El siglo de las luces

Written by: Alejo Carpentier

El siglo de las luces Book Cover
This fine, somber novel, by the author of the widely acclaimed The Lost Steps, deals with the French Revolution, chiefly in the Caribbean. Not an ordinary historical novel, but rather a poetic, highly informed essay, it forth, in rich prose, a host of memorable impressions -- of Revolutionary Paris, of Caribbean islands sweltering in the sunlight, and of the Revolutionary ideals which, transplanted to these islands, died in blood, sweat and a return to slavery and the old ways. Its chief protagonist is Victor Hugues, a historical figure, who is shown through the eyes of three fictional orphaned adolescents -- Carlos, Sofia, and their cousin Esteban, whom he dazzled at first meeting. Esteban follows Victor as he rises from baker's son and merchant to Revolutionary master of the Caribbean, but sickens eventually of bloodshed and of Victor's ruthless changing to fit shifting policies. Sofia, who loves Victor and joins him, is also finally sickened by the betrayal of Revolutionary ideals, and the changes power has made in Victor. Above its many modern political parallels, this story is powerful evocation of the mysterious evolution, decay and persistence of all human relations and ambitions. Splendidly written.
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El siglo de las luces Reviews

Raul
Read it in Spanish - a fascinating portrayal of life during the chaotic political period that followed the French Revolution, as seen through the eyes of Esteban, whom we first meet as a very young man brought up in Havana Cuba in the 1790's and belonging to a comfortable urban upper middle-class native-born white family (i.e "criollos" in Spanish). His interests in the writings of precursors to the Revolution, plus a variety of circumstances led to his travels first to Europe, then to the islan Read it in Spanish - a fascinating portrayal of life during the chaotic political period that followed the French Revolution, as seen through the eyes of Esteban, whom we first meet as a very young man brought up in Havana Cuba in the 1790's and belonging to a comfortable urban upper middle-class native-born white family (i.e "criollos" in Spanish). His interests in the writings of precursors to the Revolution, plus a variety of circumstances led to his travels first to Europe, then to the island of Guadaloupe & then to Cayenne in French Guiana, and ultimately back to Havana. Much of this journey is closely related to the life of Victor Hugues, an actual, though largely forgotten figure in the French Revolution, who, after rising in the ranks of the Jacobin revolutionaries under Robespierre and Billaud-Varennel, left France to escape the counter-revolution and succeeded in taking the Island of Guadaloupe from the British and lording over it as a French Protectorate, with no assistance from France itself but instead by ransacking the British, Spanish and American boats in that part of the Caribbean. Carpentier, who was born in France but thought of himself as a Cuban and travelled extensively in the Caribbean, wrote this well-researched book in the 1950's, giving us a very vivid portrayal of what it was like to live in those times, coupled with almost magically detailed descriptions of the natural and manmade setting of that part of the world at the very beginning of the 19th century. The book is meant to be far more than a tale of human adventure: rather it is a reflection on the merit of social change, and the point of aspiring to a better social contract if, in the immediate effect of making the change is carnage and suffering. We see at close range what transpired when slavery was eliminated on the theory that all men are equal, and we see much cruelty of blacks in the course of the society transitioning to a free society, with many reversals along the way. Reading this history reminds us of the fear caused by liberations of slaves in the new world, and the use of liberation as a weapon in warring parties. There is also a heroine in the book, Sofia the cousin in Estaban, that also offers an insight in the role of women in the society of the times. Carpentier was a very influential writer, and it is easy to see how his style is reflected in Garcia Marques and others of his generation.
Sebastian Porta
We’ve all have been taught that the French Revolution was carried out for the sake of noblest principles: “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” and they told us that it brought centuries of despotism, oppression and monarchy abuses to an end. They showed us pieces of art such as the famous and universally known Delacroix’s Liberty leading the People, images of the noble and oppressive class being executed by the revolution’s army, flames of people’s wrath consuming the castles, symbol of the old ways, We’ve all have been taught that the French Revolution was carried out for the sake of noblest principles: “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” and they told us that it brought centuries of despotism, oppression and monarchy abuses to an end. They showed us pieces of art such as the famous and universally known Delacroix’s Liberty leading the People, images of the noble and oppressive class being executed by the revolution’s army, flames of people’s wrath consuming the castles, symbol of the old ways, medievalism, royalty and aristocracy. A brand new day was ahead, and a new social order was coming with it; it was people’s triumph, the rise of democracy, republics and independences all around the world and the fall of colonialism, absolutism and tyranny. The good ones had beaten the bad guys. But things weren’t so out-of-a-tale, romantic or apotheosic as it might look at a first glance: rivers and rivers of innocent blood were shed, monarchies and autocracies were replaced by other forms of governments equally authoritarians that took advantage of the historical situation to seize power in the name of the people, the ideals of the revolution were betrayed by human greed and ambitions. History had shown us innumerable times that we’re condemned to repeat the same mistakes and El Siglo de las Luces is an historical novel, wonderfully written and well documented, that narrates the great impact that the French Revolution had on the Caribbean and it’s a testimony of how power degrades the noblest ideas and instrumentalizes them for its own purpose.

