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Social protest and poetry; reality and myth; nostalgia for an uncorrupted, golden past; sensual human enjoyment of the present; 'magic' rather than lineal time, and, above all, a tender, compassionate love for the living, fertile, wondrous land and the struggling, hopeful people of Guatemala.—Saturday Review • Winner of the 1967 Nobel Prize for Literature


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Social protest and poetry; reality and myth; nostalgia for an uncorrupted, golden past; sensual human enjoyment of the present; 'magic' rather than lineal time, and, above all, a tender, compassionate love for the living, fertile, wondrous land and the struggling, hopeful people of Guatemala.—Saturday Review • Winner of the 1967 Nobel Prize for Literature

30 review for Men of Maize

  1. 4 out of 5

    Vit Babenco

    Civilization exploits nature and destroys it. Nature and civilization are in perpetual opposition to each other… The sun let down its hair. The summer was received in the domain of the chieftain of Ilóm with comb honey rubbed on the branches of the fruit trees, so the fruit would be sweet; with headdresses of immortelles on the heads of the women, so the women would be fertile; and with dead raccoons hanging from the doors of the ranchos, so the men would be potent. The firefly wizards, descendant Civilization exploits nature and destroys it. Nature and civilization are in perpetual opposition to each other… The sun let down its hair. The summer was received in the domain of the chieftain of Ilóm with comb honey rubbed on the branches of the fruit trees, so the fruit would be sweet; with headdresses of immortelles on the heads of the women, so the women would be fertile; and with dead raccoons hanging from the doors of the ranchos, so the men would be potent. The firefly wizards, descendants of the great clashers of flint stones, sowed sparkling lights in the black air of the night to be sure there would be guiding stars in the winter. The firefly wizards with their obsidian sparks. The firefly wizards, who dwelt in tents of virgin doeskin. These are the ways of nature… And the ways of civilization are guns and machines, intrigues and perfidy. The gods have disappeared, but the legends remain and they, like the gods before them, demand sacrifices. Gone too are the obsidian knives which tore out the hearts of sacrificial victims, but the knives of absence which wound and madden, remain. As a revenge for the treachery and massacre, with the magic more ancient than the Christian religion, the dire curse was worked… And Men of Maize is a cruel and marvelous story recounting how this curse is being fulfilled. “…Life ain't no iguana's tail where you chop off one piece and another comes out to face the danger anew. You lose it and it stays lost. Don't sprout again. Ain't on permanent lease.” Whatever we wish and however we plan, life intertwines and interlocks the past and the present, truth and fiction, our desires and our achievements in the most unpredictable and whimsical ways.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    I have written to the publisher about doing a second print run, or somehow getting this back in print, as: (1) I really want to read it, but cant afford the second hand copies floating around; (2) it is in the UNESCO Catalogue of Representative Works, its author won the Nobel Prize, and it is widely considered a hugely important work of Latin American fiction.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    A powerful book and I have no words to describe it. it is that sort of book, which makes you feel a bit smarter after you read it. There is magical stuff, or better said legends, there is reality and social issues, there is love and betrayel, there is war, there are great usages of the "word". who would have thought, that words can be so flexible. The multitude of quotes I wrote here speaks for this. Respect for the translator, it wasnot an easy translation, for sure. This is that sort of book y A powerful book and I have no words to describe it. it is that sort of book, which makes you feel a bit smarter after you read it. There is magical stuff, or better said legends, there is reality and social issues, there is love and betrayel, there is war, there are great usages of the "word". who would have thought, that words can be so flexible. The multitude of quotes I wrote here speaks for this. Respect for the translator, it wasnot an easy translation, for sure. This is that sort of book you need to read in your mother tongue.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    This is one of the best books that i've read in, say, the last year. Scratch that, the last ten years. The poetic descriptions and the fancy of the articulations make love to the page. I only have to offer a quote: "In the beards of the cobs, in the dusty axils of the mauve leaves and stalks as they matured, in the thirst of the earth-covered roots, amog flowers like doomed flags crawling with insects, the fire sprung from those sparks, went about, releasing flames. The night woke up fighting to This is one of the best books that i've read in, say, the last year. Scratch that, the last ten years. The poetic descriptions and the fancy of the articulations make love to the page. I only have to offer a quote: "In the beards of the cobs, in the dusty axils of the mauve leaves and stalks as they matured, in the thirst of the earth-covered roots, amog flowers like doomed flags crawling with insects, the fire sprung from those sparks, went about, releasing flames. The night woke up fighting to trap, in its web pearled with water, the flies of light falling from the spark maker. It awoke with all its articulations asleep in corners of darkness and cast its web of weepy silver turpentine over the sparks, which were already small conflagrations making contact with new centers