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Inez: A Novel Hardcover – May 2, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This brief novel, unlike the historical epic The Years with Laura DIaz, tells two simple stories in a manner that rises to great heights of narrative improvisation without overstepping its bounds. Gabriel Atlan-Ferrara, a symphony conductor renowned for his brio, falls in love with Inez Rosenzweig, an opera singer. Gabriel's love blossoms from initial outrage, when Inez upsets Gabriel by singing too loudly, to survive many years, many performances (including one rehearsal in London 1940, during the blitz), and even an assault from a hotheaded rival. Finally, the only thing that binds the conductor to his love is a shimmering glass seal, which inspires visions of his past, his present and his future. Running parallel to this story is a tale from Inez's dreams, a poetic, elegantly spare love story from a time before recorded history: an ancient couple falls in love as their primitive race migrates across still-forming landscapes. The integral tale counterbalances the conductor's wild, dramatic thoughts, broad generalizations suiting the Berlioz he conducts most successfully¢reaching his professional apex in a production of The Damnation of Faust, in which Marguerite enters the performance hall naked and then strips Inez naked as well, a transcendent moment for the conductor but shocking for the audience. Gabriel becomes a poignant symbol of all artists, taming the conflicting forces within their own work, even as love itself develops symbiotically. Even if some of the flamboyant observations about memory and art bouncing around in the conductor's tempestuous psyche seem overblown or too easily earned, this novel is still a worthy addition to Fuentes' varied but persistently exciting oeuvre.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In this lapidary tale, the love between the world's first man and first woman parallels the love between an orchestra conductor and a jewel of a singer.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st edition (May 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374175535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374175535
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,110,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Carlos Fuentes has written a brief, poetic elegy to love and classical music in his latest novel, "Inez".I have translated it into farsi and it is released just today,May 10th 2003. It weaves together three tales, a love affair spanning decades between Mexican diva and the famous European conductor Gabriel Atlan-Ferrara, that briefly mirrors the political chaos of the the 20th Century; the other, the love affair of two prehitorian Europeans somewhere along the coast of Ice Age Europe, thousands of years ago,The last one is combination of Damnation of Faust by Hector Berlioz and other classical operas of history.It is under tyhe influence of Maria Calas the Greek diva aca La triviata. This terse tale is among the finest examples of recently published literary prose that I've come across and translated into Farsi.I have tried a lot to find a contact address of Carlos Fuentes but in vain.Please read it and enjoy the Novel and help me with an address of the Mastero.
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Format: Paperback
If you're a fan of Carlos Fuentes' early novels, like "Aura" and "The Death of Artemio Cruz," then you are bound to enjoy "Inez," (in Spanish, "Instinto de Inez"). In this, his latest book, after "The Years With Laura Diaz," the author returns to the magical world of fantasy, and to some of his favorite themes: creativity and time.

Gabriel Atlan-Ferrara, a dynamic and celebrated symphony conductor, reflects back on his life, at age 93, and realizes that only death awaits him. These reflections reveal his great passion for one woman, and for music. They also disclose the conductor's view of the world, and destiny, as he confronts death. "El muerto no sabe lo que es la muerte, pero los vivos tampocos" ("The dead don't know what death is, but neither do the living"). The past holds for him the memory of his love for the red-haired, dark eyed Inez. Gabriel has a shimmering glass seal, a mysterious object "sufficient unto itself." This seal might bestow upon its bearer the ability to see past, present and future, to hear music of impossible beauty, and to read unknown languages. The maestro hopes to find, in the crystal seal, the impossible reflection of Inez and a return to a time when they were together - to transcend time, distance and space through their love.

The crystal also provides the link between two intertwining stories - that of Atlan-Ferrara and his memories, and a parallel narrative which records Inez' dreams - a poetic love story telling of the first encounter in human history between a man and a woman. "Inez" is an extraordinary tale which contrasts love and obsession, life and death, male and female.

Alan-Ferrara encountered Mexican opera singer, Inez Prada, three times over the course of his lifetime. The first time was during the 1940 London blitz.
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Format: Hardcover
I've read nearly every book wrtten by Carlos Fuentes and found ths one to be great but not his best. Somewhere between great and mind blowng would be more accurate. I only wish it were longer. Carlos Fuentes , the master story teller never fails to produce works that will stand the test of time as great literary pieces. Written in a short story format the story is nonetheless epic. Fuentes manages to use language to carry you beyond the incidents you are reading about , he opens up your mind to possibilities through his use of passages that are fluid streams of thought. There are several good customer and editorial descriptions of the actual storyline but suffice to say that Fuentes goes out of bounds , beyond the limits and back as he interweaves a story with another, carrying you through a time machine tunnel where the light you see is your own thought process being ignited. His concepts are relatively simple in comparison to some of his other works but there is always so much more to a Fuentes book. This is a book that is best enjoyed read over a short period of time, a few hours, a day or a weekend to become completely engulfed in. I read this over a few hours sessions in the Baja California desert where there were few interruptions or distractions. This is an excellent short book in a long list of great Carlos Fuentes novels. This story is a gripping fantasy and an emotional rollercoaster that is beautifully written, and highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
This slim volume is well-described in the editorial reviews; I feel no need to repeat that information. The strength of this novel is in its power to force reflection - on the nature of art (music in general, the role of the musician/conductor in particular), the relationship of human passion to art, and the relationship between man and woman. The first switch in stories, from that of the conductor to the ice age lovers, leaves the reader momentarily baffled. At the first return to the contemporary story, however, the interrelationships become clear. Thereafter, the structure of the novel seems natural. At the novel's end, the reader is left with many unanswered questions which in this case leads to a desire to reread, picking up interrelationships not noticed in the first reading.
This is not a "perfect" book but it is well worth your time.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Fuentes achieves in less than novel length what most writers fail to achieve in a lifetime of unending novels. A lifetime of pursuing a single lover and only in old age understanding what loving that individual means. Inez (Ee-ness) consolidates the apogee of the author's writing excellence in an easy, quick-paced read about star-fated love never quite coming to fruition.
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