Book Review : The Tunnel by Ernesto Sabato


My Rating : *3 Stars*

What was the writer thinking…Really!

It should be sufficient to say that I am Juan Pablo Castel, the painter who killed Maria Iribarne.

This is how the story unfolds, the confession of a painter who killed a woman, who he was obsessed with.

I recently read a book called “The Stranger” by Albert Camus, which share the same theme as of this book, but if I compare both the main characters, they are worlds apart. On one hand, I for some reason loved the character of Merusault, on the other hand, I hated the character of Juan Pablo(I guess what I hate is this weird obsessive trait of his).

I have noticed this thing about me that when I read about weird terrifying situations, murders, criminals, or maybe freaky characteristics of a person(I mean his/her behavior), I never actually freak out or creep out. It is like my brain doesn’t consider hypothetical situations dangerous or weird. It is only when I actually face these situations or see them happening in front of me, or when I’m the victim, I feel terrified. But then other times, I’m just a chill out person.

Why am I saying all this?

While I was reading this book, and learning more about this character, I thought that maybe at some point of time I have met a certain person like this and that somehow I can associate this character of Juan Pablo to someone or some other character maybe from a movie.

Then I remembered that recently I watched a movie called “The Resident”(it maybe disturbing for some people). So, the theme of this movies is also based on frightening obsession of a person and desire. When I watched it, I found it to be a bit creepy. And now when I read this book, I can totally relate it to what I saw and how I felt, which is not so good.

Also last year, I came across this person, who I thought was a nice person, until the next day he actually started forcing himself unto me(well this can be frightening, I’m telling you). So what I did is turned myself into a badass bitch and shooed(not the right word,I guess) him off, right thing I did.

And it’s not always men, no no, don’t take me wrong with the examples I have quoted above. I recently read some where. This man went on a date with a woman. She was very quiet and it took a whole lot of work to make her speak. The next day he got home and saw a package in the mail box. Well inside that package were two wedding rings with a note “We are destined to be together” or may be “We are destined to be one”(I don’t remember well). He called her up and she asked, did you receive my package and said that she went to her psychic and that her psychic told her that we both are soulmates and we’ll be together forever. After listening to this he hung up the phone.

     Next day when he got back home, and saw that she was parked in his driveway to which he argued with her, that what the hell she think of herself that she came to his house uninvited. She replied, that this is not the kind of house she want, but they can live in it together until they get married. He asked her to leave and never return. She left and then the year followed, he got calls, love letters, emails everyday, to which he told her that nothing can happen between both of them, but to her, they were destined to be together.

Now you see what my point is, these kind of situations can be really terrifying, creepy and they literally give a whole lot of mental stress and can be annoying.

Out of all the examples I have quoted here, all these people(creepy people) were really interesting and wonderful for the first 25% of the total time they spent with the victims and then they opened up and turned out to be idiotically annoying and a whole lot of creepy, which I guess is so much for normal person to take and digest.

Similarly, the first 25% of this book, is very well crafted, beautifully written, interesting thoughts. It was good to read it, up until he met that woman and talked to her…

I hated his desperation and obsession with her, that was growing with every page that I was turning.

When I quoted those examples in the beginning, you might have noticed that the second person always tried to dissolve the situation. However in this case, the woman was also playing certain games…

But that was not it, he went to her house for receiving a letter, and discovered that she have a husband(blind husband), which I guess should be the point for him to lose hold of her and walk away to his different way.


He opened that letter and read:

I think of you,too.


Instead that letter should be :

You see I have a husband, so now fuck off.


But no, madam had different plans. She wanted to deceive everyone and have it all.

This is what happens when you play with fire, you get hurt.

Well she got killed!

Her husband was actually blind, but the painter was blinded by his desperation, obsession and his blinding need to consume her all. He made himself a criminal, a murderer.

“There was one person who could have understood me. But she was the very person I killed.”

The starting was really good, middle was full of drama and a whole of hypothetical situations and dialogues that were total clique, at the same time annoying and funny. The end was abrupt.

That is it.


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