“Future City Life” by Laura Tellez

I can vividly remember my childhood. When I was ten, my strongest wish was to own a video games console of the newest generation. I went on and on asking my parents to buy it, and I finally got it as a Christmas gift.

Now I am seventy, but I still have my old console, although it has seen better days. Playing with it reminds me of what life used to be like. Everything has changed so much in these decades that sometimes it’s difficult to believe it.(omit)

Of course most of the changes have been focused on improving our lifestyle, with plenty of technological innovations that can do our tasks for us. I think that I’m likely to feel bored for all the rest of my life. For example, there is a new automatic cleaning system that leaves all the house perfect in a few minutes, with the only effort of pressing a button. I have always been a meticulous person, and I loved to do the cleaning slowly, paying attention to every detail. Now the only thing I can do while cleaning is to sleep a little.

I’ve tried to convince my son that this gadget doesn’t work well, but he always gives the same answer) “Hold on, dad. We are on the verge of having the perfect existence. Sit and enjoy it!”. This gullible man believes everything that is said in on television, but I have always been cautious enough to avoid listening to the news, and now I’m the only one that knows the truth: They want to destroy us.

I regret not having stayed at my house in the countryside. My son insisted that as a senior citizen, it was dangerous for me to live by myself, and he took me to the city two months ago. Now he is about to leave me in a retirement house full of old finicky people, complaining about the fact that everything was better when they were younger. Yesterday I overheard my son and his wife’s conversation, and it seems that this is my last week of freedom.

I will miss playing my video games.

Timbuktu (by Paul Auster) Review by David Corell

Paul Auster (born in New Jersey (USA), February 3rd 1947), is a well-reputed novelist thanks to some excellent novels such as “The New York Trilogy”, “Oracle Night” or “The Brooklyn Follies”, and Timbuktu is on a par with all of them. Since 1982, Paul Auster has written almost 20 books, including fiction, poetry and screenplays, and a common feature of most of them is that they deal with ordinary people and their daily routine, and so does Timbuktu. Just a few characters and a slow-moving storyline make a sweet story narrated from a dog’s point of view.

William Gurevitch is a brilliant but unsuccessful poet who lives in Brooklyn with his mother (a Polish immigrant, as were Paul Auster’s parents) and with Mr. Bones, his faithful, smart and anything but a pedigree dog. When his mother dies, William, who is alcoholic as well as schizophrenic, loses all his belongings and becomes homeless together with Mr. Bones. Like Don Quijote and Sancho Panza before them, they travel all around their country, having all kinds of adventures. And the book begins with the last one, their journey to Baltimore to find Bea Swanson, William’s beloved mentor, who was his teacher in high school and has not been in touch for years. William, who feels ill himself, thinks he is about to die and wants to give Bea his poems and persuade her to find a new home for Mr. Bones.

But the dream of finding Mrs. Swanson never comes true, and Mr. Bones has to start a new life without hisbeloved owner, master and friend. And in this new life, Mr. Bones finds a couple of new owners: firstly, a Chinese boy, with whom it lives several weeks, until his father discovers Mr. Bones in its hiding-place in the garden of the house; and secondly, a wealthy and well-structured family with two lovely kids, who make Mr. Bones almost forget those days full of miseries together with William. But despite everything, it never forgets its former owner and “every thought, every memory, every particle of the earth and air was saturated with Willy’s presence”. So, its last wish is to join his master in Timbuktu, that great hereafter in the sky, where “you were at one with the universe, a speck of antimatter lodged in the brain of God”.

With no doubt, it is worth reading this novel, which, even though being simple, has a tender and sweet story in the background. But also, as the novel is narrated from a dogs perspective, the story is full of funny situations. The novel is short (200 pages) and suitable for young and adult readers.

ACCENTS – Can you distinguish all these different accents?

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