2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not a novel - it's a poem,
This review is from: 62: A Model Kit (New Directions Classics) (Paperback)
I have to admit to being a Cortazar fan, and he definitely won't appeal to everyone. Cortazar is not bothered about plot and characterisation as time/place-bound contstructs that enable you to follow a story from beginning to end. Time, personality and events are fragmented through shifting 3rd/1st person point of view, flashback, forward projection and all manner of other devices which make the characters and events he writes about inherently unstable - you never quite know who is speaking, where they are, which bit of the plot is being narrated.
It's an anti-novel. What holds it together is Cortazar's magnificent prose. Even in this English translation (Rabassa - superb), what might otherwise be pretentious and dull is sheer pleasure because of Cortazar's superb linguistic ability. This is what his novels are all about - the traditional staples of the novel (character and plot) are subverted and fragmented in favour of beauty, wit, puzzles and the sheer pleasure of Cortazar's linguistic pyrotechnics.
If you want things to happen, then don't read Cortazar (go for Stephen King, or maybe Charles Dickens). But if you want writing stripped of any pretence at realism in character or events, and reduced to pure prose, then Cortazar is your man.