Destiny and Desire

Destiny and Desire

Carlos Fuentes Edith Grossman / Apr 04, 2020

Destiny and Desire Winner of the Cervantes Prize Carlos Fuentes one of the world s most acclaimed authors is at the height of his powers in this stunning new novel a magnificent epic of passion magic and desire in m

  • Title: Destiny and Desire
  • Author: Carlos Fuentes Edith Grossman
  • ISBN: 9781400068807
  • Page: 124
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Winner of the Cervantes Prize Carlos Fuentes, one of the world s most acclaimed authors, is at the height of his powers in this stunning new novel a magnificent epic of passion, magic, and desire in modern Mexico, a rich and remarkable tapestry set in a world where free will fights with the wishes of the gods.Josu Nadal has lost than his innocence He has been robbeWinner of the Cervantes Prize Carlos Fuentes, one of the world s most acclaimed authors, is at the height of his powers in this stunning new novel a magnificent epic of passion, magic, and desire in modern Mexico, a rich and remarkable tapestry set in a world where free will fights with the wishes of the gods.Josu Nadal has lost than his innocence He has been robbed of his life and his posthumous narration sets the tone for a brilliantly written novel that blends mysticism and realism Josu tells of his fateful meeting as a skinny, awkward teen with Jeric , the vigorous boy who will become his twin, his best friend, and his shadow Both orphans, the two young men intend to spend their lives in intellectual pursuit until they enter an adult landscape of sex, crime, and ambition that will test their pledge and alter their lives forever.Idealistic Josu goes to work for a high tech visionary whose stunning assistant will introduce him to a life of desire cynical Jeric is enlisted by the Mexican president in a scheme to sell happiness to the impoverished masses On his journey into a web of illegality in which he will be estranged from Jeric , Josu is aided and impeded by a cast of unforgettable characters a mad, imprisoned murderer with a warning of revenge, an elegant aviatrix and addict seeking to be saved, a prostitute shared by both men who may have murdered her way into a brilliant marriage, and the prophet Ezekiel himself.Mixing ancient mythologies with the sensuousness and avarice and need of the twenty first century, Destiny and Desire is a monumental achievement from one of the masters of contemporary literature.

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    About "Carlos Fuentes Edith Grossman"

      • Carlos Fuentes Edith Grossman

        Carlos Fuentes Mac as was a Mexican writer and one of the best known novelists and essayists of the 20th century in the Spanish speaking world Fuentes influenced contemporary Latin American literature, and his works have been widely translated into English and other languages.Fuentes was born in Panama City, Panama his parents were Mexican Due to his father being a diplomat, during his childhood he lived in Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro, Washington, Santiago and Buenos Aires In his adolescence, he returned to Mexico, where he lived until 1965 He was married to film star Rita Macedo from 1959 till 1973, although he was an habitual philanderer and allegedly, his affairs which he claimed include film actresses such as Jeanne Moreau and Jean Seberg brought her to despair The couple ended their relationship amid scandal when Fuentes eloped with a very pregnant and then unknown journalist named Silvia Lemus They were eventually married Following in the footsteps of his parents, he also became a diplomat in 1965 and served in London, Paris as ambassador , and other capitals In 1978 he resigned as ambassador to France in protest over the appointment of Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, former president of Mexico, as ambassador to Spain He also taught courses at Brown, Princeton, Harvard, Penn, George Mason, Columbia and Cambridge Carlos Fuentes Mac as fue un escritor mexicano y uno de los novelistas y ensayistas m s conocidos en el mundo de habla espa ola Fuentes influy en la literatura contempor nea de Am rica Latina, y sus obras han sido ampliamente traducidas al ingl s y otros idiomas Fuentes naci en la ciudad de Panam , Panam , sus padres eran mexicanos Debido a su padre era un diplom tico, durante su infancia vivi en Montevideo, R o de Janeiro, Washington, Santiago y Buenos Aires En su adolescencia regres a M xico, donde vivi hasta 1965 Estuvo casado con la estrella de cine Rita Macedo de 1959 hasta 1973, aunque era un mujeriego habitual y, al parecer, sus asuntos que se ha cobrado incluyen actrices como Jeanne Moreau y Jean Seberg, su llevados a la desesperaci n La pareja termin su relaci n en medio del esc ndalo, cuando Fuentes se fug con un periodista muy embarazada y entonces desconocido de nombre Silvia Lemus Se casaron finalmente Siguiendo los pasos de sus padres, tambi n se convirti en un diplom tico en 1965 y sirvi en Londres, Par s como embajador , y otras capitales En 1978 renunci al cargo de embajador en Francia en protesta por el nombramiento de Gustavo D az Ordaz, ex presidente de M xico, como embajador en Espa a.


