Tuesday, February 27, 2007

BOOK: Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo

I decided to try to read books for a Reading Across Borders Challenge - books outside your usual comfort zone or geographical zone of reading. I've read a few in the last year or so anyway and I've really enjoyed them. Books such as Shadow in the Wind, The Kite Runner, and Istanbul were excellent stories.

When will I learn to stay away from books described as 'great literature' ? Pedro Paramo was, different. I could be flip and say there were too many pronouns and I couldn't figure out who anyone was. The story is told in the past and present, in first and third person, interchangably. There is a dead town, inhabited by ghosts telling their story, and the same people, maybe, are telling a story from the past. I could understand some parts, but it was like grabbing a wisp of smoke because I could almost see it or understand, but then I would lose it. I think I could follow parts of the story another time, but it took a lot of effort, and I don't like to put that much effort into a story.

To summarize, I just didn't get it. It was short (120 pages) so I didn't mind investing the time to finish it, but I guess I needed the Cliff notes to understand the plot and imagery. I like the setting in a small village in Mexico and some of the story and characters. But I needed more details.