Traveler of the Century by Andrés Neuman

98%

10 Critic Reviews

...Neuman combines love and intrigue with serious intellectual engagement.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

Searching for an inn, the enigmatic traveler Hans stops in a small city on the border between Saxony and Prussia. The next morning, Hans meets an old organ-grinder in the market square and immediately finds himself enmeshed in an intense debate—on identity and what it is that defines us—from which he cannot break free.

Indefinitely stuck in Wandernburg until his debate with the organ-grinder is concluded, he begins to meet the various characters who populate the town, including a young freethinker named Sophie. Though she is engaged to be married, Sophie and Hans begin a relationship that defies contemporary mores about female sexuality and what can and cannot be said about it.

Traveler of the Century is a deeply intellectual novel, chock-full of discussions about philosophy, history, literature, love, and translation. It is a book that looks to the past in order to have us reconsider the conflicts of our present. The winner of Spain’s prestigious Alfaguara Prize and the National Critics Prize, Traveler of the Century marks the English-language debut of Andrés Neuman, a writer described by Roberto Bolaño as being “touched by grace.”

 

About Andrés Neuman

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Andrés Neuman was born in 1977 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and grew up in Spain. He has a degree in Spanish philology from the University of Granada. Neuman was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists and was elected to the Bogotá-39 list. Traveler of the Century was the winner of the Alfaguara Prize and the National Critics Prize, Spain’s two most prestigious literary awards. Neuman lives in Granada, Spain.
 
Published April 24, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 577 pages
Genres: Other, History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for Traveler of the Century
All: 10 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Juan Vasquez on Jun 21 2012

The result is a beautiful, accomplished novel: as ambitious as it is generous, as moving as it is smart.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Jan 23 2012

...Neuman combines love and intrigue with serious intellectual engagement.

Read Full Review of Traveler of the Century | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Wall Street Journal

Excellent
Reviewed by Sam Sacks on Apr 20 2012

I confess that when I was breathing the rarefied atmosphere of Mr. Neuman's world and wrapped in the intoxicating mists of his characters' ceaseless talk, the novel's length and spaciousness seemed like virtues.

Read Full Review of Traveler of the Century | See more reviews from Wall Street Journal

The Independent

Excellent
Reviewed by Richard Gwyn on Apr 20 2012

Whatever one's opinion of such elevated claims, books as stimulating, erudite and humane as this do not come along very often.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by Ignacio Diaz on Jun 27 2012

As we read about these passionate readers, we too can see ourselves strangely transported into Neuman's powerfully imagined century.

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The New Republic

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Gorra on Mar 08 2012

Neuman writes about history and literature and the relation between them with an intelligence that his American contemporaries cannot match... His first book in English must not be his last.

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The Roanoke Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Lawrence Markert on Jun 03 2012

Neuman faithfully re-creates the historical and intellectual climate of 19th-century Europe...

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Book Forum

Excellent
Reviewed by Leland de la Durantaye on May 04 2012

Neuman grows increasingly deft in his use of counterpoint techniques and synchronous scenes, which serve at once to widen the book's perspective and to sharpen its focus.

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The L Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Ben Kupstas on May 23 2012

With this ambitious novel, Neuman obliterates boundaries and presents a masterwork that builds bridges across the continents and eras.

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Words Without Borders

Good
Reviewed by Megan Berkobien

Neuman’s language is much like the story he advances: dense yet timeless.

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Reader Rating for Traveler of the Century
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