As the novel opens, Artemio Cruz, the all-powerful newspaper magnate and land baron, lies confined to his bed and, in dreamlike flashes, recalls the pivotal episodes of his life. Carlos Fuentes manipulates the ensuing kaleidoscope of images with dazzling inventiveness, layering memory upon memory, from Cruz's heroic campaigns during the Mexican Revolution, through his relentless climb from poverty to wealth, to his uneasy death. Perhaps Fuentes's masterpiece, The Death of Artemio Cruz is a haunting voyage into the soul of modern Mexico.
About the Author
Carlos Fuentes (1928-2012) was one of the most influential and celebrated voices in Latin American literature. He was the author of 24 novels, including Aura, The Old Gringo and Terra Nostra, and also wrote numerous plays, short stories, and essays. He received the 1987 Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's highest literary honor.
Fuentes was born in Panama City, the son of Mexican parents, and moved to Mexico as a teenager. He served as an ambassador to England and France, and taught at universities including Harvard, Princeton, Brown and Columbia. He died in Mexico City in 2012.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Tour de Force allegory that explores the complexities of Mexican national identity. The complicated narrative (divided into a third person omniscient that retells the key moments in AC's life; the 1st person stream-of-conscious rants of the bed-ridden and dying AC; and the 2nd person self-recriminations of AC's conscience) invites comparisons to W. E. B. DuBois's notion of double-consciousness. This is a difficult book, but an important book. Nonetheless, beyond the technical dexterity of Fuentes style, the tales, particularly the 3rd person stories that make of the bulk of the novel, are quite compelling in their own right: battles in Spain and Mexico, intrigues with American business, not to mention the clumsy love affairs AC continually finds himself in all make for compulsive reading. That Fuentes overlays Cruz's biography on top of the key moments of Mexican history generates even more interest. A truly amazing book.