We followed a rule, none of the books presented here in this list of ten titles, counts more than 190 pages. Some, much less like our so-called "Died Me" by José Luís Peixoto.
Another criterion, we do not present the classics. The reader will not find Steinbeck's everlasting "The Pearl", or "The Little Prince" by Saint-Exupéry, or even "The Metamorphosis" by Kafka. They have their place in the pantheon of the readings, and also, in common, with the works presented here, the fact that they fit in a day of reading.
The books we present here have the potential of the classic, being timeless narratives and with universal stories.
Books that the reader can taste in less than 24 hours. But, no pressure.
"Sono", by Haruki Murakami
"I have not slept for seventeen days." It is in this way that the story begins that Haruki Murakami, a Japanese writer, imagined and wrote about a woman who, one day, could not sleep.
In 96 pages, "Sono" (Casa das Letras edition), brings us the account of a second life. The one of the protagonist who, in the silence of the night, while the husband and son sleep the sleep of the righteous.
For the protagonist of the book, whose name we never get to know, the nights become far more interesting than the days. But also, needless to say, more dangerous.
"The old man who read romances of love", by Luis Sepúlveda
Antonio José Bolívar Proaño lives in El Idilio, a remote place in the Amazon region of the Indians shuar, with whom he learned to know the jungle and its laws, to respect the animals that inhabit it, but also to hunt and discover the most indecipherable tracks.
He is the protagonist of the book "The old man who read novels of love" (edition Porto Editora), written by the Chilean Luis Sepúlveda. In the novel with just over 120 pages, Antonio Proaño decides, one day, to start reading. He does it with passion, reading the love novels that twice a year, the dentist Rubicundo Loachamín takes, to occupy the lonely equatorial nights of his announced old age.
With them, he tries to avoid the stupid gringos and prospectors who think they rule the jungle because they come armed to the teeth, but do not know how to face a beast whom they killed the young.
"A cat, a man and two women", from Junichiro Tanizaki
In this book, the reader has in hand a trio of short stories from one of the great names of twentieth-century Japanese writing, Junichiro Tanizaki. This volume includes, in about 180 pages, a novel and two shorter texts. The three stories that make up "A cat, a man and two women" (Theorem edition) are variations of a favorite subject of Tanizaki: Domination and submission in private relations.
The man in the title book is a typical hero of the author – a spoiled and stubbornly useless type, caught up in a war between his vengeful ex-wife and his stubborn young successor, both rivals of the cat Lily – seductive, elegant and magnificently controlling. The "Little Kingdom" describes the curiously inconsistent relationship between an authoritarian teacher and a small, but indomitable, student determined to enforce his own rules.
Finally, "Professor Rado" is a malicious portrait of a self-styled scholar, seen in the eyes of a journalist eager to "get a story." In a series of interviews, the professor answers the questions only with grunts, but by chance the journalist ends up discovering a scandalous hidden side of this eminently respectable lord.
"The Secret of the Old Forest", by Dino Buzzati
Colonel Sebastiano Procolo inherits his uncle from the Old Forest, a magical place inhabited by geniuses, spirits and invisible forces with the power to transform into animals or men. Indifferent to this idyllic nature, the colonel has much more practical plans to monetize his heritage, unleashing a war that will dilute the boundaries between Good and Evil, contaminating the reality of fantastic elements.
Adapted to the cinema in a film of great success, which recalls the allegorical prose of Saint-Exupéry and his O "Little Prince", "The Secret of the Old Grove "(Iron Horse edition) is the novel where the Italian Dino Buzzati best evokes the loss of innocence and the brutality of the real, themes that are part of the author's universe. To read of a breath in its 160 pages.
"The Rooster of Gold", by Juan Rulfo
"The Golden Rooster" (Iron Horse edition) describes the giddiness of love, play and luck from the story of Dionysus, a fighting cocks trainer born out of nowhere who becomes an inescapable figure of the underworld. In this book by the Mexican writer Juan Rulfo, there are politicians and beast-bearers in a story that is a metaphor for the unusual paths that can lead to human life.
This volume brings together the few fiction texts that Rulfo left unpublished. "The Golden Rooster" was adapted to the cinema several times, the first of which soon in 1964 in a film of Roberto Fuentes and Garci'a Márquez.