- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Serpent's Tail; New Ed edition (24 Feb. 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1852427264
- ISBN-13: 978-9681104269
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 298,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Pedro Páramo (Five Star) Paperback – 24 Feb 2000
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Pedro Paramo is not only one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century world literature but one of the most influential of the century's books; indeed it would be hard to overestimate its impact on literature in Spanish (Susan Sontag)
I like to think that Rulfo's moment in the English-speaking world has finally arrived. His novel's conception is of a simplicity and profundity worthy of Greek tragedy, though another way of conveying its unique effect might be to say that it is Wuthering Heights located in Mexico and written by Kafka (Guardian)
This brilliant Mexican novel, written in 1955, describes a man's search for his unknown father with the haunting clarity and strange logic of a recurrent nightmare (Esquire)
A Latin American essential, now a Serpent's Tail ClassicSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Pedro Paramo, the son of failing landowners, was consumed with love for Susana San Juan. This intense passion lasted a lifetime. Eventually, Pedro's aging father and family died, and Susana moved away. Alone and lonely, he assumed control of the estate and unscrupulously did whatever he had to, fair and foul, to amass a fortune and build his empire.Read more ›
The book requires a lot of concentration. The narration slips between present and past events, and narrators frequently interchange, so that it can be hard to follow whose story you are currently reading. Despite its length (100+ pages) I wouldn't describe it as an easy read. However, this structure is one of the strengths of the writing, because it adds a very ghostly, surreal air to the narrative, and as a reader I felt like I was drifting through the events in Comala, becoming one of the spirits haunting the town. The spirit of damnation pervades the book, and it is relentlessly grim. Again, this purgatorial feeling enhances, not diminishes, the narrative, in my opinion, creating one of the most atmospheric books I have read. The reader is invited to look down on a vision of hell, full of characters who you feel have earned their damnation. Because of all this, it is not what I would describe as a particularly fun read, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend 'Pedro Paramo' as a beautiful and haunting piece of literature.
The book's narrator, a young man by the name of Juan Preciado, travels to the Mexican village of Comala in fulfilment of a deathbed promise to his mother to seek out his father Pedro Páramo, the local landowner. On arrival in Comala, he discovers it to be quite literally a ghost town: one by one, he encounters doomed characters from the town's past, who gradually reveal Comala's (and his father's) macabre tale. For Pedro Páramo - unscrupulous philanderer, murderer and double-dealer though he was - is himself a tragic figure.
The ghosts of Comala flit by Juan in a dreamlike, hypnotic progression: the suicide Eduviges Dyada; a pair of incestuous lovers; disillusioned priest Father Rentería... and by the end of the book, Juan Preciado himself has become a ghostly, disembodied presence. The novel often seems to follow dream logic rather than any recognisable linear narrative: this ultimately becomes one of the book's great strengths, but it is initially disorientating.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This copy is an English translation from the original Spanish. It is a complicated story, with a confusing plot but if you are able to open your mind to the magical surealism you... Read morePublished 2 months ago by jk
Bought as a quick reference alongside the original Spanish, which is brilliant. This edition has some interesting commentary including the foreword by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and,... Read morePublished on 26 Sept. 2014 by Bonney H
One of the most remarkable novels I've ever read. It's short - only 100-odd pages - but the most perfectly-formed piece of writing I've ever read. Read morePublished on 29 Jan. 2014 by N.W. Coast