Alejo Carpentier was a Cuban novelist, essayist and musicologist who wasn’t as well-known as Vargas Llosa, García Marquéz or Julio Cortázar, but whose influence was considerable to Latin American writers during the “boom” period. He was consider the initiator of a literary movement calledreal maravilloso, a genre that anticipated the magical realism that was popularized by famous novels such as One Hundred Years of Solitude or Pedro Páramo. The name was first used by Carpentier himself in his novel the Kingdom of this World in which prologue he wrote: “What is the history of Latin America but a chronicle of the wonderful real? (Lo real maravilloso). This literary category can be seen as something typical and representative of Latin America’s rich history and picturesque landscapes, he seeks the extraordinary in the real in indigenous and African culture, the supernatural and incredible in what is daily and natural to them, adding new layers to reality through imagination; those mythological, spiritual and superstitious elements that are part of their unique identity (and in this way it differs from magical realism).

Carpentier was born in Switzerland, his father was a French architect and his mother a Russian teacher and they moved to La Habana immediately after his birth. His family later moved to Paris but Alejo couldn’t forget the deep impression that Cuba left him in his early years and when he returned he became a journalist commited to the communist cause and was involved in Afro-Cuban art and music. He was imprisoned and exiled for his subversive and radical ideas against Machado's dictatorship in his country. In France as an exile he developed his musical career, rubbed shoulders with avant-garde artists, timidly approached surrealism and experimented with literature and, when he finally returned to Cuba, he had already “oriented his expressive abilities” as he stated. The real maravilloso is the product of his European influence along with his profound and strong identification with the history and socio-cultural reality of Latin America and, specifically, Cuba.

El siglo de las luces (Explosion in a Cathedral as it’s known in English) abounds in adventures whose historical context is provided by the dramatic final decade of the 18th century. It is set in the Caribbean at the time of the French Revolution and its main character is the political and military leader Victor Hugues, but it’s told through the eyes and experiences of three young people; Sofía and his brother Carlos and, mostly, by the close cousin of them: Esteban. They are secluded in a mansion after the death of the wealthy father and the three of them live happily on the fringes of the world around them, enchanted by books. Until one day the French Victor Hugues, a charismatic and brisk businessman, breaks into their lives and his arrival will mean a turning point in the monotonous and inconsequential lives of the three young people. It will be the beginning of an adventure that will make us witness the violent revolts in the Caribbean and France, convulsed after the revolution, in war with United States and Britain for the control of the islands. Esteban, an enthusiastic idealist who will embrace Victor’s ideas because of his overwhelming spell, will see his revolutionary and utopian illusions collapse before the fall of Victor Hugues to the most execrable despotism when he returns to Guadeloupe and Martinique, invested with powers by the authorities of French First Republic. His degradation will reach its zenith with the criminal and bloodthirsty use of the guillotine, the symbol of terror and death during the French Revolution and the figure of Hugues will become the repository of all the cruelties and excesses of it.

