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IN BRIEF

Fiction

January 06, 1991|Sharon Dirlam

HARD RAIN by Ariel Dorfman (Readers International: $18.95; 270 pp.) "Hard Rain" doesn't fit into any format of plot, character development or chronology. Written in 1972 and spirited out of Chile as the government fell, this novel deals with human consciousness generally, the revolution in Chile in the days of Salvador Allende specifically. The voice gives us Juan, a protagonist "sensing his own power as if we were crippled and he were our crutch"; a long passage that contains every cliche that comes to mind regarding political systems, and an essay on a book in which the employees of a newly nationalized factory tell their versions of how things are going, counterpointed by a sequel told by bureaucrats and politicians. This is a difficult text, but in being purposely "offensive against logical order," it keeps alive the questions and the frustrations that plagued the revolution.

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