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40 Reviews
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Startling Work of Fiction
Salvador Plascencia's debut novel is a wonderfully strange, hallucinogenic and hypertextual blending of fiction and autobiography. The Prologue's first sentences thrust us into an almost familiar yet purely mythical world while introducing Plascencia's sly brand of humor: "She was made after the time of ribs and mud. By papal decree there were to be no more people born...
Published on June 30, 2005 by Daniel Olivas

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1.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea
I know this has a lot of good reviews but I really didn't like it. It was disjointed and dark and left me feeling kind of icky
Published 3 months ago by Lori A Bowen


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing novel, October 28, 2006
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This review is from: The People of Paper (Hardcover)
Sal must've been weaned on the tales of Calvino, Borges, and Marquez. A fine weaving on ever sadder tales tie into this meta-fictional novel. It contains: a celestial war, a luchadore saint, a women whose lovers are scarred with papercuts, a fictional history of Rita Haywoth, excessive bedwetting, mechanical reptiles, swarms, gangs of flower pickers, lead poisoning, depression, the death of many sea creatures, perpetual stench, strange motel regulations, voodoo, the Vatican, the Swiss, a meandering order of monks, mind shielding, murder, financiers, stigmata, immolation, and kite flying.

It is written with Calvino's prose and Danielewski's stylistic tricks. Tricks man not be right word as the actual format of the novel does add to the story's worth; I suppose he uses the page as an apparatus.

See also: if on a winter's night a traveler, One Hundred Years of Solitude, and House of Leaves
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the book is great!, February 21, 2013
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This review is from: The People of Paper (Paperback)
I love Plascencia's metafictive writing style. His approach is so different from the traditional metafiction and so less, for lack of a better word, douchy. His imagination is wild and creative and bold. His sense of culture both American and Mexican and Mexican-American (Chicano) is steep and he is able to give a history, anthropology and sociology class all in a few hundred pages. Not to mention his stimulation of all the senses keeps you interested throughout the book. My only regret was not buying the hardcopy version, as it has actual pages with cut out sections and neat intricacies that the paperback version lacks. All in all, a great read for anyone who is trying to find inspiration into their own imagination.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literature that turns the notion of Author on its head, July 25, 2006
This review is from: The People of Paper (Hardcover)
This story will wow you and the method in which it's told will leave you waiting impatiently for Placencia's next book. This is a genius first novel with artistic vision. If you are an Oprah Book Club Lover or a serious literary snob, you should read this book, I promise it won't disappoint.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Book of All Time, January 18, 2013
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This review is from: The People of Paper (Hardcover)
A mental journey. Every page is a mystery until the story develops and it begins to come together like a puzzle you didn't know you were putting together. I can't wait for his next novel; if there is one. I hope so!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paper licking good!, July 10, 2005
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This review is from: The People of Paper (Hardcover)
Salvador Plascencia has created a new classic. This book should be in everyone's hands as a best seller, touted as an elixir for what ails you, and passed around from friend to friend (which I will do). Read this book, purchase it, get Sal the recognition he truly deserves.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Six stars, maybe seven?, July 7, 2005
This review is from: The People of Paper (Hardcover)
If Amazon offered more stars, I'd give this book more stars. It is brutal, funny, heartbreaking--gorgeously written and completely original. Expect to be surprised, baffled, disoriented, but never disconnected or disinterested. With People of Paper, we're witnessing the emergence of an important young literary voice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing, December 2, 2012
By 
Caroline Lim (Lexington, MA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The People of Paper (Paperback)
Reading this reminded me a little of Murakami's The WindUp Bird Chronicles in terms of the surrealism. There was a time when people were made of paper. A boy's cat is butchered and the grieving boy revivifies his cat by making paper organs and becomes the world's first origami surgeon. A woman is made of paper while her creature is left with multiple paper cuts all over his hands. A baby Nostradamus is born. A man loses his lime eating wife because he can't stop wetting the bed, and decides to travel to America with his daughter who attracts the attention of a carnation picker. It's a story of lost love, of planetary wars, the struggle for free will and ethnic issues.

Certain chapters are told in columns which, to me, adds to the experience.

This is not a book for everyone, and I would hesitate to recommend it to anyone who doesn't already appreciate bizarre stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Storytelling about storytelling, March 19, 2012
By 
Kara (Kalamazoo, MI) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The People of Paper (Paperback)
This, in some sense, is storytelling about storytelling, and the result is absolutely lovely--I can't say much more than that without feeling liking I'm giving too much away.

I will, however, leave you with two things:
(1) At one point in the novel, The People of Paper is described as "the war on omniscient narration (a.k.a. the war against the commodification of sadness)" which I thought was fitting.
(2) It takes some of the modern style (that others would call "gimmicks") employed by the likes of Dave Eggers in A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and Jonathan Safran Foer in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Movie Tie-In): A Novel to a whole new level. If you thought those were gimmicky, avoid this altogether.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and strangely familiar, November 22, 2011
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This review is from: The People of Paper (Paperback)
I just received this book a few days ago I could not put it down. I will not give away any of the plot because I feel this would be spoiling a great literary work but I must say that I have never read any other book as inventive as this. It is strange, magical, familiar and melancholic. Sadness and heartbreak is woven throughout this book having the ability to bring back feelings of loss and a failed relationship which is bittersweet, bitter because it evokes my own memories of past love and sweet because I have read a book that has the ability to do draw these feelings from me. Salvador Plascencia, you are amazing!Great book!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Moving, November 29, 2006
By 
Nick (Randolph, MA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The People of Paper (Paperback)
The aim of magical realism, like all fiction, is to find new, more accurate, ways to reflect real life--to show us ways to understand our own heartbreak and our own sorrow. Plascencia's novel is wonderfully inventive in doing just that. Not only does it have an interesting structure and many elements that are not seen in other texts (like the black blotches), but the style is also engaging and hard to get it out of your head. I loved it. I didn't want to finish it.
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The People of Paper
The People of Paper by Salvador Plascencia (Paperback - November 13, 2006)
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