of violent combustion, beyond all strategy, in the most skillful of skirmishing tactics. Drops of nocturnal water could be heard with a resonant rain patter from the withered leaves, blood red in the glow of the flames, clinging with mist, hot with smoky down to the very marrow of dead stalks swathed in porous tissue which thundered like dry powder. One enormous firefly, the size of the plains and the mountains, the size of everything that was painted with sun-roasted maize, ready for threshing." The rhythm in this book is resonant, it is impossible to ignore because it carries the entire novel on this roaming sound. i found it similar to the wind in the book Chocolat, the same sense of a magically real mind of a natural element forming the story around its not-so-defined consciousness. It is an umbrella of consciousness that warps itself into certain arenas, not necessarily taking to any character's specific story, but gliding in between stories and dialogue, descriptions and poetry. It reminded me of Dos Passos, but told in a more reserved, illustrative way--not afraid to expound on the magnificence of the setting and surroundings, creating a theater of creatures and austere beings and beasts, rather than merely transgress the mundane in a brightened sense of clarity as Dos Passos did within New York. In Asturias' Guatemala, he encapsulates the culture within the veneer of a waking revolution of invention, amidst the death of culture. the book concentrates on the doom of a failing farm community, sweltered because of the earth's inability to grow maize in the largescale because of the maize's unencumbered greed in soaking up all the nutrients. Now, this detriment does not effect a singly-served family, but when technology comes to town a whole world of crazy breeches in on these farmers and the mystical magical animation is born into their lives. The obliterated landscape is likened to a fiery horseman who resembles the sheen of the maize crop, but becomes corrupted with greed by its viability, for the usual criminal cup o' tea--money and power. Diabolical effects take place; a mastery of the deity which presides over these people takes form through anger and finds resolution in mischief and destruction. this tale is magical, there are features of this concept of the naugal, or a person's protective animal, and the transformation of these people into their naugal when they are forced by life crisis into a change which supercedes their emotional or physical limits. For instance, a postman whose wife falls off the face of the earth changes into his spirit animal: a coyote; and a healer turns into a mystical creature called The Deer of the Seventh Fire who wreaks havoc on a crop and sets the fields ablaze. The book circulates around a few certain themes. The most obvious being the traditional weight of farming versus the massive wholesale type that is bred by technology and innovation. The book is told in a retrospective fashion, giving dominance to a dying culture whose faith in the magic of reality tries in vein to stop a monster with no spiritual element other than the insane coldness of the machine. This concept is further explored with another theme about the inability to cope with lost love, the transformation of a soul into an eternal wanderer, a ghost in the purgatory beset amongst phantom clouds within this world is a microcosmic display of the discordance of an entirely changing culture, wrought with the problems of a dying tradition and faith in simplicity. The book has a tremendous weight, as three quarters of it are devoted to the story of a man whose wife leaves him and he can not figure out why. He spends his entire life searching for her, and because the job is not done he eventually transforms into his spirit animal forever on the quest for security in the knowledge he can not die without: "And how can you tell compadre, that i was in love?" "The way you stop and listen to every woman's voice. Even if she's nothing to do with you, you stop and listen." There is a great sense of sadness weighing the intent of this book, saying that no matter the resolution--this culture has been lost to the test of time and is no more sound than a ghost's echo in a wall. And yet, it is told with a great pride, a stunning amount of opulence and impressionability that emits an epic purpose surrounding the need to collect these stories and this information into a majestic, seminal story. There is a sense of power in the way this inevitable tragedy is displayed, in that as an image of the past, as a presentation of a forgotten culture with a fanstastic understanding of supernatural events, there is a mist of dreams somewhere that explains the entire hallucination, composes a story within the mundane expectations of a life so ordinary to lead slip-handedly those too dumb to handle a world beyond our own through the prosaic climax of our stupid plot structure: birth, age, then death. There is something more fantastic within this world, and it is victim to the same coffins that lie the forgotten communities which housed the presences of gods and fairies and mountains of creation waiting ot be explored again. This book flirts with the idea, playing with a hatch not afraid to be opened; and it is constructed with the vitality of a nymph, the eloquence of a solid dancer: "subterranean structures begin speaking without lips, a direct rigid voice propelling the song of the firefly wizards from the human throat into the booming cavity of those diamond-throated grottoes. The voice explodes, it is a petard opening out within the secret ears of the rocks, but the echo picks it up and molds it anew like clay, sculpting its modulations, until it is changed into a tinkling glass from which those who were not defeated at the bottom of the earth drink the potable flight of birds, lest they be defeated in the sky."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Howard