    116 Comments

    1. I wish I could give this book 5 stars. I wish I had loved this book. It is brilliant, genius perhapsbut incredibly boring. It started off well enough- who can't get into a book written by the narrators severed head? But then it plodded on and on and on and on and drowned me in it's newspaper like delivery of Mexican politics and antiquated philosophy. Maybe I am not smart enough to fully appreciate this bookor perhaps not old enough. I am one of those people that feels compelled to finish a book [...]


    2. No, I'm not done with this book. I'm 50 pages in. And on a three month "break" from law school (read: internship) I'm not about to waste my time with this. I get it. It's pretty words. They are nice, but really, really, every paragraph doesn't have to be so intense and deep that I can't actually grasp what is going on with the characters. I can tell from the reviews as well, it's not going to get any better. So, perhaps I will revisit the entire book one day, but from the 50 pages I've read, it [...]


    3. The most recent Fuentes book was awesome. Couldn't put the book down.It begins with a decappitated head washing up on a shore near Acupulco Mexico. Obviously the reader wants to know what happened? It may seem obvious in light of the Mexican drug cartel violence but the story is more about power and politics. Fuentes recountes the tale through this head as the story of two men, Josue and Jerico. Josue is the head and how he got here is surprizing.Returning to his motif on corrupt familes, he use [...]


    4. A difficult but ultimately very rewarding novel. The pairs are dizzying, and spirals into 3s 4s and mores. Politics, philosophy and the nature of storytelling battle to draw for center stage. Colorful, engaging characters galore. Fuentes demands knowledge of (or at least serious thinking about) the Bible, Greek legend, St Augustine, Nietzsche, Spinoza, Mexican politics and more. A novel about everything that somehow manages at the same to time to stick to its knitting. And how can you argue with [...]


    5. Definitely not a beach book! I plodded along for the first 200 pages, but then more things began to fall into place as I realized that Fuentos was writing an allegory about Mexico, about both the past as well as the current system of elites in running (ruining) the country. I'm headed to to look up some of the mythic figures, Castor and Polllux, etc that are central to the novel. I probably respected the book and the writer more than I actually enjoyed reading it, however.


    6. 2011, Εκδόσεις ΚαστανιώτηΗ επιμέλεια ελλιπής Άλλοτε εξαιρετικά δυνατό, σε σημεία κουραστικό και με σταδιακές "αποκαλύψεις" που δε μου κέντρισαν το ενδιαφέρον. Ωστόσο περιέχει σημεία εσωτερικής αναζήτησης και αγωνίας-χαστούκι για τον αναγνώστη. Η πραγματική βαθμολογία μου θ [...]


    7. A very flowery novel, and one with many digressions. Not bad by any sense, just talky. I'll give Fuentes another try some day.


    8. I actually could not get through the entire book. I got 3/4 of the way through but a little less than halfway through I realized I'm not attached to any characters. The story drags and while the prose is beautiful (Edith grossman is an incredibly talented translator), my interest dissipated and I felt like I was reading just to get to the end.


    9. I read the book in its Greek translation. Once I started, I couldn't stop.Many times I felt like reading poetry. It's the kind of book that calls you to read it again.Powerful, till the last word.


    10. "Elvira Rios, the whore with the bee, my current ball-and-chain, Lucha Zapata, paled in comparison with this woman-object, this beautiful thing, attractive, sophisticated, elegant, and supremely desirable." (183).".cally there is no whore who does not aspire to matrimony. It infuriates them that men don't call them 'women' but 'broads.' Being a 'broad' is being a whore, trash, tamale wrapper, mole pot. Being a 'woman' is being a girlfriend who can become a wife and mother" (205)."Asunta stopped [...]