Carpentier, with the baroque exuberance that characterizes his prose, describes the beautiful Caribbean landscapes in great detail as a meticulous observer of what goes unnoticed. With long and leafy paragraphs, he shows us the scenes with all the color and profusion of the Antilles. It gives the impression that the author took a historical and ideological background and gave life to his characters as a pretext to write abundantly about the lands and seas of the Caribbean that he loved so much. But El siglo de as Luces is a novel that has everything: romance, adventures, ethical conflicts, historical veracity and a powerful message about the cynicism of power and the arbitrary manipulation of freedom, that word that has come to so many empty speeches.
Fernando Guerra
En verdad es un texto sublime. Al principio fue un tanto confuso por el lenguaje tan diverso y los numerosísimos pasajes que divagan alrededor de una idea no necesariamente relevante, pero una vez acostumbrado, los hechos transcurren de forma casi natural (aunque con algunas lagunas un tanto tediosas).

El relato es impecable a mi parecer, teniendo que haber leído gran parte del libro junto a un mapa para no perderme en los viajes realizados por los protagonistas, además de consultar numerosas pal En verdad es un texto sublime. Al principio fue un tanto confuso por el lenguaje tan diverso y los numerosísimos pasajes que divagan alrededor de una idea no necesariamente relevante, pero una vez acostumbrado, los hechos transcurren de forma casi natural (aunque con algunas lagunas un tanto tediosas).

El relato es impecable a mi parecer, teniendo que haber leído gran parte del libro junto a un mapa para no perderme en los viajes realizados por los protagonistas, además de consultar numerosas palabras en un diccionario o buscar alguna referencia a Robespierre que no terminaba de entender. Todo el contexto histórico es realmente ilustrativo, y la descripción de lo que realmente está detrás de un 'movimiento revolucionario' presenta una lección aún vigente al lector sobre como "el poder absoluto corrompe absolutamente", parafraseando a Lord Acton. De verdad que fue una experiencia bastante agradable.
The Forever War :: The Black Dahlia :: A Good Man in Africa :: دکتر نون زنش را بیشتر از مصدق دوست دارد :: Q
Merveilleuse Rococo
Quienes acusaron a Carpentier de barroquismo literario tenían algo de razón: pocas palabras aplican de forma tan correcta a esta novela como "ornamentada". Sin embargo, el adorno no tiene por qué sobrecargar. Si bien es cierto que Carpentier se toma su tiempo, de a momentos pausando la narración para hacer extensas descripciones de las islas caribeñas, en ningún momento se torna tedioso. Más bien impacta su manejo del lenguaje.
Interesante la evolución de los personajes y la curiosa ausencia de p Quienes acusaron a Carpentier de barroquismo literario tenían algo de razón: pocas palabras aplican de forma tan correcta a esta novela como "ornamentada". Sin embargo, el adorno no tiene por qué sobrecargar. Si bien es cierto que Carpentier se toma su tiempo, de a momentos pausando la narración para hacer extensas descripciones de las islas caribeñas, en ningún momento se torna tedioso. Más bien impacta su manejo del lenguaje.
Interesante la evolución de los personajes y la curiosa ausencia de protagonista llegado un determinado punto. El contexto histórico está manejado de una forma magistral, se nota en todo momento no sólo el trabajo de investigación sino también el profundo interés del autor.
El final puede resultar un poco precipitado.
Arturo
This book was very enticing to me from the beginning. Set in a time and space frame which is very familiar to me (the period just before the Latin American Independence War in the Spanish Colonies), I could instantly connect with the characters and the environment surrounding them. As the action unfolds, the true subject in the novel reveals itself: how revolutionary ideals become dogma which derives into authoritarianism. I don't know how Cuban authorities took this. Perhaps that is why the end This book was very enticing to me from the beginning. Set in a time and space frame which is very familiar to me (the period just before the Latin American Independence War in the Spanish Colonies), I could instantly connect with the characters and the environment surrounding them. As the action unfolds, the true subject in the novel reveals itself: how revolutionary ideals become dogma which derives into authoritarianism. I don't know how Cuban authorities took this. Perhaps that is why the ending tries to be open, which is the reason why I felt the novel to be a little short of perfect.
Rita
Thought this would be a book about Cuba but instead learned about the devastating effects of the French Revolution on the Caribbean. It was only after I had finished it that I appreciated the author's skill in depicting this period as his images continue to haunt me
Aarón Chávez
Having a good time reading this work specially if you enjoy french culture and of course history.
Geoffrey
It's wider in scope, but to me, it lacked the mythic power of The Kingdom of This World and The Harp and the Shadow. Still a lot to praise about it; I just wasn't quite swept away.
Jorge monge Fallas
Alejo Carpetier is one of the greatest, latin american writers. Understanding latin american literature goes more in the way of Carpentier than Marquez. This is one of his top works.
Veronique
C'est un livre magnifique qui raconte une révolution française très éloignée des salons parisiens. Cette distance permet de mieux en parler. Que de violence, de revirements, de reniements mais aussi d'engagement, d'espoir, de déceptions incarnés successivement dans les trois principaux personnages.
Mais c'est surtout une langue magnifique (je me répète, tant pis) dans la description des lieux et paysages. Les pages consacrées à la vie à bord d'un bateau corsaire, à ses escales sur des plages imma C'est un livre magnifique qui raconte une révolution française très éloignée des salons parisiens. Cette distance permet de mieux en parler. Que de violence, de revirements, de reniements mais aussi d'engagement, d'espoir, de déceptions incarnés successivement dans les trois principaux personnages.
Mais c'est surtout une langue magnifique (je me répète, tant pis) dans la description des lieux et paysages. Les pages consacrées à la vie à bord d'un bateau corsaire, à ses escales sur des plages immaculées, sont exceptionnelles. La nature sauvage disparait peu à peu mais reste vivante dans les pages de ce livre.
Joe
This book was the other half of my pre-reading for a particular person's thesis along with Hallucinations: or The Ill-Fated Peregrinations of Fray Servando by Reinaldo Arenas. This book was much easier to follow (linear plot; omniscient, constant narrator; few absolutely unexplainable events), and I enjoyed it greatly.

