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Epitaph of a Small Winner Paperback – 1 Sep 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (1 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747599041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747599043
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 180,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Machado de Assis was a literary force, transcending nationality and language, comparable certainly to Flaubert, Hardy or James ... Epitaph of a Small Winner is clearly one of those books which we call definitive. It is there, complete, done: a study of ironic disillusionment couched in the most delicate suavity of despair' New York Times Book Review 'No satirist, not even Swift, is less merciful in his exposure of the pretentiousness and the hypocrisy that lurk in the average good man and woman. Machado, in his deceptively amiable way, is terrifying' New Republic 'A masterpiece of Epicurean irony' New York Times

About the Author

Machado de Assis was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1839 and died in 1908. The author of numerous novels, including Dom Casmurro and Philosopher or Dog?, he is one of Latin America's most treasured writers.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Benefitting from the hindsight afforded to one who is dead, our hero, Bras Cubas decides to take up a pen and write an account of his life. From the grave. Brutally acerbic, sarcastic and above all honest, Mr Cubas pulls no punches about those he loved, envied and disliked; as he takes uS on a wondrous narrative through his life. But above all, knowing the End has already been met, he is brutally honest about himself and his own failings, in the way ( I imagine) only the dead can be. This novel is light years ahead of its time. Astonishing. (nb: this novel has also been translated under the title 'The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas' published by OUP.)
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Format: Paperback
This is a masterpiece with the most beguiling voice, rejecting all sentimentality and yet loveable, modern and immediate like all great writing, something to reconcile you with how things are, like all great art.
The short chapter, The Muleteer, is astonishing and deadly about our unavowed faults, but Machado de Assis can always pin down humanity in 2 pages.
And I don't countenance any criticism of the translation which I'm re-reading with the same pleasure as years ago, in tandem with the Portuguese. Grossman's version is masterly, written in a literary English worthy of the original.
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Format: Paperback
The author of this work narrates his autobiography from beyond the grave. A middle class man who achieves very little, Braz Cubas takes us from childhood through youth, love affairs and career, punctuating events with little philosophical asides. As he moves through life he gains insights into humanity, though is still making faux pas until the end.
He observes: "Man is a thinking erratum. Each period in life is a new edition that corrects the preceding one and that in turn will be corrected by the next, until publication of the definitive edition, which the publisher donates to the worms."
Written in (very) short chapters, the reader feels he is being addressed directly by Cubas, who punctuates the work with little comments. One chapter on a failure is just a few lines of asterisks: the next, "Which Explains the Preceding Chapter" says that "Some things are better said without words."
I really enjoyed it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lovely read but what a dreadful title (invented by the translator for Posthumous Memoirs of Blas Cubas) - the whole point of the original title is to announce it is supposedly written from beyond the grave
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Format: Paperback
For anybody who doesn't take philosophy at face value! If you want to know where modern Latin American fiction has its roots, look no further. This novel is a cracking read which is also highly insightful. If you are not a Darwinist, a capitalist, a politician, or a human being you may feel free to read it without fear of being unsettled. In its category, this novel is second only to 'Dom Casmurro,' by the same author. And the introduction is by Louis de Bernieres, no less.
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