Space Invaders

Nona Fernández

Book cover

I picked up this unusual book through a pure random encounter at a good bookstore–it was prominently placed, the title was enough to get me to look at it, and the connection to Chile and the dictatorship era (plus the short length!) was enough to get me to buy it. Good job, Books Are Magic!

There’s not a lot that really happens in this book, and the main plot “reveal” is spoiled in the short blurb on Goodreads. That’s fine, because it is more an atmospheric book–calling to mind the feeling of being a schoolkid during the Pinochet dictatorship, where it mostly feels like being any kid anywhere, but a dangerous shadow, poorly understood, hangs over some things. I enjoyed the way the story was told through the eyes of several different kids in the group.

Good on Graywolf Press for bringing this little gem to an English readership.

My Goodreads rating: 4 stars