This book follows a number of characters during the Caribbean leg of the French Revolution. Though much of my time was spent grumbling over how ridiculous the French Revolution wa This book was the other half of my pre-reading for a particular person's thesis along with Hallucinations: or The Ill-Fated Peregrinations of Fray Servando by Reinaldo Arenas. This book was much easier to follow (linear plot; omniscient, constant narrator; few absolutely unexplainable events), and I enjoyed it greatly.

This book follows a number of characters during the Caribbean leg of the French Revolution. Though much of my time was spent grumbling over how ridiculous the French Revolution was, I got the feeling Carpentier agreed with me. His grand hero Victor Hugues (based on a real Caribbean revolutionary) slowly became a weak, hypocritical, glory hound. He seemed to only care that he was standing for something rather than that he was standing for something worth standing for.

Though Hugues was in all essence a secondary character (though an incredibly important and influential one) with respect to the main family of characters, he seemed more deeply drawn. Esteban and Sophia never seem to figure themselves out enough to pull me to them. Esteban especially seemed to just enjoy playing devil's advocate and enjoying the downfall of others.

I'm sure I'm forgetting how beautifully these characters were drawn as I waited a whole two days before writing this review, but the two main characters' motivations seemed ephemeral and transitory.

I did enjoy the book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Latin American literature about revolutions.
Annabelle
Carpentier creates a multi-layered archetypal tale of the 1780’s when the French Revolution spilled over to the Caribbean. It is a historical drama, a love story to the sensual, evocative beauty of the Caribbean, an archetypal drama of man, woman, monster and earth, and a love story between cousins. There are three orphans a sister and brother, SoFia and Carlos,and their cousin, Estaban,who are left alone in Havana with the wealth of a mercantile business. They create an eccentric world of play Carpentier creates a multi-layered archetypal tale of the 1780’s when the French Revolution spilled over to the Caribbean. It is a historical drama, a love story to the sensual, evocative beauty of the Caribbean, an archetypal drama of man, woman, monster and earth, and a love story between cousins. There are three orphans a sister and brother, SoFia and Carlos,and their cousin, Estaban,who are left alone in Havana with the wealth of a mercantile business. They create an eccentric world of play and leftist politics, when this world is invaded by Victor, the uber man, who inspires them with revolutionary ideas. There are many comings and going with Estaban stuck in Europe and seeing the hypocrisy and power plays in the revolution, and Victor defeating the British in Guadeloupe, a French territory, and freeing slaves and then later pirating other islands and reinstituting slavery .The history and the role of the free masons and the waves of coups within the French revolution, and the extreme violence of using the guillotine to kill former revolutionaries, and the transcendental earth wisdom of the blacks of Cuba are fascinating. In the end it seemed to me it was about heroism, and the Estaban thought he was a hero of the revolution, then became cynical by the hypocrisy, loss of principles, and killing, but becomes a true hero by saving SoFia. Is personal or social revolution necessary/
Mauricio Mustre
This novel, to many considered as Carpentier's masterpiece, is a story about -an against- revolutions and revolutionary hot air. It is centered around the true events of the French Revolution's impact on its american colonies, specifically those of the Antilles.