    11. I’m afraid I have another negative review to write, and in this case, it’s a book I couldn’t finish. I made it about 160 pages out of over 400 into Carlos Fuentes’s new novel Destiny and Desire (which I won from ) and decided to call it quits. I’m not one to abandon books often or easily, and I really wanted to finish this one, to see if the pace would ever pick up or if my interest would sharpen, but during the last ten or twenty pages, I was beginning to positively hate the book, so [...]


    12. I've always said to myself that I would read Fuentes, and winning a First Read copy of his newest novel, Destiny and Desire, finally forced me to walk my talk. What an alternatively confusing, exhilarating, surprising, and twisted novel. I'm glad to have won and glad to have read, even if my admiration for the novel's intricacies overwhelms my enjoyment of it.Narrated by Josue Nadal's head, languishing now on the coast of Guerrero, the novel tells the story of Josue and his sometime friend and s [...]


    13. When discussed only in terms of its plot details, D&D sounds like a telenovela, one that incorporates everything from Mexico's richest man, to the presidential office, to whorehouses, prisons, and colleges, with plenty of sex, murder, betrayal, and long-lost siblings to spice things up. And if that weren't enough, the whole thing is narrated by a severed head. What distinguishes Fuentes' novel from a soap opera is the language he uses to tell it, and the heady discussions of philosophy, poli [...]


    14. Overall, Destiny and Desire was an interesting novel. However, I plodded my way through many parts of it and wasn't thrilled about pulling it out and continuing. The style was often rambling and repetitious, leading me to look ahead to see how long this part was going to be. The beginning was unusual, the decapitated narrator, Josue, introducing himself and saving the circumstances until the end. The plot begins in high school with Josue being bullied for the size of his nose and being rescued b [...]


    15. To be honest, Carlos Fuente's Destiny and Desire felt like assigned reading. I had to struggle through much of it. The first few pages open with a severed head telling the story of how it came to be a severed head which his the high concept sort of novel that some readers will find brilliant, and others like myself may find frustrating. Also when you give away the death of the protagonist on page 2, it is really hard to get the narrative tension back. I never felt like a had a grip on the story, [...]


    16. La fel cum literatura noastră încă mai stă agăţată de teme desprinse din experienţa comunismului, literatura mexicană (şi cea sud-americană, prin extensie) continuă să fie dominată de trimiteri la politic, la social, la corupţie, la violenţă de toate felurile. Unele mai subtile, altele nu. Este şi cazul literaturii lui Carlos Fuentes. Şi am punctat asta nu ca pe un minus. În fond, stă în puterea scriitorului să te facă să treci graniţa dintre real şi ficţiune, dintre [...]


    17. Destiny & Desire surprised. The plot is simple, yet the book runs over 400 pages. The contrast jars with earlier, shorter Fuentes works like Aura, which was a gem of subtlety. From a writer less skilled than Carlos Fuentes, Destiny & Desire would be an epic disaster. Yet, though he is a bit repetitive and tangential for my tastes (want Fuentes's views on religion? Check. Mexican politics? Covered. The philosophy of Spinoza? Bueno. The Mexican economy? Got it. The Iraqi Invasion? Sure.), [...]


    18. Destiny and Desire is a postmodern telling of a classic tale of friendship and betrayal between two men set in modern Mexico City. Critics agreed that Fuentes is impressive in his mastery not only of Mexican politics and history but also in his knowledge of philosophy and literary devices. JosuŽ and Jeric— are incarnations of Castor and Pollux, or perhaps Cain and Abel, and the novel discusses everything from St. Augustine to Justin Timberlake. Fuentes' digressions constitute a fine display o [...]


    19. Most everything I've read about Carlos Fuentes says that he's a superb and fascinating writer. This is why I decided to check out a third book written by him. However, I stopped reading this book after a few chapters. The story was pretty boring and the writing was just not interesting enough to keep me reading the book. I don't know what it is with Carlos Fuentes and his stories. However, they just don't seem to appeal to me. Living close to Mexico (on the US border), and having traveled to Mex [...]


    20. How to characterize this book? Interesting, enigmatic, enthralling, difficult. Mystery, history, philosophy, religion, and mythology all come into play. I learned a lot. I'm also certain I missed a lot. Magical realism and stream of consciousness intertwine with straightforward story-telling. Sometimes the intertwining plots reminded me of Dickens. The story is narrated by Josue Nadal's severed head, giving an interesting vantage point. (This is not a spoiler, because you learn this in the first [...]