    This is “the” original ‘magical realism’ Latin American novel written by the Nobel winning author Asturias. It was written in 1949 (perhaps including parts written separately and earlier) and set ostensively at the turn of the century 1900s Guatemala (given telegraphs and light bulbs are mentioned). This is the third Asturias novel I’ve read (including ‘Mulatta and Mr Fly’ and I think only his second after ‘The President’) so I did know what to expect. This is one of those potentially “difficult This is “the” original ‘magical realism’ Latin American novel written by the Nobel winning author Asturias. It was written in 1949 (perhaps including parts written separately and earlier) and set ostensively at the turn of the century 1900s Guatemala (given telegraphs and light bulbs are mentioned). This is the third Asturias novel I’ve read (including ‘Mulatta and Mr Fly’ and I think only his second after ‘The President’) so I did know what to expect. This is one of those potentially “difficult to follow”, “hard to grasp the story”, challengingly descriptive style, muddled novels which could end up boring and poorly rated if the style is a surprise to you. This is a mix of Faulkener’s “Absalom”, GGM “Hundred Years”, virtually any of Cela’s novels (e.g. The Hive) and the realism of Torres “The Land”. This critical edition is virtually a college book with almost as many pages dedicated to the introduction, notes to the text, translation, history, Nobel speech and several other sections as the novel itself (about 300 pages). For example the translation has to deal with many indigenous words which are relatively unknown to normal Portuguese – thereby at the end of chapter 1, only 17 sides you’re already on footnote 68. The basic story, which you only really get to understand at the end is: Gaspar Ilom is a local rebel leader of an uprising against the colonial leaders like Colonel Godoy on behalf of the abuse by Maize growers (burning forest, depleting the land etc). Gaspar, fails to defend the massacre of his troops, and is poisoned with the help of the Zacatones family (and vanishes/dies). Godoy’s son Machojon never reaches Candelaria Reinosa to propose. Maria Zacatones becomes the sole survivor of her family after a revenge attack aged just one. Years later her blind husband, Goyo Yic, realises she’s gone missing, under her new name of Maria Tecun, seeks her – thus fulfilling the myth/legend of vanished Tecunas. Nicho Aquino, the postman, delivering money laden letters across the Maria Tecun ridge is feared lost and Hilario is sent to catch up with him – Nicho becomes the legendary coyote in the mountain mist and too vanishes. I could go on and mention our characters but then it gets complicated. The style is very engaging, poetic, metaphorical, symbolic. The analogy and life of the jungle life oozes from the descriptions of vegetations, wildlife, the people, the clash of cultures. The tale is complicated, and if you like your stories layed out simply then this isn’t for you. A couple of quotes: “Night like day. Solitude of a great mirror. Vegetation creeping like smoke along rocky soil. Squirrels with the leap of chocolate froth in their tails. Moles moving like lava trying to perforate the earth before it grows cold, and lolling this way and that. Gigantic parasites with flowers of porcelain and candy floss. Pine cones like bodies of tiny motionless birds, sacrificed birds of dry petrified with terror on the ever convulsing branches. And the unceasing lament leaves dragged along by the wind. Sadness of the cold burnished moon. The maize-blighting moon.” “But maize costs the sacrifice of the earth, which is also human. I’d like to see you carry a maizefield on your back, like the poor earth does. And what they’re doing now is even more uncivilised, growing maize to sell it” I think I did actually prefer the more extreme ‘Mulatta and Mr Fly’ for style. I can understand why this is a crucial work for depth etc but equally why you would be entitled to score it lowly for confused story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stuart

