Were that the case, I would certainly suggest you the book that Latin-American writers prefer. It’s the book that most impressed “El Gabo”.
Thirty years before winning the Nobel Prize, Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez (“El Gabo”) was living the life of the unpublished author in Mexico City when his close friend Alvaro Mutis (now also a famous author) gave him a book and said “Tenga para que aprenda a escribir” (liberal translation: Read this and learn how to write).
The book was “Pedro Paramo”, written by Mexican author Juan Rulfo.
Today the book is considered a Latin-American classic and it’s one of my all time favorites. Rulfo used popular slang for filling the dialogues with colors, but he did it masterly, placing sentences so well that turned his prose into poetry.
Because of this, some scholars argued that reading the book translated to other language would lack the author’s mastery.
I would have agreed with that until lately when -following this blog’s suggestion- I started to read McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. I like reading this book (I haven’t finished it yet), but by reading it, I realized why I like Pedro Paramo so much.
I know now that the book is much more than words masterly placed.
Similarities? Not much; except for the fact that their story is placed in almost the same scenes, chronologically and geographically. Their style is very different, and Blood Meridian is far more cruel and descriptive.
But they both managed to tune the readers’ mood powerfully and put them face to face with violence in a dispassionate way. They both have a villain as one of their main characters. In the Mexican novel the bad guy is Pedro Paramo himself.
Different from McCarthy’s novel, Pedro Paramo presents a challenge for the reader. The story is not lineal and only pieces of the puzzle are given gradually. The story only starts to make sense once the reader discovers one important fact around the first quarter of the book.
In spite of the scholars’ opinions, Pedro Paramo has been translated to more than 30 different languages and the English version has been sold more than a million times in the US.
About the author:
Gustavo is a professional marine researcher and family man. He shares cartoons and what he has learned about exploring in exchange of smart conversations. If you want to know the whole story, click here.