- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: GALLIMARD (Feb. 1 2009)
- Language: French
- ISBN-10: 2070379531
- ISBN-13: 978-2070379538
- Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 1.5 x 17.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 118 g
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #412,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
PEDRO PARAMO (French) Mass Market Paperback – Mar 31 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Rulfo's 1955 surrealist novel portrays a man's quest for his Mexican heritage.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"""There's really no one on Earth quite like David Suzuki.""" (McKibben Bill 2012-03-22) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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. The seeds of Macondo (from 100 Years of Solitude) are more than evident here, in some ways this seems like the skeleton novella for Marquez's masterpiece. Often this was a bad thing, in that I felt I was getting a watered down version, but in other ways it was simply amazing to read another take - and the original Latin American take - on magic surrealism.
This book is short, 124 pages, and a quick read. I highly recommend it, particularly if you enjoy Marquez.
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).
not understand -- a possible explanation for why this
peculiar work has been praised to the point of being referred
to as a masterpiece.
Pedro Paramo largely resembles a surrealistic painting
(think Salvador Dali or Max Ernst) in its dreamlike and
disjoint quality. The book is divided, not into chapters,
but into random scenes that do not correspond to any form of
chronological order. The author, Juan Rulfo, described these
scenes as being linked by silences in a state of "no-time"
in which life and death merge. The speaker is not always
identifiable, and, in some instances, it is difficult to
determine whether the character speaking is alive or dead.
This almost stream-of-conscious approach is both challenging
and intriguing, underscoring Rulfo's perspective of existence.
The message, however, is of questionable value. Admidst
the corruption of the church and the ruling landlord of the
town (the patron), the inhabitants are depicted as sin-filled
and helpless. In life, they endure the misery of both material
and spiritual poverty. In death, the soul wanders aimlessly,
without hope, while the body continues to exist, to think,
in a state of utter stagnation. Essentially, life is no
different from death, and each connotes a purgatory lacking
the elevating quality of hope.
Pedro Paramo = an interesting read from the stylistic
perspective, but with the additional baggage of an existential,
depressing view of life.
comments and/or criticisms welcome.
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.