The Immortal Boy or El Inmortal by Francisco Montaña Ibáñez, translated by David Bowles
I am Zach.
The Immortal Boy, or El Inmortal, by Francisco Montaña Ibáñez, translated by David Bowles, is a difficult and frustratingly average book. It follows two different stories, one about a family of kids struggling to eat enough and survive in Bogotá, Columbia. The other story is about a girl in an orphanage in Bogotá who meets this mysterious “Immortal Boy.”
This book is frustrating because of the fact that it was translated from Spanish. This makes reading it awkward and takes away from the story a bit. For example, the way that the sentences are formed doesn’t seem to flow well to me. Furthermore, I also was more invested in the story of the girl in the orphanage than of the family, but the author spent much longer developing the story of the family. This may or may not be a negative thing.
I also do not like the way that the story ends. It builds up to a climax, and then only has three pages of resolution. It is an unsatisfying ending and leaves you feeling really bad inside. The way that the two stories intertwine is fairly obvious and way too gross, as there is a part of the story where I literally threw up in my mouth. One character goes against what the first half of the book made him out to be, and it didn’t seem natural.
Overall, this book has a ton of potential, and it isn’t horrible, but it did not flow well and wasn’t my favorite book. I would only recommend this book if you are okay with feeling nauseous and can get past a couple of weirdly worded sentences. Otherwise, you can skip this one.