    Overblown, melodramatic, frequently incomprehensible. Magical realism at its most annoying.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    I recently re-read this after a ten-ish year hiatus. I was completely blown away by it the first time, but I also barely comprehended it that first reading. The second time was much different. I actually made sense of the story this last time, and not only did I enjoy the novel more, I gleaned much more from it. It is very difficult to explain the story and its many digressions, suffice it to say that everything ties together eventually.Not necessarily neatly, but the purpose of the novel is to I recently re-read this after a ten-ish year hiatus. I was completely blown away by it the first time, but I also barely comprehended it that first reading. The second time was much different. I actually made sense of the story this last time, and not only did I enjoy the novel more, I gleaned much more from it. It is very difficult to explain the story and its many digressions, suffice it to say that everything ties together eventually.Not necessarily neatly, but the purpose of the novel is to take the reader on a journey into the worlds of native South Americans and the contrasts to the European influence imposed upon them. Asturias never fully explained what he intended with Men of Maize, and while it is assuredly political in many ways, it is a beautiful, lush, engrossing work. The colors, sounds, tactile sensations, and mixing of the mundane with magical set in a mysterious natural environment makes this a transcendent novel. I would compare it to Marquez' The Autumn of the Patriarch but such a comparison does injustice to Men of Maize. Read it and enjoy. Leave it. Then read it again later and enjoy it even more.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

    This book is crazy. A lot of the time it's kind of like reading Guatemalan mythology in poetry form mixed in with a drug-induced dream. There's an entire page about glowworm sex. The crazy makes the book kind of hard to follow for long sections at a time. But when it gets back to coherence the story is pretty great. It continually surprised me how much a story written in Guatemala in 1945 seems so similar to American life now. After digging through the crazy is a great, comedic story about love. This book is crazy. A lot of the time it's kind of like reading Guatemalan mythology in poetry form mixed in with a drug-induced dream. There's an entire page about glowworm sex. The crazy makes the book kind of hard to follow for long sections at a time. But when it gets back to coherence the story is pretty great. It continually surprised me how much a story written in Guatemala in 1945 seems so similar to American life now. After digging through the crazy is a great, comedic story about love. I picked this up to help "prepare" for a trip to Guatemala in a month. I had read that this was a pride of the country having been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. I have no idea if this book is anything like what I will experience when actually visiting Guatemala, but I'm hoping it was a good introduction to the culture and vocabularies (albeit translated vocabularies) that I will experience when actually there.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Irina Smolina

    I feel like i have being under the drugs when i read this books..to tight interconnection with Guatemalan mythology. Wish i have ever been in this country to understand if it is so real as described in book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gerardo

    I have the book and I am trying to read it, but it is old spanish. It is a challenge, but the few pages that I have read have been fantastical. I am into Magical Realism and what cannot be explain with some pseudo science answer. I am waiting a paper bag because I have hard covers book! This books is a difficult reading. I have given up on it becuase of its spanish!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alexandru

    Amazing book, especially the first 100 pages. Long live Gaspar Ilom!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dragos Voicu

    Excellent book! Unusual and strange, but good!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This novel reads like an epic poem. The text is a bit dense at times, but once I found the rhythm, I found it beautiful with touches of humor and heartbreak.

  14. 5 out of 5

    keith koenigsberg

    Impossible to enjoy, this Important novel of Guatemala never allows you a moment to relax: every sentence is crammed with references to Guatemalan myths, lifestyle, history, etc etc and in the course of it all, the writer forgets to offer a piece of entertainment. This book won the Nobel prize, which evidently means it puts something on paper which humanity should be thankful for, and be careful lest it disappear. But unfortunately is not a book to read, it is a book to study.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chet

    Author Miguel Angel Asturias does for South American literature what William Faulkner did for North America. Asturias creates a colorful Picasso world, rich with the symbolism of a culture long persecuted and forgotten by Western society. After reading this novel I understand why Asturias won the 1967 Nobel Peace Prize for Literature.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan DB

