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Tear This Heart Out Paperback – May 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade (May 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573226025
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573226028
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Spanish

About the Author

Angeles Mastretta was born in Puebla, Mexico. She is the author of two novels, Tear This Heart Out which has been translated into twelve languages and Lovesick. She lives in Mexico City with her husband and two children. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Guillermo Maynez on February 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
Catalina Guzmán, the heroine of this novel, is based on the wife of powerful Mexican General Maximino Ávila Camacho, who is named "Andres Ascencio" in the book. This man was a ruthless political boss of Puebla, whose brother, Manuel, was Mexico's President from 1940 to 1946. Maximino was an exploitator, a corrupt and violent man and a womanizer. But he was very rich and powerful, and so everybody feared and hated him. Even his Presidential brother couldn't cope with him.
This hilarious but sensitive novel is narrated in the first person, like the memoirs of the character, a beautiful and brave woman who married the General, despite his being 20 years older. Mastretta has done a fine job at describing this excellent female character. Living in an extremely "machistic" society, where women's role was utterly limited to household and silence, Catalina never lets her husband overwhelm her. She is a truly free spirit, fighting her way with dignity and malice. Her story develops amidst political turmoil and violence, but she manages to survive, have her little revenges, and come up alive and kicking. Even though the subsequent production of Mastretta has a very inferior quality, this book deserves to be read, and not just by women, but by whoever enjoys a good story well told. Its sense of humor is very good, it has really hilarious moments, and the depiction of Mexican society in the 30's and 40's is superb.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Aglae J. Demizrahi on January 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
Tear my heart Out is an impacting and enchanting work out literature that will not allow the reader stop its reading until the ending. And not only that, but that it narrates a captivating story occurred in México during and afterward the Mexican Revolution is over.

Catalina, the novel's protagonist, marries at a rather young age a politician, a lot of years her senior, and a very prominent person in the Mexican city of Puebla. As the latter's, Andres Atencio, career flourishes and augments, Catalina finds herself involved in an increasing myriad of responsibilities which she performs quite outstandingly. Among this abovementioned tasks it is to raise a number of Atencio's out of wedlock offspring.

Afterwards, as the novel is advancing, Catalina finds out about strong criticism against her husband, of his power struggles and of the assassination accusations that fall over him. It is at this point when Catalina, maybe as a means of escapism, even seeks love in the arms of two different lovers. At the ending, as it is manifest in all the tragedies throughout the novel, an impacting event takes place that will perhaps liberate Catalina of the entire burden that she has had to endure throughout the years.
This title has been translated until the present from Spanish into 11 languages and at the beginning narrates Catalina's initial and utterly submissive love for the General Andres Atencio; and as the plot unfolds, of her progressive separation from her conjugal subordination and of her acceptance of the political context which will germinate into doubt all of her well established revolutionary ideals.
From my humble opinion, this is a beautifully written piece of work that should not be kept unread.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 26, 1997
Format: Paperback
Tear This Heart Out is the story of a young, beautiful and intelligent Mexican woman married to a dishonest and unfaithful general 15 years her senior. Mastretta reveals secrets and tells spicy gossip en la manera Mexicana (a uniquely Mexican way) with passion and conviction. The story is so salacious, wacky, tender, powerful, ironic, terrifying and hilarious that it must be true (I live in Mexico and I suspect it is!) This book is read-it-again and tell-all-your-friends fabulous.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By ilka a. olsen on March 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
I loved this book! Anyone who has preconceived notions of the female in Mexican society should read this book. The protagonist is gorgeous, lusty, feisty, sympathetic and a survivor. Interestingly, the brutal, egomaniacal general is not one-dimensional and has moments of pathos. Fabulous and often hilarious read. Can't wait to read Mastretta's earlier work, Lovesick.
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By Jorge Galina Veraza on September 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've read this novel four times now, I'm from Puebla and I know the real facts that inspired Angeles Mastretta's novel.
I find this as a beautifuly structured novel, I simply recommend this book and I give Angeles a five star rating.

Jorge Galina
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