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Showing 1-10 of 10 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 14 reviews
on February 3, 2013
This is a well-crafted study of relationships. The main character looks for love in the wrong places. Runs off and toward relationships. Is impacted by his family in his actions. No, this is not a romance novel, neither is it a work in one of the flavors of pornography. The character wants more than sex: he wants a permanent relationship.

This book is tough to describe since the Amazon and editor's "review" of the book deals with the actions of the main character and don't peal off the paint to reveal the underlying theme and the needs of real people written in an exaggerated fashion.
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on May 4, 2012
About forty pages into this 300-plus page novel, I found myself thinking "Rabbit!" Updike! The Mexican Rabbit--that is Demetrio! And I found myself wishing that I were fluent in Spanish so I could read this in its original, mainly because I found myself, a rather rapid reader, going thirty miles an hour instead of sixty because of the unique syntax as well as the unique use of punctuation. I have never read a piece of fiction in which the colon (:) is used as often as five or six times in a sentence and often one word after another. However, once I dealt with that, I found myself unwilling to put this book down.
Set in the mid-40s in Mexico, the protagonist, an only son with married sisters in the United States and a mother wishing he could find himself a wonderful wife, is an agronomist working for a large farmer in Oaxaca doing what, at the time, would be called "the books." And he is totally obsessed with sex. Yes, totally. There are two brothels available. He selects one--there's a fee to be admitted--and becomes totally obsessed with Rolanda, insisting that she is the only prostitute with whom he will have sex, paying extra to do so daily--except for the day of "rest" for her, Mondays--because the madam, a shrewd and not-very-friendly being, says he should not be picking only one, that she has plenty of others to purchase. But she is willing to let Demetrio have Mireya exclusively for an additional fee. Of course now he has to deal with asking his boss for a raise.
And then comes a letter from his mother--hundreds of miles away--telling him she must accompany him to a wedding in the northern part of the country. And, of course, there he meets the very proper Renata. They dance a waltz. Depart. (Maybe I should do this with colons.) They dance: depart: he begins to write a letter: can't: can. (Get the point? Although it's not really like that!) Chaste letters--and long. A visit: traveled for three days: stayed but an hour: alas, not even able to touch her hands: that chaste! Ah! Darn! Back to the tart: made sex: and the tart has her own plan!?:
That was fun! But I think the author did it much better.
Like Rabbit, Demetrio is pathetic. Lovably pathetic. The everything is about sex. So let me give you a taste of the text:
But worthwhile love was nothing more than the dark and daring work of rodents, restraint, struggled--a nuisance or courage?...
Twists and turn that set things straight. Theories that slowly run their course. Edifices left half finished. Margins or error when making a decision. What's incomplete versus what's finished, when finishing is a cruel detour. What conscience dictates: certitude or a ruse...Demetrio fell asleep perplexed, he woke up perplexed....
I highly recommend this wonderful novel.
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on January 19, 2016
Well written with an unusual style. I did want to find out how the characters lives played out. Not exciting but a very good read.
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on February 15, 2014
While some parts were funny, the writing style and the over-use of sex were tiresome. No character was likable. The author inserted himself throughout the book so that you got the feeling that he was trying to make the reader aware of his control.
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on August 17, 2012
Sadly this is the only novel available in English. Sada is a major novelist, easily the equal of Proust, Musil, Kundera, Faulkner. What does it take to get the attention of major American publishers? Certainly not great writing or trenchant observation of the universal human condition.
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on January 4, 2013
Very well written. It is an interesting story about a Mexican agronomist caught between two women. The characters are well described and unforgettable. The story line is unpredictable, a must in a truly good novel. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes seriously well written novels.
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on February 24, 2013
I found "Almost Never" on a 2012 Best Books list, but I give it only two stars. Reader advice - I strongly suggest that anyone considering this book first check out a random chapter before investing time and money. There is relatively little dialog and most of the descriptions and story telling is through lengthy paragraphs that take some time to make the point, often with tangents, random thoughts....Makes for a story that moves at snail pace. Demetrio is a young, hard working man who strikes up a relationship with prostitute Mireya early in the book. Lots of passion, obsession, energy. The last 3/4 of the book deals with D's puruit of Renata, a refined and very "old-fashioned" young lady even for the present times (1946-49 Mexico). Eventually D & R become engaged but D is allowed to only kiss her on the cheek until they are married. There is a major to-do over a kiss of the hand - D must be punished, brought to his knees! (why didn't I stop reading here!?) Perhaps some will be enchanted. I was bored.
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on April 10, 2013
buy it now, buy it tomorrow, buy it two days from now. just buy it. just. buy. it. word limits.
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on December 28, 2012
At the beginning the book proposes two opposite relations, is exciting; but only develops one and so slowly that makes the reading boring
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on May 5, 2013
I read this novel last year and can't even remember what it was about. How telling is that. It would have been better to never have read it.
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