    The book is exceptional, a masterpiece, and will one day come back into print! I think the time is now. I recently watched Simon Reeve in Guatamala. He showed satellite imagery of the border with Belize. Guatamala's forest was all gone (I just checked google earth. It's a clear line forest/no forest. There are vivid descriptions of the forest being slashed and burned to make way for maize planted for profit. It's an environmental novel, it's a critique of capitalism. It was written in 1949 but i The book is exceptional, a masterpiece, and will one day come back into print! I think the time is now. I recently watched Simon Reeve in Guatamala. He showed satellite imagery of the border with Belize. Guatamala's forest was all gone (I just checked google earth. It's a clear line forest/no forest. There are vivid descriptions of the forest being slashed and burned to make way for maize planted for profit. It's an environmental novel, it's a critique of capitalism. It was written in 1949 but it could be talking about 2019. About 1949. I may have said this of Austurias in a previous review (El Senior Presidente) but Austurias was writing magical realism from South America (and winning the nobel prize) twenty years before Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It's a book across generations in the same place (remind you of anythign?). Stories turn into myths and legends, modernity catches up to a traditional way of life richly painted by Austurias' knowledge of indigenous mezoamerican culture.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shane

    Exceptional dream-like novel that tells a story across generations in Guatemala. Each chapter documents one character in the linked story, from stories of the Spanish colonial power to the natives. The actions and consequences of history are charted from one character to another; stories from one generation become legends or myths in the next, and the belief systems are intertwined with a history that is brilliantly told. Asturias weaves mythology into fiction to create a story that resonates to Exceptional dream-like novel that tells a story across generations in Guatemala. Each chapter documents one character in the linked story, from stories of the Spanish colonial power to the natives. The actions and consequences of history are charted from one character to another; stories from one generation become legends or myths in the next, and the belief systems are intertwined with a history that is brilliantly told. Asturias weaves mythology into fiction to create a story that resonates today with environmental issues, despite being written in the 1940s. Brilliantly paced.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gevera Bert

    It was like reading the transcript to someone's dream.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Pavlis

    This is a book I will read many times over. His use of language is so riveting, so rich. He paints the picture—horrible, beautiful, comical—as is life. What is it about the Latino writers that makes them so adept at writing such beautiful prose?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I can't fairly rate this, so I won't try. I'm not going to try reviewing it in Spanish either, even though I read it in that language. Or, you know, tried to. This novel is written in very idiosyncratic language, full of archaisms and (I assume) indigenous words. At the back of my Kindle edition was a glossary taking up 6% of the book (i.e. 26 pages), which gives me the impression that the language isn't easy for the majority of native Spanish speakers, either. Unfortunately, there are no actual I can't fairly rate this, so I won't try. I'm not going to try reviewing it in Spanish either, even though I read it in that language. Or, you know, tried to. This novel is written in very idiosyncratic language, full of archaisms and (I assume) indigenous words. At the back of my Kindle edition was a glossary taking up 6% of the book (i.e. 26 pages), which gives me the impression that the language isn't easy for the majority of native Spanish speakers, either. Unfortunately, there are no actual links to the glossary from where these words appear in the text, making it a massive ordeal to check them – and if I had, it'd have taken me way longer to read this than two months, I can tell you. It seems that Amazon's pulled the book from sale since I bought it two years ago (although not from my library, evidently). I really hope they pulled it to fix this. I am really not sure how this vibrantly non-standard Spanish was translated into English, but I guess I'd like to see. My university library theoretically has an English translation of this, and I went looking for it when I was about one-tenth of the way through this and realising I just could not understand it. Evidently the uni lost it because it wasn't on the shelf. So, I struggled through… and while I guess my Spanish got some good practice, I can barely tell you anything about this book that isn't in the Wikipedia summary of it. I can tell you about some of the language use, I guess…? Like once it used the verb "parlar" and I went on a great bout of research to discover what this word was doing in Castilian (the answer: it's a borrowing from Occitan, but in Castilian refers specifically to speaking indiscreetly, or in an otherwise mischievous manner. but it's very uncommon). I don't really remember quién parlaba o porqué, though. You see? I didn't absorb much of anything. So… while this seems like a very interesting book to me… I did not gain anything by actually reading it and I really wish the English edition hadn't been out of print for decades. If I ever get my hands on one…

