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Hopscotch (Panther) Paperback – 18 Jun 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 554 pages
  • Publisher: The Harvill Press (18 Jun 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860464289
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860464287
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 177,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Cortazar's masterpiece. This is the first great novel of Spanish America" Times Literary Supplement "Hopscotch... marks the true possibility of encounter between the Latin-American imagination and the contemporary world" -- Carlos Fuentes "Here is literary cunning and accomplishment of a high order" -- Robert Nye Guardian "The dialogue is brilliant, whether the subject is literature, love, Mondrian, jazz or the fallibility of science" -- Donald Keene New York Times "Mr Cortazar has marked off a corner of the world singularly his own" -- Thomas Lask New York Times

About the Author

Julio Cortazar lived in Buenos Aires for the first thirty years of his life, and after that in Paris. His stories, written under the dual influence of the English masters of the uncanny and of French surrealism, are extraordinary inventions, just this side of nightmare. In later life Cortazar became a passionate advocate for human rights and a persistent critic of the military dictatorships in Latin America. He died in 1984.

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WOULD I find La Maga? Read the first page
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 May 2000
Format: Paperback
Oliveira is a disenchanted Argentine intellectual, who goes to Paris in search of 'the centre' which will cure his metaphysical angst. He spends his time with a group of similar spirits, who call themselves The Serpent Club, but his destructive behaviour splits the group forever and results in his being sent back to Argentina. Once in Buenos Aires, he meets an old friend and progresses through a circus and a mental asylum on the way to a tense ending in which he finds meaning through a ball of string, several buckets of water and a staple gun.
Cortazar's acclaimed masterpiece represents his attempt to redefine both the novel form and the Spanish language. This is a novel whose chapters can be read in any order, although the author does suggest a preferred sequence which leads to the shattering climax described above. Rabassa's superb translation recreates all the vibrance and verve of the Spanish original, allowing English readers to glory in Cortazar's sublime world.
This is not an easy novel to read; Cortazar explicitly dismisses the passive reader, and in this text makes it impossible for him/her to understand what is happening. The effort required is well worth it, however, as the depth behind this, the quintessential 'Boom Novel', is incredible, and it will keep you coming back for years.
The best intellectual work-out I have yet experienced; give it a go!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By H. Tee on 2 Feb 2010
Format: Paperback
The story is fundamentally and simply about Horacio and his life and love for La Maga. There are two key locations Paris in the 1950s and later Buenos Aires. The book has many many references, erudite name dropping, and certain elements of surrealism, existentialism and plain fiction.

This is a novel to savour, remember and dig down through its layers and narrative styles. This is the sort of deep novel that is unusually constructed, as detailed by other reviews in that it can be read in a least two chapter orders, in a way that reflects the onion layers and different perspectives presented - you even get comment from Morelli, the old author in hospital, who appeared to me to be Cortazar explaining his ideas about writing the book itself. If you want to read a `readable' book written in an alternative style then this is definitely worth finding.

However I would like to highlight some issues I had with the book which did reduce my enjoyment: I chose to read the suggested chapter order taking all the book (except chapter 55) I can imagine most people would do it this way: The additional chapters which you read interspersed with 1-56 didn't really seem to do `anything' or add an additional light it was just more of the same i.e. I suppose I expected the extra chapters to `change the story' or reveal something new - similarly chapter 55 wasn't special so as to leave it out; thus overall the playing with chapters seemed like a missed opportunity. I wondered if the physicality of my bookmark (woe betide you loose your place!) seemingly randomly moving within the pages (and loosing the sense one gets of the approaching end of the story you normally get) added anything - I don't think it did (since the story doesn't really build to a conclusion anyway).
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Jana L. Perskie on 13 Sep 2005
Format: Paperback
It has taken me years to sit down and finally make a serious commitment to read Julio Cortazar's "Hopscotch/La Rayuela." I cannot think of a better companion to devote a few weeks to, maybe even longer - hey, whatever it takes! It depends on your reading speed and the time you take to truly savor the poetry of the author's language. So, be willing to make a small personal investment in this very special novel, and the reward you reap will be a worthy one. Julio Cortazar will take you to places you have never been before in literature, and may never experience again. I read "Hopscotch" over this past summer, after a thirty year delay. I can be very stubborn about putting off what is good for me!! The author's imagination is boundless, his prose rich and luminous, his wit and sophistication rare, the dialogue brilliant, the plot...I won't attempt to describe that with a few adjectives. Wander through the extraordinary labyrinthine plot on you own - the way is yours to discover. I promise, you won't get lost!
I was introduced to "La Rayuela" about thirty years ago, when a close friend, with similar reading tastes, gave me the book. Enthused after just reading the novel, he told me that I reminded him of one of the characters, La Maga. (What a compliment...I think!). I was living in Latin America at the time. With personal interests at stake and much curiosity, I bought a copy in Spanish, which I read with some fluency back then. After experimenting with which way to approach the novel, and trying both ways, I gave up...and just read the parts about La Maga. I had little patience at that point in my life, and needed to acquire some, and to read slower, with more of a sense of play and participation.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 7 Feb 2004
Format: Paperback
Hopscotch, by Argentinian writer Julio Cortazar, is a rare treat of a novel. Although clearly inspired by Borges, Cortazar is far less cerebral and more humane. Hopscotch is an intriguing novel. The reader is invited to read Hopscotch straight through and them, on a second reading, to read alternate chapters in a given 'journey' for an entirely different take on the story. This is a novel to treasure and enjoy for its multi-layered narrative.
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