Pedro Paramo Paperback – Feb 24 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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).
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Yes, Pedro Paramo is a confusing piece and yes, it is not an easy read, despite the fact that it does not exceed 150 pages. Read morePublished on Oct. 13 2010 by Littérature sans frontières
Pedro Páramo's Juan Rulfo is one of the best mexican writers book, it has everything that a master play needs: quality, greatness and incomprehensible simplicity. Read morePublished on July 11 2004
For those who are not getting Pedro Paramo, here it is- the book is about the Mexican Revolution. Pedro Paramo represents Porfirio Diaz, who controlled Mexico from 1870's to 1910,... Read morePublished on Feb. 19 2004 by DB In London
This is by far the most confusing book I've ever read. Within the first paragraphs of the novel Rulfo grasps the reader's attention and pulls them into an unknown magical... Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2004 by Veronica
Before you go thinking, " Well these reviews don't help much" it's best u get a teenager's opinion. Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2004
This review is based on the original Spsnish version. I've been reading some of the other reviews and I'm pretty shocked at what I've read. Read morePublished on Aug. 17 2003
This is an amazing book. It feels like Dante's Inferno meets Pulp Fiction. It's a wild ride. The story is intertwined and complex, full of surreal characters and events. Read morePublished on Aug. 2 2003 by Abel G. Peña