At Night We Walk in Circles by Daniel Alarcon
A Novel

69%

7 Critic Reviews

As a heartwarming road novel, a pair of doomed love stories and a propulsive, irresolvable murder mystery folded into a scrupulous inspection of narrative ethics, it's some feat.
-Guardian

Synopsis

NPR “Best Books of 2013”
BookPage Best Books of 2013
Bookriot “Best Books of 2013”
San Francisco Chronicle Favorite Books of 2013: Francisco Goldman
Flavorwire 15 Favorite Novels of 2013

The breakout book from a prizewinning young writer: a breathtaking, suspenseful story of one man’s obsessive search to find the truth of another man’s downfall.

Nelson’s life is not turning out the way he hoped. His girlfriend is sleeping with another man, his brother has left their South American country, leaving Nelson to care for their widowed mother, and his acting career can’t seem to get off the ground. That is, until he lands a starring role in a touring revival of The Idiot President, a legendary play by Nelson’s hero, Henry Nunez, leader of the storied guerrilla theater troupe Diciembre. And that’s when the real trouble begins.

The tour takes Nelson out of the shelter of the city and across a landscape he’s never seen, which still bears the scars of the civil war. With each performance, Nelson grows closer to his fellow actors, becoming hopelessly entangled in their complicated lives, until, during one memorable performance, a long-buried betrayal surfaces to force the troupe into chaos.

Nelson’s fate is slowly revealed through the investigation of the narrator, a young man obsessed with Nelson’s story—and perhaps closer to it than he lets on. In sharp, vivid, and beautiful prose, Alarcón delivers a compulsively readable narrative and a provocative meditation on fate, identity, and the large consequences that can result from even our smallest choices.
 

About Daniel Alarcon

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Daniel Alarcón is the author of War by Candlelight, a finalist for the 2006 PEN-Hemingway Award, and Lost City Radio, named a Best Novel of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post, among others. His writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, n+1, and Harper’s, and he has been named one of The New Yorker’s “20 under 40.” He lives in Oakland, California.
 
Published October 31, 2013 by Riverhead Books. 385 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for At Night We Walk in Circles
All: 7 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Good
on Jul 19 2013

...Alarcón suggests; the story you tell can be a surprisingly potent one. That's true with this book, too. Though the book is low on lyricism, Alarcón successfully merges themes of art, love and politics.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Ana MenÉndez on Oct 25 2013

With “At Night We Walk in Circles,” Alarcón fulfills the promise of his two earlier books...delivering a vibrant, ambitiously political story that derives its power from the personal.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Anthony Cummins on Jan 25 2014

As a heartwarming road novel, a pair of doomed love stories and a propulsive, irresolvable murder mystery folded into a scrupulous inspection of narrative ethics, it's some feat.

Read Full Review of At Night We Walk in Circles: ... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Edward Docx on Jan 18 2014

Alarcón is a serious, talented, charming and often beautiful writer...Alarcón will write a great novel, I'm sure, but this is not yet the one.

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Financial Times

Below average
Reviewed by Carl Wilkinson on Feb 07 2014

One senses that a different approach could have unearthed the more suspenseful, gripping and moving story buried here. That is not to say that there isn’t some terrific writing. Alarcón summons both the city and the provinces of his native land with tremendous vigour...

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LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Hector Tobar on Oct 31 2013

"At Night We Walk in Circles" is an outstanding second novel from Alarcon, a work that creates a multilayered world and invites you to enter it.

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Emily Donaldson on Dec 19 2013

Heavy foreshadowing throughout makes it clear things won’t end well for Nelson, and part of the enjoyment of this delightfully strange and often riveting book is guessing which of its many moods — irony, humour, suspense, absurdity — will prevail.

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Reader Rating for At Night We Walk in Circles
75%

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Malinda Charter

Malinda Charter 22 Jul 2014

Added the book to custom list '2013 NPR'

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