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The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll (New York Review Books Classics) Paperback – February 1, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
Each sentence is a gem: taken together, they create a world that transports the reader into a world of adventure, danger, love, friendship, and insight.
Imagine Cervantes mixed with Pynchon, with a little Groucho Marx thrown in: this is a work to savor and Maqroll is a wise and loving guide to a world of breath-taking beauty, where each day holds new treasures.
This is the closest thing to a perfect book I have come across. It is a true classic, as readers of Spanish literature have known for some years.
No, what makes this book great is the underlying fatalism of the work sweepingly on display in Maqroll and the several other characters, and in the finely wrought passages on what this life offers us, picaresque vagabond or not. Many comparisons have been made to Don Quixote. - But not in the right way - Maqroll is Don Quixote's Twentieth Century doppelganger, or spectral double: Spectral, as is the case with many doppelgangers in fiction, in that he is the Knight's opposite. Where Don Quixote is chaste, Maqroll is licentious, where Don Quixote is naïve, Maqroll is instinctively wise to the ways of the fallen world etc. etc. --- In literary terms, Don Quixote is a Romantic. Maqroll is Tragic.
I wonder, reading the other reviews, if the other readers may have just possibly skimmed over the philosophical passages that glower at one on every other page or so. It is these passages, these lyrical, defiant, essentially dark reflections that make this much more than any mere sea novel or rollicking picaresque.
For Example, for starters:
"...Read more ›
These are slow-paced, ruminative novels -- anyone looking for a thriller should find something else to read. Nonetheless, they are gripping and entertaining, and after you have finished reading them, they stay with you forever. Readers would be best advised to read one novel at a time, and let time pass from novel to novel. Mutis's works remind me of the more serious writings (not the "entertainments") of Graham Greene and the works of Joseph Conrad.Read more ›
I really wish more of his work would be translated, but I enjoy Mutis so much I'm tempted to just bite the bullet and read his work in Spanish even though it would take me 20 times as long.
Maqroll and Bashur are two of the greatest literary characters to come by in a very long time.
Viva el Gaviero!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this book in mid-August on a marsh island on the Altamaha river delta in south Georgia, which is a an appropriately tangled and malarial setting to read this feverish... Read morePublished 1 month ago by TFN III
What a wonderful book! Alvaro Mutis, like Italo Calvino, is a poet. The beauty of his words, lovingly translated by Edith Grossman, are a joy in and of themselves. Read morePublished 6 months ago by triskaidekaphilia
Style's compelling throughout. Don't sweat the 700 pages: there are seven stories, each 100 pages or so. Read one a week. Or read three then put the book aside for a month. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Chadwick Henley Essex
This is one of the best books I have read in years. I usually don't read books in translation, books that (somewhat) objectify women, or sea stories like Conrad, but for some... Read morePublished 8 months ago by J. Forrister
The "Misadventures" of the title are emphasized in these superb, intertwined novels which focus on "El Gaviero," (The Lookout), Maqroll, a seaman who can't resist a... Read morePublished on January 1, 2014 by Robert H. Abel
This book is worth is just for the introduction by Mr Goldman, and the translation is superb. Main this is Mutis was a master of storytelling and deserves a place in the sun... Read morePublished on September 25, 2013 by Daniel Halevi Bloom
This is an interesting book but a bit laborious to read because of the way the time period jumps around as well as the change of character. Read morePublished on July 12, 2013 by Renie I. Fox
This is, thus far, the best book/collection of novels I've ever read!
This book seems to be a happy medium between swashbuckling adventure and some old man's boring,... Read more
Judging by the majority of reviews, failure to be awed by this book is an admission that your tastes are plebeian and you're better off seeking reading material in the supermarket... Read morePublished on January 23, 2013 by cordyceps