  21. 5 out of 5

    Iamthird

    Author Asturias received Nobel Prize for Literature and in 1966, he won the Soviet Union's Lenin Peace Prize. (after decades of exile) Checked this book out shortly before leaving for Guatemala with my family. The Maiz - the corn we tasted at a Guatemalan side stand was delicious with lime and salt, and it had obviously been "roasting away over a gentle flame..." :) Other Guatemala tips: Listen: marimbas: pack Perez 'Luna de Xelaju' // Watch: what Sebastian dreamt : documentary part narrative P 7 Author Asturias received Nobel Prize for Literature and in 1966, he won the Soviet Union's Lenin Peace Prize. (after decades of exile) Checked this book out shortly before leaving for Guatemala with my family. The Maiz - the corn we tasted at a Guatemalan side stand was delicious with lime and salt, and it had obviously been "roasting away over a gentle flame..." :) Other Guatemala tips: Listen: marimbas: pack Perez 'Luna de Xelaju' // Watch: what Sebastian dreamt : documentary part narrative P 7 his strength was the flowers, his dance was the clouds. P 9 ..his skin like old bark, his hair sticking out over his forehead like the tip of a sucked mango.. Colonel Godoy was still mounted in his hammock, moustachioed, eyes open wide, just like a fish swelling a net. Indian vs ladino Call it Holy Remedy (black beer) Close by the blazing fires other men cleaned their toenails w their machetes..and the women counted their beauty spots, laughing and laughing, or counted the stars.. P 38 gratitude must smell, if it has a smell, of rain-soaked earth. Corn (maiz) - roasting away over a gentle flame, because if u cook it too fast it's no good. The rain caught them sleeping, wrapped in their ponchos like mummies. (just like hiking up the side of the mtn in ponchos! June 2012) 191 they could see the lights of the town, close together. Close together and apart, like them. The dew-soaked grass chilled their buttocks. Hilarious gazed up at the sky, she pulled the tips off the blades of grass within reach of her dark hand. "the truth is," she went on after a moment of silence, " that new loves in the city are better than old loves back in the village. Tell me, is she pretty, does she have nice hair, I'll bet she has beautiful eyes."

  22. 4 out of 5

    William Crosby

    This author was the first Latin American novelist to receive a Nobel Prize for Literature. This book is also the first book of the magical realism genre. Concerns American Indians (Guatemala mostly) and maize and Mayan, Aztec, Spanish and other Latin American cultures and their clashes. Many historical and literary allusions (particularly from Popol Vuh, and The Revelation of the New Testament). The notes were very useful. Much of the writing is more like poetry than prose in its use of imagery an This author was the first Latin American novelist to receive a Nobel Prize for Literature. This book is also the first book of the magical realism genre. Concerns American Indians (Guatemala mostly) and maize and Mayan, Aztec, Spanish and other Latin American cultures and their clashes. Many historical and literary allusions (particularly from Popol Vuh, and The Revelation of the New Testament). The notes were very useful. Much of the writing is more like poetry than prose in its use of imagery and metaphors and repetitions.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Beautifully written. It felt like reading poetry in prose form because of the careful use of words. It was a bit difficult to read because you are not aware that you need to pay attention to the time. It skips through time and characters and it does not all come together until the end. The novel is clearly a statement against colonialism and capitalism and how they destroy a culture and people.

  24. 5 out of 5

    William Romsek

    A somewhat choppy story set in Guatemala. Does a very good job of providing a feel for the lives of the Mayan Indians struggling with the incursion of the modern world. In the past I never gave much thought to the translation of novels, but I'm coming to have a greater appreciation for it. It can make or break a story. Not only is an understanding of the language and it's nuances necessary, but also an accurate feel for the author's overall intentions.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Zulma

    Asturias's 1967 Nobel prize-winning work is an incredible tale of the life of the indigenous people of Guatemala during the early twentieth century. Simultaneously creating and re-telling history, Asturias blurs the distinctions between reality and myth and interweaves the past, present and future.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carlos

    well i learned a lot of things but the most important when you read this book is how the author can traslate you to the time when the history happened no matter if is true or not. here in guatemala is the best we have Miguel Angel Asturias

  27. 5 out of 5

    Katharine

    Like Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, this book is very subjective and difficult to read. The vocabulary is from rural Guatemala and includes an glossary of indigenous terms. I am learning about Mayan cosmology and the history of Guatemala.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rebeca

    Fiction and reality are intertwined to create this wonderful story about the daily lives of the native people from Guatemala. Although I found some parts to be a slow reading the end makes it worthwhile.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Booklovinglady

    For a review in Dutch, see message 36 of Challenges - Uitdagingen > ZOMER 2015 of the Netherlands & Flanders group. For a review in Dutch, see message 36 of Challenges - Uitdagingen > ZOMER 2015 of the Netherlands & Flanders group.

  30. 5 out of 5

    b bb bbbb bbbbbbbb

    overwrought, long winded, boring.

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