The three main characters on this novel (Esteban, Sofía and Victor Hughes) all experiment some great changes throughout the book, changes that are influenced, of course, by their experiences on the different stages of the revolution. This This novel, to many considered as Carpentier's masterpiece, is a story about -an against- revolutions and revolutionary hot air. It is centered around the true events of the French Revolution's impact on its american colonies, specifically those of the Antilles.

The three main characters on this novel (Esteban, Sofía and Victor Hughes) all experiment some great changes throughout the book, changes that are influenced, of course, by their experiences on the different stages of the revolution. This confirms that Carpentier is a great character developer, as these characters are also very different on their arguments at some points and the reader can understand, clearly and completely, why they think the way they do. Is kind of like a movie where you identify with both the hero and the villian, since you understand their motivations.

The style might be too baroque for a person not used to Latinamerican literature, but, as the author says, the lush Caribbean has played a big role in developing the prose of latin writers and the coming, later on the 20th century, of magical realism.

One interesting fact, shared to me by a teacher, is that Carpentier wrote this antirevolutionary novel amidst the Cuban Revolution, a fact that caused him some problems with Fidel's government and had him reconsider his thesis.
Adobe
As revolution sweeps back and forth across the Atlantic at the conclusion of the 18th century, two Cuban cousins witness a world trembling between rebirth and regression.

Sofia is the most perfect literary protagonist I can remember reading this semester. I suppose you could make a case for Victor or Esteban dominating the narrative, but Sofia is clearly the narrative's center: she is the one who develops a firm and unyielding moral code, and it is only through her that Esteban recovers from his As revolution sweeps back and forth across the Atlantic at the conclusion of the 18th century, two Cuban cousins witness a world trembling between rebirth and regression.

Sofia is the most perfect literary protagonist I can remember reading this semester. I suppose you could make a case for Victor or Esteban dominating the narrative, but Sofia is clearly the narrative's center: she is the one who develops a firm and unyielding moral code, and it is only through her that Esteban recovers from his post-Victor cynicism. Even aside from its artistic ambition, Explosion in a Cathedral is stuffed with technical achievements, ranging from how the three narratives (Carlos, Sofia, Esteban) envelope one another to the single point where the narrative jumps from Sofia to Esteban. In the leap, the narrative elides a pivotal event so effortlessly that the reader only realizes the omission alongside Esteban a hundred pages later.
Francisco Silva
Una novela que narra la influencia de la Revolución Francesa en el Caribe y como las corrientes de la libertad, primeramente con buenas intenciones, terminan torciéndose en desmedro de ídolos caídos y las erratas cíclicas que terminan en lugares -lamentablemente- comunes: derrames de sangre, esclavismo e intereses creados .

Serán los personajes, sin embargo, los que acusen en mayor medida esta interacción con los movimientos del mundo, siendo Victor Hughes quien más acuse como la maquinaria del Una novela que narra la influencia de la Revolución Francesa en el Caribe y como las corrientes de la libertad, primeramente con buenas intenciones, terminan torciéndose en desmedro de ídolos caídos y las erratas cíclicas que terminan en lugares -lamentablemente- comunes: derrames de sangre, esclavismo e intereses creados .

Serán los personajes, sin embargo, los que acusen en mayor medida esta interacción con los movimientos del mundo, siendo Victor Hughes quien más acuse como la maquinaria del poder van socavándolo poco a poco, así como Sofia, poseedora de un espíritu que anhela recorrer el ancho mundo, se ve atada a una casa de la que busca ,con oculto brío, escapar.

