PositiveNew York Times Book ReviewTo complete The Man Who Could Move Clouds...Rojas Contreras relies...on oral history, ultimately embracing its messy, unverifiable and disjointed nature ... These are the kinds of stories that would’ve had Gabriel García Márquez rubbing his hands together ... Sections in the memoir that expand beyond the personal into discussions of colonialism and Colombian history can feel thin. Some reflections are vague, airy, even bordering on cringe ... Others get simple facts wrong ... For a book that reveals such deep collective truths, these are merely quibbles ... Rojas Contreras has forced into the public record a collective identity of clairvoyants and spiritualists...that she has pieced together from the disintegrating fragments of her own familial past. In the process, she has written a spellbinding and genre-defying ancestral history.
MixedNew York Times Book ReviewBalagué, drawing from several books, documentaries and archival clips from Spanish-language media, covers well-trodden territory ... None of which, admittedly, is particularly new. What differentiates Balagué’s biography from previous attempts is his access to members of Maradona’s inner circle, especially his longtime personal trainer, giving a fresh texture and context to Maradona’s victories and crises ... These moments, when Balagué is at his best, are rendered in highly readable, if sometimes clumsy, prose. But this biography falls short in many other ways. Any discussion of Argentine politics is strained, ham-fisted and usually treated as a vehicle for highlighting Maradona’s sometimes unifying, other times polarizing effect. His long, if disappointing, coaching career receives only fleeting mention, as does the ongoing struggle with addiction that slowly led to his death. The result is an incomplete portrait.
PositiveThe New York Times Book Review... poignant ... Garcia, a television and film director, provides an intimate portrait of his father as he has never been portrayed: forgetful, frustrated, despondent. García Márquez’s despair is agonizing to witness ... Garcia’s account is honest — perhaps to a fault, given the strict division his parents imposed between their public and private lives ... is in large part carried by anecdotes about García Márquez’s life, but it is most telling when Garcia is prompted to reflect on his own, and reckon with his insecurities. Over the course of writing the memoir, he becomes aware that the wall his parents constructed around their private lives also extended, in part, to him.