I honestly wouldn’t have ever read or heard of this book if I wouldn’t have had to read it for a class. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it since the first two books we had to read weren’t all that interesting. Pedro Paramo kept my interest through the whole book. Everything was interesting and there was always a new twist that kept me wanting to read more. I couldn’t put this book down.
Pedro Paramo is the story of Juan Preciado’s journey to find his father as it was his mother’s dying wish. The book takes place in the Mexican village of Comala where his father, Pedro Paramo, grew up. As Juan meets people through the story they give him a lot of information and tell him stories about his father, but they also seem to disappear at random times. This is because many of the people in this town are dead. They appear to Juan as ghosts because they are unable to move on to the afterlife. Juan Preciado dies half way through the book, and the second half takes place while he is in his grave listening to and meeting others who met his father.
This is Juan Rulfo’s only published novel. The main theme’s are war, perversion, and solitude. The stories told in this book are occasionally out of order, but they all tie together in the end. I had to read this book through twice to fully understand the order of the stories told by the people in the town. This book does have incest scenes, something that I’ve found out is a common thing in most magical realism novels, especially ones written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This book isn’t the best magical realism novel I’ve read so far, but it’s definitely in the top 5. I recommend it.