Hace años me la recomendaron, asociándola con 'Cien Años de soledad' , yo -personalmente- no llegaría a tanto, más sigue siendo un buen libro con personajes atados a su época y con el salvaje paisaje del caribe de fondo.
Nabor Garrido
Publicada en 1962, en esta novela Alejo Carpentier recorre el Caribe, después de llevarnos a Francia y España, siguiendo el rastro de la diseminación de los ideales libertarios de la Revolución Francesa encarnados en Víctor Hughes (http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_H...), un personaje que sí existió y del que el escritor reinventa gran parte de su vida.

La erudición lexicográfica de Carpentier es tan abrumadora como la naturaleza tropical donde transcurre la mayor parte de la novela.

Aunque quis Publicada en 1962, en esta novela Alejo Carpentier recorre el Caribe, después de llevarnos a Francia y España, siguiendo el rastro de la diseminación de los ideales libertarios de la Revolución Francesa encarnados en Víctor Hughes (http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_H...), un personaje que sí existió y del que el escritor reinventa gran parte de su vida.

La erudición lexicográfica de Carpentier es tan abrumadora como la naturaleza tropical donde transcurre la mayor parte de la novela.

Aunque quise encontrar lazos de consanguineidad literaria con otros autores del "boom" latinoamericano, el principal es la voz que surge desde este continente, a pesar de que las propuestas políticas y sociales hayan surgido en Europa, sobre todo en Francia.

Esta es una lectura indispensable para entender la literatura latinoamericana.
Elisa
Es la primera vez que leo a Carpentier, después de mucho hablar de él, y creo que sus alabanzas son bien merecidas.

Este libro cuenta la historia de lo que estaba sucediendo en América (específicamente, en Cuba y las Antillas) poco antes, durante y después de que estallara la Revolución Francesa. Está basada en hechos reales, en la vida de un Victor Hugues.

No es una biografía, ni mucho menos un recuento histórico. En momentos me recordó a Cien Años de Soledad.

Pero algo que creo que es y sigue Es la primera vez que leo a Carpentier, después de mucho hablar de él, y creo que sus alabanzas son bien merecidas.

Este libro cuenta la historia de lo que estaba sucediendo en América (específicamente, en Cuba y las Antillas) poco antes, durante y después de que estallara la Revolución Francesa. Está basada en hechos reales, en la vida de un Victor Hugues.

No es una biografía, ni mucho menos un recuento histórico. En momentos me recordó a Cien Años de Soledad.

Pero algo que creo que es y sigue siendo un error en el que caen casi todos los escritores latinoamericanos es en el estilo pomposo de escribir, usando palabrotas y descripciones enmarañadas. En lo que siempre aciertan, eso sí, es en la construcción de los personajes. Mucho drama, mucha personalidad, mucho conflicto y eso es lo que lo hace interesante.
Omar Alfaro
Los libros de Alejo Carpentier son la prueba de que uno nunca termina de aprender algo del todo. Yo particularmente aprendí a través de este libro, y otros del mismo autor, que no he terminado de aprender el idioma español, a pesar de haber nacido y crecido en Costa Rica. La expresión escrita de este autor es simplemente perfecta, elegancia pura. La historia es muy interesante y tiene uno de los mejores personajes que ha creado la literatura (Victor Hughes). Leer a Alejo es una obligación como l Los libros de Alejo Carpentier son la prueba de que uno nunca termina de aprender algo del todo. Yo particularmente aprendí a través de este libro, y otros del mismo autor, que no he terminado de aprender el idioma español, a pesar de haber nacido y crecido en Costa Rica. La expresión escrita de este autor es simplemente perfecta, elegancia pura. La historia es muy interesante y tiene uno de los mejores personajes que ha creado la literatura (Victor Hughes). Leer a Alejo es una obligación como latino, y si solo puede escoger una de sus obras, que sea esta. Advertencia: tenga un diccionario a la mano al momento de leer esta novela.
Ernesto
Tiene demasiado...exageradamente Barroca para mi gusto, prácticamente abarca muchas de las tesis expuestas por este escritor. En ciertos momentos se vuelve una situación inmanejable para cualquier lector. Además, en ocasiones uno no se percata en que momento pasa de ser una novela de tres niños abandonados a una de viajes, luego a una de piratería, luego a una de revolución y así sucesivamente...
Marlobo
Mientras me gustó el contenido, porque hay una historia interesante de seguir y significados para descubrir, el barroquismo del lenguaje, con un regodeo tal en preciosimos que termina pareciendo vanidad, hizo que leerla y terminarla fuera un verdadero esfuerzo.

