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Aura (English and Spanish Edition) Paperback – September 1, 1986

90 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"When you finish, you . . . have gone through a total experience, a beautiful horror story, a horrifying story of beauty, a combination of Poe, Baudelaire, and Isak Dinesen, translated so agilely by Lysander Kemp that it seems to have been written in English."--Newsweek

Language Notes

Text: English, Spanish --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Bilingual edition, In Spanish and English edition (September 1, 1986)
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • ISBN-10: 0374511713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374511715
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
En el libro Aura, el autor Carlos Fuentes hace una crítica de la época colonial, cuando los mexicanos no tenían la libertad. Fuentes publicó este libro en 1965. El cuento tiene lugar en México. Un hombre joven, Felipe Montero, ve un anuncio para un trabajo que parece ser para él y solamente él. Felipe va a una entrevista con la mujer vieja que está ofreciendo el trabajo. Él acepta el trabajo en la mansión colonial después de ver los ojos de la sobrina bonita de la mujer. Felipe trabaja en la mansión, y no tiene permiso para salir. Él nota muchas cosas raras, que incluyen una conexión extraña entre Aura, la sobrina, y su tía, la Sra. Llorente. Él quiere ayudar a Aura para que ella pueda escapar el control de su tía. Felipe también se siente una conexión con Aura. Una noche Felipe y Aura hacen el amor, pero Felipe ve a la Sra. Llorente en el cuarto después del acto. La Sra. y Aura parecen hacer las mismas acciones todo el tiempo. Durante su trabajo, Felipe ve una foto del Coronel Llorente, el esposo muerte de la Sra. Se da cuenta de que él mismo tiene una cara igual al Coronel. También se da cuenta de que la conexión entre Aura y la Sra. Llorente es más que el control. Él también se siente una conexión con las mujeres y la casa, y empieza de sentirse en casa.
Me gusta este libro. Carlos Fuentes usa elementos fantásticos y imágenes opuestas para criticar la época colonial y los apoyantes de esta época. Fuentes muestra que la época colonial no es real, que ya no existe. Unos ejemplos de estes elementos fantásticos son el nombre "Aura," que indica algo místico, la conexión entre Aura y Sra. Llorente, y las caras iguales de Felipe y el Coronel Llorente.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Damian Kelleher on March 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
Aura is a short story that is written beautifully, capturing the magic and horror of an old widow living with her niece and the secret that binds the two.
The plot is fairly basic, as there isn't really much time to get deep into any of the characters. There are only four, although that is debatable as one is only known through diary recollections. The prime focus of the story is Senora Consuelo, the ageing widow, as the young historian, Felipe Montero, hired to re-assemble her dead husband's memoirs learns more and more about their dark past. Felipe becomes obsessed with the ethereally beautiful niece, Aura, his dreams are filled with feverish images of her and him, together, declaring their love.
The novella is written in an interesting style, using 2nd person perspective (You did this, then you did that), and it works well. It means that we never really get an insight into Felipe's thoughts, but at the same time we only experience things through his eyes. The writing itself alternates between dark imagery involving religion, flowers, cats, and the house the story takes place within and obsessive beauty and fragility, as when Aura is described or mysterious things are occurring. Particularly haunting are the descriptions of the gloomy house filled with the refuse of fifty years of isolation.
The ending of the story wasn't expected, or at least, while I had an idea of what was going to occur, Fuentes took my expectations and extended them to a direction I hadn't predicted and was horrified with - but in the good way. This is a very dark story, and while there are flashes of beauty, these are generally shadowed by the somber tone and melancholy whisperings present throughout the novella. Highly recommended.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By S. Hernandez on August 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
"Aura" ha causado controversia recientemente en Mexico, donde un grupo conservador trato de prohibirla como lectura escolar para adolescentes. Me toco leerla cuando fui alumna de un colegio catolico muy conservador... y nos encanto! Mas de 15 años despues, la relei y me sigue encantando. Para empezar, la narracion es en segunda persona, muy original! Te agarra desde el principio y no la puedes soltar. Desde la pagina uno, nos convertimos en protagonistas de un misterio que nos llama por nuestro nombre y no tenemos mas remedio que responder al llamado. Somos invitados a la casa de una anciana y su bella sobrina, una casa llena de gatos, de figuras de santos, de rituales, de misterios, y de amores olvidados que quieren renacer, cargados de sensualidad. Es un libro muy cortito (mi edicion tiene 62 paginas), pero da mucho para descubrir. El protagonista vive una historia de amor con una de las mujeres de la casa (o con las dos?) y durante ese tiempo, vemos referencias a tradiciones ya casi erradicadas de Mexico, como la santeria y el vudu. Todo mezclado con la influencia francesa que ayudo a moldear la "personalidad" de la Cd de Mexico y por supuesto, con la tradicion catolica tan fuertemente arraigada en este pais. En fin, una profesora mia hizo su tesis de maestria sobre AURA y dice que el mensaje de la obra es que solo en la medida en que las personas y los paises podamos recordar nuestro pasado, es que podremos aceptar el presente y mejorarlo.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Enrique Torres VINE VOICE on January 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
Having read this book on a weekend visit to Mexico I found the book to be very different from what I am used to with Carlos Fuentes. It is a simple yet beautiful book that can be read in one sitting. The book was banned in Mexico and the controversy resurfaced this past year and for the likes of me I don't know why. Then again I don't get people wanting to burn Harry Potter books. I would think we would have learned something about banning books dating back to the time of Galileo's book on the revolution of the planets. The bilingual edition is interesting and pretty accurate. It is insightful to read in both languages, both Spanish and English at once to get the full flavor; a comparison of the delicasies of language if you will. The other reviewers have explained the plot and role of the characters so I would only like to add a few points. This is one of Carlos Fuentes's earlier works and it reminds me of Edgar Allan Poe. It has the same feel as say, "The Raven" or "The Pit and The Pendelum". In that context, this book belongs alongside the other classics of literature. A horror story that is mired in love and intrigue, Fuentes demonstrates his creative skills early on in his career, which only gets better with maturity as each forthcoming book uses denser and richer language. The beauty is in the simplicity of this book. I would also recommend other Fuentes books as well, several of which I have reviewed such has "The Crystal Frontier" or "Christopher Unborn." Recommended for open minds above the age of reason.
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