A review by lookhome
Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo


In the village of Comala, the divide between the living and the dead has disintegrated.
The consequences of a single deed has brought utter catastrophe to a village populated by thugs, saints, rebels and priests...
Yeats' poem The Second Coming probably sums up the sensation best:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world...
This anarchy consists of tales of love, lust and loss in this quasi-picaresque set of macabre stories.
While the prose is never more than a few moments away from bouts of wonder, the novel's true magic lies in Rulfo's ability to humanize and arguably vindicate his title character, Pedro Paramo's deplorable actions.
Subtly collapsing past and present, living and dead, normal and abnormal into a unique, wonder-filled narrative, we are left with a deceptively interconnected set of tales. We see a village populated of people whose lives have come undone by a man who may have simply loved too deeply in youth.

Strongly recommended.