No es que necesite que me hablen con palabras cortas y sencillas, simplemente no me gustan los estilos recargados en música, artes visuales o literatura.
Karen
So far, so good. The first sixty pages remind me a lot of the movie The Dreamers, two young guys and a girl in a house by themselves, away from reality (where Revolution is brewing and big changes are imminent), responsible adults, and around the same time period (this is 1962 and The Dreamers is 1968).
These three people play childish games and build their own little world, experiments, and scenarios. A four character just arrived so we'll see what happens...
Fer Qc
Excelente novela historica cuyos dos temas principales son, por una parte la revolución, con sus excesos y reacciones (tanto en Europa como en las colonias caribeñas), y la libertad individual (tema que va cobrando cada vez mayor importancia según va avanzando la narración y que conduce a un final apoteósico).
Dina
Me gusta mucho la prosa de Carpentier, las descripciones son hermosas, escoge muy bien sus palabras, pero la historia me pareció algo aburrida. Si son más de historias algo planas pero con mucha prosa les gustará mucho este libro. En lo personal, yo espero mucho no solo de la narrativa también de la historia. Le doy 3.5
Andrés Culebro
Victor Hughes, el personaje principal de la novela, nos demuestra lo que fue la dicotomía y transformación de la Revolución Francesa, como empieza con un idealismo casi romántico y termina con la hipocresía, el cinismo y el terror, algo muy parecido a los acontecimientos actuales. Un libro para pacientes pero que uno disfruta...
Damian Murphy
Set (mostly) in the Caribbean during and after the French Revolution, the theme of this story is the line between realism and idealization in times of political upheaval, highlighting especially the dangers of fanaticism and blind loyalty to a cause. The writing is exquisitely beautiful, staggering even! Recommended.
AdN
Excelente prosa la de Alejo Carpentier que nos lleva por una historia sobre la revolución francesa basada en un personaje real (Victor Hugues). En esta novela encontraremos rastros de la influencia de la revolución en la América Latina, hecho que me pareció estupendo pues me permitió viajar mágicamente por una Venezuela del siglo XVIII descrita por este autor a través de sus bellezas naturales.
Wendy
This is an extremely impressive novel but it doesn't win your heart the way The Kingdom of This World does. The plot structure is somewhat contrived although the interpretation of the main character is historically accurate. If you want to learn the history of the Caribbean at the turn of the 18th century, this is surely the pleasantest way to do it.
Kathy Reback
This novel captures both the historical impact of the French Revolution on the Caribbean Islands as well as the psyches of individual characters. It is surprising that after describing the tyranny of various regimes so vividly that the author remained a lifelong Communist.
Osmany Aguilar
Este libro es extraordinario tiene dos cosas que lo hacen muy recomendable. Por un lado, la prosa del autor, digna de leer, y por otro, que nos muestra la repercusión de un acontecimiento histórico en un contexto diferente al que estamos habituados a verlo y a entenderlo.
Mike Huff
So glad that University of Minnesota Press got this translation back in print. I devoured this novel (in English) the summer I studied Spanish, and I *lived* the world Carpentier created. Best historical fiction I ever read.
Riley Vermilya
This was a pretty deep read for summer, but being the history lover that I am I trudged through it and appreciate the message and wealth of information it provided.
Jon Marc Smith
Not nearly as good as I expected or wanted it to be. The milieu is cool and interesting, but the plot was entirely too diffuse and the characters just never came alive for me.
Gabriel
Supuestamente basado en un personaje verdadero que trajo la revolucion francesa a las antillas
Claudia Buscaglia
Not for everyone. A little dense for a summer read but I found this novel about the Caribbean during the French Revolution to be fascinating and rich in description.

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