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In a small town in the mountains of Colombia, Ismael, a retired teacher, spends his mornings gathering oranges in the sunshine and spying on his neighbour as she sunbathes naked in her garden.

Returning from a walk one morning he discovers that his wife has disappeared. Then more people go missing, and not-so-distant gunfire signals the approach of war. Most of the villagers make their escape, but Ismael cannot leave without his
Otilia. He becomes an unwilling witness to the senseless civil war that sweeps through his country with a tragic inevitability.

In The Armies Rosero has created a hallucinatory, relentless, captivating narrative often as violent as the events it describes, told by an old man battered by a reality he no longer recognizes.

Reviews

'This finely wrought but softly-spoken novel of love, war and grief not only laments a people's tragedy but celebrates the fragile virtues of everyday life at the end of its tether' Boyd Tonkin, Independent.
Independent
'An important and powerful book' Janine di Giovanni, The Times.
The Times
'A timeless epic which bears witness to the madness of a country adrift in the crossfire' Edgardo Dobry, El Pais.
El Pais
'This quietly devastating novel speaks gently but strikes deep ... perfectly pitched and paced ... if our age of cyclical terror and counter-terror needs its own answer to All Quiet On The Western Front, here it is' Independent.
Independent