Book Notes: Kirmen Uribe’s Bilbao-New York-Bilbao

“Before the war, the world was wide and attractive. During the war, however, it was cruel.” 

“The best way to let air into the house is to open the windows.” 

God, people, this novel almost killed my brain. It’s like an endless Facebook page of a very pompous person where inconsequential, boring stories alternate with Paulo Coelho-type wisdoms like the ones I quoted above. 

The novel is very popular, so I guess there are enough people who have the ADHD brains that like the narrative which goes something like this: “Once, I was in Sweden and a guy told me he had a neighbor who told him a story about flowers. Flowers are beautiful. Beauty is important. Knowledge is also important.  There is an article I once read about the importance of knowledge. I read it on a trip to Estonia where we discussed birds. I like birds. They remind me of sandwiches. There was a lot of hunger during the war and people didn’t have sandwiches. Or even bread. It’s sad when people are hungry. Once we went to the movies and ate pop corn. I like popcorn. Hunger, though, I don’t like.”

It was almost physically painful. 


2 thoughts on “Book Notes: Kirmen Uribe’s Bilbao-New York-Bilbao”

  1. I like sandwiches! They don’t remind me of birds, though they remind me of long lonely summer afternoons as a child when I spent the days trying to catch crabs in the morning and then sat in a desolate room with a sandwich I hated (unlike most sandwiches) but I expected to eat because my aunt had lived through the depression and once had to split a single can of dogfood to feed three dogs. That was sad, like a winter morning when you have to get up before sunrise and trudge through the freshly fallen snow and here it squeaaak under your cold feet. Warm feet and better than cold feet.
    Oh and then there was a bomb and I moved to Ecuador and lived for 17 almost happy years, brooding about the impossibility of getting good laundry detergent in a country straddling the equator. The equality of day and night makes doing laundry well very difficult, because like the universe balance destroys rather than creates and the laundry maching often does not know which way to spin.
    People are like that laundry machine… looking for imbalance that will let them spin.


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