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Pedro Paramo Paperback – March 10, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0802133908 ISBN-10: 0802133908 Edition: Reprint

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Pedro Paramo + We (Modern Library Classics) + Inferno: A New Verse Translation (New Verse Translation by Michael Palma) (Vol 1)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; Reprint edition (March 10, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802133908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802133908
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 4.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rulfo's 1955 surrealist novel portrays a man's quest for his Mexican heritage.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review


“A strange, brooding novel. . . . Great immediacy, power, and beauty.” —The Washington Post

“A powerful fascination . . . vivid and haunting; the style is a triumph.” —New York Herald Tribune

“When Susan Sontag, in her foreword to this book, calls Pedro Páramo ‘one of the masterpieces of 20th-century world literature,’ she is not being hyperbolic. With its dense interweaving of time, its routine interaction of the living and the dead, its surreal sense of the everyday, and with simultaneous—and harmonious—coexistence of apparently incompatible realities, this brief novel by the Mexican writer Juan Rulfo strides through unexplored territory with a sure and determined step. . . . Having it now in all its depth and texture is a major event for which the publisher and the translator, Margaret Sayers Peden, deserve thanks.” —James Polk, New York Times Book Review

“No reader interested in the vitality of 20th century Latin American fiction can afford to miss this work.” —Rockwell Gray, Chicago Tribune

“As close to perfect as a piece of writing gets.” —Sheila Farr, Seattle Weekly

“A modern classic. . . . Peden’s lucid translation does justice to a tale that is firmly rooted in its own culture yet so fundamentally human in its focus that it speaks across cultural borders.” —Publishers Weekly

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Customer Reviews

This book is short, 124 pages, and a quick read.
Damian Kelleher
For most, what maked "Pedro Paramo" a difficult book is the style of narrative chosen by Rulfo.
A. T. A. Oliveira
I was absolutely captivated by the haunting story and by the fascinating characters.
Jana L. Perskie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

127 of 132 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
Nothing in literature can prepare you for the impact of Pedro Paramo for nothing in literature compares to this novel from Mexican author Juan Rulfo. Published in 1955, and Rulfo's only novel, Pedro Paramo is the story of Juan Preciado's quest to find both his roots and his father. Fulfilling his mother's dying wish, Juan sets out for the rural Mexican village of Comala, the village of his mother's memories, the village where "she sighed about going back," and where Pedro Paramo, lover, overlord and murderer, spent his childhood and his youth. What Juan finds in Comala is something very different from what he expected, something very different from what the reader expects, for Comala is truly a village of the damned, a hell that one literally descends into, never to return. As Juan Preciado meets first one, then another of the inhabitants of Comala, he comes to an astonishing revelation--everyone in Comala, including his father, is dead. The second half of Pedro Paramo concerns itself with the reasons why Comala became a village of the dead and the emphasis then shifts to the enigmatic character of Susana San Juan, the only woman Pedro Pramo ever truly loved and the one who was forever denied him. Although few details are provided about Susana San Juan, we come to see her as the epitome of two archetypes: the heavenly goddess and the overtly sexual madwoman. When she dies and ascends into heaven, in front of Pedro Paramo's own eyes, the fate of Comala and its residents becomes forever sealed. Although this small book may seem to lack structure (there are no chapter breaks), it is highly structured. It is, however, a structure of silences, hanging threads, truncated scenes, and even non-time.Read more ›
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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Jana L. Perskie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
Author Juan Rulfo's extraordinarily powerful novel, "Pedro Paramo," captures the essence of life in rural Mexico during the last years of the 19th century, and the beginning of the 20th, like no other work of fiction. Here, in a mere 124 pages, the author vividly portrays the radical social and economic changes which spurred the dramatic migration of the campesinos from ranchos and villages to the urban slums, where they could no longer live off the land, nor find work. Ghost towns mark the places where many had once flourished. I first read this masterpiece in English while living in Guadalajara, Mexico, over 25 years ago. I was absolutely captivated by the haunting story and by the fascinating characters. I reread the book a few years later, in Spanish, and was able to appreciate, first-hand, the authors skillful, nuanced use of language. After a series of surrealistic dreams, which turned my thoughts southward, I recently picked up another copy and began to read once more of the dry, deserted streets of Comala and the man who doomed the town and its inhabitants. I am amazed that the novel remains as fresh, magical and poignant as it did the first time around. I think Juan Rulfo's masterpiece takes on depth and texture with each reading. And it certainly proves true the maxim, "Good/great things come in small packages."

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.
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68 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Guillermo Maynez on April 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
Unfortunately, Rulfo is much, much less known outside Latin America than other writers from the region, due to the fact that he is long dead and that he was a reclusive, almost misanthrope man, a shy and timid character. In contrast, writers like Garcia Marquez, Vargas Llosa, etc., are brilliant men, fond of being celebrities and lecturing around the world, as well as giving their opinions about politics and social issues.
And one more thing: while most Latin American famous writers talk about lush tropical sceneries populated by exotic, wild people with an over-the-top language full of colorful images, Rulfo uses a reworked, concise, precise and dry language to paint sad, desperate, fussy tales of opression, violence, solitude. But oh he writes so well.
Juan Preciado comes to Comala looking for his estranged father, Pedro Paramo. In this town, the dead and the alive mingle together and talk, the epochs overlap. Bit by bit we are told a violent and dark story, with somber and convoluted characters. In the end it is a tale of war, perversion, solitude and other themes common to Latin American literature, but seen from a very unusual perspective. And Rulfo reveals as an extremely self-demanding author: every sentence is worked and reworked to utter perfection. Read it, it's magical.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Amy on January 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
Rulfo's masterpiece is infinitely complex, a challenging puzzle with countless hidden facets and inter connections, a surreal account of a small town and its inhabitants which defies human conceptions of both time and space. In short, the book is an utter delight for those who enjoy a good challenge. Pedro Paramo is not a book to read just once, and then forget; it stays with you, and requires multiple readings to truly understand and appreciate the brilliant metaphors and plot. After the first reading I was very confused. During the second reading I began to understand how the various narations and story lines fit together. During the third reading I fell in love. The fourth and fifth readings only increased my appreciation of the beauty and power of Rulfo's imagery and symbolism. Who knows what new questions and connections a sixth reading will reveal?
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