    21. The fault, I confess, lies with me.I couldn’t get into Carlos Fuentes’ Destiny and Desire. Though I read the book from the first page to the last, it was a struggle. I’m not sure why. I have no doubt that it is a great book, and I know others have enjoyed reading it, but it didn’t suit me. Was it the magical realistic style? Probably not since I enjoyed other novels in that style, like Gabriel Garcia Márquez’s One Hundred Year of Solitude. Was it the prose dominated by long, winding s [...]


    22. well huh. It took a lot of energy to read this book. I think I liked parts of it, and found myself curious enough to finish it. There were a couple of twists I didn't see coming so that is a good sign but for me it felt like a chore to read, which is why such a low score. I kept trying to blame my sickness as to why I hadn't finished it yet but on reflection I think it was the translation. It wasn't just a straight translation of the words but a modernization and translation of the novel which i [...]


    23. Otro gran libro de Fuentes. Un libro interesante que no me decepcionó pero que tampoco me asombró en gran medida, requiere de una lectura rigurosa y de un mínimo conocimiento en filosofía para entenderle el "chiste" al libro y que al final puede terminar siendo una lectura gratificante. Como siempre el autor mantiene una suerte de fidelidad en la que México es el sempiterno protagonista en su obra a través de las cabezas y las voces de los personajes que vienen de todas las clases sociales [...]


    24. As soon as I picked up this book, I was reminded of how long it had been since I have read something by a truly great author. Fuentes is a master and Destiny and Desire is a challenging and satisfying read. My five-star measure is whether I would want to read a book again and this is one that I finished and wanted to start over again from the beginning, taking more time and exploring all of the symbolism. I have a feeling this is a book that can be read over and over again, discovering something [...]


    25. This is a beautifully deep book. Unfortunately, at times it is both too beautiful and too deep for its own good. At times it seems the author (even accounting for translation) is trying too hard to write Literature, instead of concentrating on the story. And this is a shame, because the story is a good one, the characters flawed and interesting, the settings magnificent (if over-described). In short, style gets in the way on this one.I received this book for free from First-Reads. Thanks.


    26. An interesting premise—the story consists of the reminiscences and musings of a decapitated head. Gorgeous writing very admirably translated by Edith Grossman. The narrative is meandering but interesting.I’m about two-thirds of the way through, and I’m waiting for the story to pull itself together into something cohesive, but I just don’t see that happening. I don't think I'll finish. Overall, my verdict is that this novel is entertaining but also frustrating. There are seeds of greatnes [...]


    27. I was so excited to win this one on GoodReads FirstReads but sadly couldn't make it through. I'm typically a fairly speedy reader, but to get 270 pages in after starting it over a month ago, is a telling sign that's it's just not my kind of book. There were moments that truly captured my interest (I found the character of Lucha Zapata fascinating!) and Fuentes certainly has a gift with language; however, what was sometimes lush description often became tedious, dull, and hard to follow. I respec [...]


    28. This took so long to get through! I really like the style of Latin American (especially Mexican) writing, which explores their past as it looms over their present, invokes religious figures and mythology, and presents human sexuality in a very blunt way. However, I think I am going to stick to shorts stories from now on. This book's several storylines took too long to dovetail and the exit of one of the main characters was lackluster for me. Whew! I'm glad it's over.


    29. Como siempre, Fuentes nos da muestras de su brillante capacidad narrativa en una de sus novelas mas densas pero no por ello menor. Aunque por partes la lectura se vuelve tediosa, los giros inesperados dentro de la trama despiertan al lectos haciendo profundizar en las reflexiones de los personajes, compartiendo sus sentimientos, angustias y temores. Un retrato de Mexico, desde el microcosmos de los personajes.


    30. I had trouble getting into this book. Every time I picked it up to read it, I fell asleep. While, in the last 50 pages, it finally all came together, I believe I missed the point of the book. It took me weeks to finish it.It contains some interesting references from the Bible, from mythology, and from history. I'm sure the author intended more connections from these references to the lives of the characters, although I can't say I 'got' most of them.


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