The Old Gringo, by Carlos Fuentes


2012 Book 88: The Old Gringo, by Carlos Fuentes (6/19/2012)

Reason for Reading: In celebration of the life of Carlos Fuetes (November 11, 1928 – May 15, 2012). This was a group read on 75ers.

My Review 4/5 stars
The Old Gringo is a biographical novel about the alleged disappearance of Ambrose Bierce in Mexico during the revolution. Bierce travels to Mexico because he wants to be killed–and to be a good-looking corpse. Despite these simple desires, Bierce ends up in a dangerous triangle with a General of the Revolution and an American woman. This is a very difficult book to review because it is so deeply symbolic. I think the main idea is that life is like a dream–a dream in which people are prisoners of their pasts. Because of the dream-like quality of the prose, the book is heavy reading; it’s not for everybody. However, those who appreciate symbolic and tragic literature will certainly enjoy The Old Gringo.

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