Waiting for Columbus (Paperback)
|Author: Thomas Trofimuk|
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|On a beautiful April morning, a man is brought to an insane asylum in contemporary Spain, claiming to be the legendary navigator Christopher Columbus. Found in the treacherous Straight of Gibraltar, he is clearly delusional and has suffered a trauma so severe that he has turned away from reality. As he spins the tall tales of adventure and romance of someone who existed in the late fifteenth century, the lonely Nurse Consuela can''t help but be enchanted by his spirit. Who is Columbus? Where did he come from? This dazzling story about one man''s painstaking search for truth and loyalty will haunt the reader long after the final page.|
From the Publisher:
A man arrives at an insane asylum in contemporary Spain claiming to be the legendary navigator Christopher Columbus. Who he really is, and the events that led him to break with reality, lie at the center of this captivating, romantic, and stunningly written novel.
Found in the treacherous Strait of Gibraltar, the mysterious man who calls himself Columbus appears to be just another delirious mental patient, until he begins to tell the “true” story of how he famously obtained three ships from Spanish royalty.
It's Nurse Consuela who listens to these fantastical tales of adventure and romance, and tries desperately to make sense of why this seemingly intelligent man has been locked up, and why no one has come to visit. As splintered fragments of the man beneath the façade reveal a charming yet guarded individual, Nurse Consuela can't avoid the inappropriate longings she begins to feel. Something terrible caused his break with reality and she can only listen and wait as Columbus spins his tale to the very end.
In the tradition of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and The Dogs of Babel, this unforgettable novel mines the darkest recesses of loss and the extraordinary capacity of the human spirit. It is an immensely satisfying novel that will introduce Thomas Trofimuk to readers who will want to hear his voice again and again.
From the Hardcover edition.
Thomas Trofimuk should certainly expand his audience with this tale of a mysterious inmate in a Spanish insane asylum who bombards the staff with rants that he is the explorer Christopher Columbus, until the sheer passion of his conviction begins to convince them that his impossible claims may hold some truth. The man's nurse, Consuela, is particularly infatuated with him, and she listens in rapturous wonder to his tales of adventure and romantic conquest. When a doctor and an investigator from Interpol begin to uncover details of the trauma which likely caused the inmate's break from reality, Consuela must decide whether to try to help heal his shattered psyche or to nurture the fantasy which gives them both such comfort.
Customer Reviews of Waiting for Columbus
Wonderfully complex. Compellingly passionate5/24/2012
I loved this story. It was my "Waiting Room Comfort" during a month of medical appointments--the specialist kind of appointment--where the waiting lasts for hours. The inner workings of the human mind have always intrigued me. Throw in a bit of romance, an exotic local, and INTERPOL--and I'm captured. A great story that shows both understanding of, and compassion for, the tortured human soul. I found the ending especially powerful. Great characters, a wending plot, vivid scenes. WAITING FOR COLUMBUS is a wonderful tale, expertly delivered.