web. Instead, being a librarian and one of the world’s most widely read people, he became the leading practitioner of a densely layered imaginistic writing style that has been imitated throughout this century, but has no peer (tho Umberto Eco sometimes comes close). His stories are redolent with an intelligence, wealth of invention and a tight, almost mathematically formal style that challenge with mysteries and paradoxes revealed only after several readings. Highly recommended to anyone who wants their imagination & intellect to be aswarm with philosophical plots, compelling conundrums and a wealth of real & imagined literary references derived from an infinitely imaginary library.

Review: Part of the reason I’m on Goodreads is to expose myself to reading books that I would not necessarily pick on my own. Labyrinths is one of those books that I’ve taken up as a recommendation and as part of my personal challenge. I really enjoy Borges’ rich voice that can make any scenario come alive in details that I may not normally imagine. I enjoyed the Parables and, in some ways, I feel that all of his works are like a parable; a story that uses someone either fictional or real to leave a lesson or provoke a thought.

Of the works in the book, I really enjoyed the following:
The Garden of Forking Paths, the Lottery in Babylon, the Circular Ruins, God’s Script, the Wall and the Books, and Borges & I. I like Emma Zunz as well, but the story has a cold, brutal dispassion that also makes me frown in response.

What’s it like to read the stories? Ever watched Twilight Zone? In some ways, reading this book is very similar to watching that show: lessons, alternative views, unexpected twists, brutal actions, simple human desires that lead to complicated actions. If you enjoy any of the above, you should read this book.

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