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The House on Mango Street Paperback – 19 Jul 2004

3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (19 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747560870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747560876
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 200,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Memorable … the voice is unmistakable' -- Independent

‘Cisneros writes from the heart of a child — bluntly and truthfully … Everyone needs this book’ -- Los Angeles Times

‘She is not only a gifted writer but an absolutely essential one’ -- New York Times Book Review

From the Publisher

Over three million copies sold worldwide, this is the classic first novel by the author of Caramelo

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Sept. 2005
Format: Paperback
A series of vignettes, rather than a structured novel, House on Mango Street is Sandra Cisneros's semi-autobiographical account of growing up Chicana in a poor area of Chicago. Esperanza Cordero, at age eleven, has already discovered that being able to communicate in English is a key to worldly success, and she has begun recording stories of her neighborhood, friends, and everyday life, hoping one day to become a writer. Recreating one year of her life, she vividly depicts the children's fierce loyalties to each other, their alienation from mainstream society, and their goals in life, sadly limited by the culture and its low expectations for girls and women.
Maintaining a childish innocence, Esperanza's first person account reveals her growing awareness of alternatives to her Mango Street existence. She is saddened that her friend Sally, an abused child, never escapes, marrying very early ("in a state where children can marry before they have finished eighth grade"). Alicia, an older, highly motivated friend, however, works to achieve an education and spends long hours traveling to and from school so that she can move beyond Mango Street. Her prescient Aunt Lupe tells Esperanza to "Keep writing. It will keep you free," and a psychic tells her that she must work hard and write so that she can "come back for those who cannot make it out on their own."
Dealing with everyday issues of maturity, a growing awareness of her own sexuality, and her resentment of a world which does not value women, Esperanza is an astute observer, telling stories filled with the humor, wonder, and sometimes heartbreak.
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Comment 11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This is a cross between poetry and prose, each word just so. I cannot disagree more with the reviewer who said this breathtaking piece of literature is dull. If you are looking for a zippy, pop lit storyline, then this is probably not for you. However, if you are interested in seeing the craft of writing at its best, than this is a must read and must own. Cisneros is a gifted writer who in a Hemingway-esque way buries layer after layer of meaning in straightforward prose while also exploring the inner disappointments and triumphs of a lovely, complex young protagonist. I have read this book many times over, but from my first read I have carried the characters of Mango Street in my heart. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I liked this book well enough. No, I didn't love it. But I really did like it.

I don't mind the fact that the scenes seemed to be a little disconnected and random, and I don't mind the format of the book either - which is written in a series of vignettes. The style is poetic and is filled with strong and beautiful imagery - making it quite the visual book actually.

My problem with it lies in the fact that it was quite overhyped for me. Meaning, I expected a lot more from the book than I actually got, and that seems to be a typical scenario with books that get lower ratings than deserved - expectations.

I won't go into what the story is about because all other reviewers have done so - all you need to know is that it is a series of moments from Esperanza's life. Esperanza being a latino girl who lives with her family in America and who conveys some of her experiences in growing up as a Mexican American girl.

Unfortunately, even though we meet a lot of seemingly interesting characters in Esperanza's life, we never do get a clear fair chance at getting to know them better. The story lacks character depth, and a clear path. I often found myself daydreaming and losing focus as I go into paragraphs of flowery descriptions and wordy imagery.

That being said, the book is a quick light read for someone looking for an easy weekend book or a before going to sleep book.

As reviewer William Capodanno put it brilliantly and accurately: "After I finished the book, I felt like I do after having a meal at a restaurant where the appetizer is delicious and then you get just an average entree. Cisneros whets your appetite but leaves you disappointment with your whole experience."
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A really touching novel about a child who tries to find her way in life. In this novel you will meet a lot of strong women identities, but also a lot of suppressed ones, which gives a good picture of the life they must go through in their search for the American Dream. Esperanza is a strong character, whom you will fall in love with in no time.
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I love Cisneros style. It's poetic, and simple, and true. And this is a simple story, about waiting for your life to begin, and about people living with small things. You'll have to appreciate it.
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A great sketch of life as a latina teenager in a latina neighborhood. Beautifully written, easy to read, moving piece of literature!
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A beautifully written book - great for teaching about imagery and metaphor.
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