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PEDRO PARAMO (French) Paperback – Mar 31 2009

38 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: GALLIMARD (Feb. 1 2009)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 2070379531
  • ISBN-13: 978-2070379538
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 118 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #199,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

First published in Mexico in 1955, Rulfo's ( The Burning Plain and Other Stories ) only novelpk is a modern classic. The opening of this brief yet complex work is deceptively simple: Juan Preciado has promised his dying mother that he will visit Comala, her hometown, and search for his father, Pedro Paramo. His mother's words lead Juan to expect a "beautiful view of a green plain," but instead he finds a ghost town and learns that Pedro is already dead. Commingling past and present, obliterating the boundary between life and death (spirits walk the earth and corpses converse in their graves), the story depicts this small town "at the very mouth of hell" and Pedro, a man whom one local resident describes as "living bile." An autocratic and amoral patron, Pedro resorted to deception, thievery and murder to get what he wanted. Yet the thing he wanted most--the love of Susana San Juan--remained forever out of reach as Susana, desolated by the loss of her first husband, retreated into madness and then into death. Peden's lucid translation does justice to a tale that is firmly rooted in its own culture yet so fundamentally human in its focus that it speaks across cultural borders.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


The essential Mexican novel, unsurpassed and unsurpassable ... extraordinary -- Carlos Fuentes A simplicity and profundity worthy of Greek tragedy ... Wuthering Heights located in Mexico and written by Kafka Guardian That night I didn't sleep until I'd read it twice; not since I had read Kafka's Metamorphosis in a dingy boarding house in Bogota, almost ten years earlier, had I felt so thunderstruck -- Gabriel Garcia Marquez Pedro Paramo is not only one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century world literature but one of the most influential of the century's books -- Susan Sontag

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First Sentence
I came to Comala because I had been told that my father, a man named Pedro Paramo, lived there. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Damian Kelleher on Feb. 18 2004
Format: Paperback
Short review - Amazing
Long review - I was very impressed with this book. The story - if it can be summed up so simply - is of a man who goes to the town where his father lived on the request of his deceased mother. He wanders about the dead town, running into the ghosts of previous residents, discussing his father with them and getting a glimpse into their lives.
The story soon shifts focus away from him - and the 'I' narration - and instead moves about from person to person, each little experience illuminating the life of his father, Pedra Paramo, in greater detail. In some people's minds he was a villain, in others, a good man, in others, simply a rich man who did what rich men do. Occasionally little snippets of conversation float through the book, often these aren't attributed to anyone and would require a re-read to recognise as the reader becomes more familiar with the characters.
Later, the narration moves away from 'he said she said' back to 'I', but this time the 'I' is Pedro himself. Here he pines for his dead wife, Susana, and his thoughts are only of love and glorifying her image. Yet, generally in sections immediately following it, we witness scenes where he either takes part in or is a silent witness to horrible deeds, so we are left to wonder just what sort of man Pedro Paramo is? And the best part of the book is that it does not try to answer this for us.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez lists Rulfo as one of the two great influences of his life, as well as Kafka's Metamorphosis, and it shows. In Comala, people who die never really leave and an air of magic and realistic exaggeration (if that makes sense) permeates every person and every action.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 17 2004
Format: Paperback
Not to much to say about Pedro Paramo.
After finishing this book Rulfo himself stopped writing because he felt that it was to much a creepy experience for him.
That's the intesinty this books has.
Also it's higly recomended that you read it in spanish, or make sure that it's a good translation because the language is fundamental to enjoy it.
top 10 on my list.
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By DTAC on Feb. 6 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I re-read this bookin Spanish in March 2012, almost a year later and loved this book. The tone is one of a mystery: mother dies and tells her son to return to their home town, Comala, Mexico and find his father, Pedro Paramo. The town is a ghost-town and we are never sure of the people he meets, are they alive or ghosts? Plus most of the time it rains setting up an eery mood. Through these random discourses with the townspeople, the tale unravels about his father, the women he has had and the last wife leads us to the father. I also liked the fact that as the stories are uncovered, the son as narator begins to fade away, becoming part of the ghost town. This book written in 1950, according to the cover notes was key to the Magic Realism movement of Latin America, influencing Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the Mexican author Carlos Fuentes. A difficult book (see my review below) but on a second read I see the patterns, the issues and the greatness of this little book. What was I thinking when I first read it?

Original review
I have to admit that the book confused me when the main subject, who went looking for his father, Pedro Paramo suddenly disappears? Becomes his father? Dies? It was an unsettling feeling. Having said this, I loved the idea that everyone he meets is dead or about to die in the empty town of Comala. The eeriness and almost magical feeling certainly predates any of the magic realists and yet the story unravels nicely (despite my confusion).
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By A Customer on Jan. 25 2003
Format: Paperback
Pedro Paramo is one of the greatest books in Mexican literature. It captures the very essence of Mexico and its magic and mystery.
I've read reviews of people who say they don't understand the book, that it's dark, confusing, depressing, etc. But you have to keep in mind that this book was writen by a Mexican writer, and this is the vision of the universe we Mexicans have. It's a vision of a world full of ghosts, full or mysteries, full or things that have no answer. A timeless world where present, future and past some times are hard to tell apart. This is a book that speaks about the very heart of Mexico itself.
My recommendations to the readers of this book: keep a notebook and a pencil at hand. You'd want to make some brief notes about who's who. That helps a lot throughout the story.
Just free your mind and remember: this book is a vision of the world through the eyes of a Mexican and maybe that's why some non-Latin people find it so hard to understand. But it's a very enjoyable story and a book you shouldn't miss.
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Format: Hardcover
... I do not find Pedro Paramo to be a very well-written piece of literature. ... it is definitely not worth a spot on the International Baccalaureate curriculum. The main problem I have with it is that the author cannot finish a thought; he writes in the descriptive detail that everyone raves about, and then leaves everything up to the reader, and I find this to be an awful style of writing.
The 'flowing tangents of possibility' created by the writer are merely unfinished thoughts with a million answers...was that really the goal? It makes the task of analysis very difficult if there is no right answer to ANYTHING. Sure, this is acceptable for a few parts of the book, but if the author can't finish a thought, it becomes a puzzle of guessing, similar to one of those books that you read as a little kid where you skipped pages depending on the choice you made, and went back if you made the "wrong" choice. Unfortunately for us, however, we don't have the luxury of knowing when the choice was wrong. You could go a solid 60 pages thinking that a character was dead, only to have him/her come back and do something that a proves that he/she was alive the whole. Or maybe, he/she came back to life? You never know! I won't deny that if you are bored, this book will stimulate you; however, the lack of a positive answer makes it a random assortment of thoughts that any writer with half a mind could assemble, and not the critically acclaimed book that the IB Program loves. The constant lack of a firm answer makes it a frustrating piece of literature full of random complexities that I, as a publisher, would never have let out of the drafting stage.
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