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The Old Gringo: A Novel af Carlos Fuentes
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The Old Gringo: A Novel (original 1985; udgave 1997)

af Carlos Fuentes

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
9182117,182 (3.5)1 / 74
One of Carlos Fuentes's greatest works, The Old Gringo tells the story of Ambrose Bierce, the American writer, soldier, and journalist, and of his last mysterious days in Mexico living among Pancho Villa's soldiers, particularly his encounter with General Tomas Arroyo. In the end, the incompatibility of the two countries (or, paradoxically, their intimacy) claims both men, in a novel that is, most of all, about the tragic history of two cultures in conflict.… (mere)
Medlem:puttermeister
Titel:The Old Gringo: A Novel
Forfattere:Carlos Fuentes
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (1997), Paperback, 208 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Mexico, Latin America, 20th C, novels

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The Old Gringo af Carlos Fuentes (1985)

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Engelsk (17)  Spansk (2)  Fransk (1)  Catalansk (1)  Alle sprog (21)
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The novel is framed as the reminiscence of a woman. An old journalist heads to Mexico during the time of the Mexican Revolution seeking, not a story, but his death. He joins with a band of Pancho Villa’s guerilla fighters, led by General Tomas Arroyo, and witnesses events as they destroy all but the mirrored ballroom of a once great hacienda. And there he encounters a white woman, Harriet Winslow. Harriet had been hired as a governess for the owner’s children, but they had all fled by the time she arrived from the US, and now she is stranded and yet determined to stay and defend the property as best she can.

There has been much praise for this work; it was the first translated work by a Mexican author to become a bestseller in the United States. But I had great difficulty engaging with the characters and the plot, such as it was.

Fuentes interrupts the action with long stream-of-conciousness soliloquies by each of his characters. Some of these consist of one long sentence that takes more than a page of text to get through. Now, I’ve read other works with a similar technique – Jose Saramago’s works come to mind – and I’ve enjoyed them. But in this book, I felt that these interludes did nothing so much as interrupt the meager story and make me like the book even less.

Then there are the sex scenes. I’ll say this for Fuentes, he doesn’t pull any punches. But he also has NO IDEA how women think or what motivates them to act the way they do. These are nothing but a macho man’s fantasy. Enough said.

The Old Gringo in the story is based on Ambrose Bierce, an historical figure who disappeared shortly after he travelled to Mexico during that country’s revolution. But the name is mentioned only once towards the very end of the book. ( )
  BookConcierge | Dec 21, 2020 |
Honduras-tysken
  victor.k.jacobsson | May 23, 2020 |
UN "GRINGO" DE 71 AÑOS ENTRA EN MÉXICO EN PLENA REVOLUCIÓN DE PANCHO VILLA BUSCANDO UNA MUERTE DIGNA. ENLAZA CON EL GENERAL ARROYO Y CONOCE A UNA NORTEAMERICANA, HARRIET, EL GENERAL LE MATA, POSTERIORMENTE ES EXHUMADO Y FUSILADO POR VILLA. HARRIET REPATRIA SU CADÁVER. ( )
  Elenagdd | Apr 23, 2019 |
Clever albeit thin imagining of Ambrose Bierce and Pancho Villa in the mirrored ballroom of Fuentes' imagination; not anywhere near his best, but there was aproliferation of cheap copies at one time. A diversion at best. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
El autor relaciona a cuatro personajes principales, dos hombres y dos mujeres, que se encuentran en condiciones sumamente dramáticas al sur del río que separa a los dos países. La figura central, el gringo viejo, es el renombrado escritor y periodista norteamericano Ambrose Bierce, que cruza la frontera para participar en la revolución de Pancho Villa pero que, acaso en la vorágine de la guerra, desaparece sin dejar huellas.
  swiltsesa | Feb 9, 2016 |
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» Tilføj andre forfattere (3 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Carlos Fuentesprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Peden, Margaret SayersOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

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But who knows the fate of his bones
or how often he is to be buried?
--Sir Thomas Browne
What they call dying
is merely the last pain.
--Ambrose Bierce
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To William Styron whose father included me in his dreams of the American Civil War.
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Now she sits alone and remembers.
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Wikipedia på engelsk (3)

One of Carlos Fuentes's greatest works, The Old Gringo tells the story of Ambrose Bierce, the American writer, soldier, and journalist, and of his last mysterious days in Mexico living among Pancho Villa's soldiers, particularly his encounter with General Tomas Arroyo. In the end, the incompatibility of the two countries (or, paradoxically, their intimacy) claims both men, in a novel that is, most of all, about the tragic history of two cultures in conflict.

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