You know a book must be amazing when Borges describes it as “perfect” in the introduction. The Invention of Morel by Bioy Casares (Argentina, 1940) is mind-blowing. It’s a mix of science-fiction and psychological thriller. It is puzzling and yet it keeps you glued to it all the way to the end (it’s only 114 pages long, though). If you love Sabato’s The Tunnel, Dick’s and Borges’ short stories, you’re bound to love this classic.
It’s the story of a man, sentenced to life in prison in Venezuela who escapes to a little island in the middle of the Pacific, possibly close to Tuvalu. He finds on it a museum, a chapel and a swimming pool and sets to enjoy the rest of his life in solitude. But a few weeks in, he starts seeing some people on the island, among them a beautiful woman that totally captivates him. Are they there to send him back to prison? Are they tourists? Are they ghosts? Is he a ghost?
This exploration on reality, morality and love is q masterpiece. And I found it equally thrilling and spooky. The perfect October read if you ask me. I totally recommend.