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17 April, 2008
Book Review: Without Blood by Alessandro Baricco
Read and reviewed for Armchair interviews
Hidden in a small hole beneath the floor of the farmhouse, Nina witnesses the bloody end to a war which had torn the country in two. Salinas, the leader of one side, kills her father for the horrendous crimes done in his hospital by his side during those war years. The resulting fight, leaves both her father, and brother dead. However, when her hiding spot is found by the boy who is with Salinas, Tito, and left undisturbed her life changes in ways she is not expecting.
Many years later, now an elderly woman, she runs into the elderly Tito who is now a lottery ticket seller in a large city. Tito, the last of the three men involved in the deaths, recognizes her instantly. He has his fears of this girl child from his past, now a grown woman. She invites him to sit down and have a drink with her, and then tells him about what happened to her after he saved her life, all those years ago.
Without Blood is a short but engaging story. It examines the ways that war affects people, and how a simple kindness can bring strength when needed. The exploration of the human psyche and the way the story delved into human suffering and happiness made this small book a very engaging read. I expected a story about revenge, after reading the first part, and was very surprised by the way the second part of the story unfolded. This was the second novella by Alessandro Baricco that I have read, and I look forward to exploring more of his writing.