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Preview — Los de abajo by Mariano Azuela. Los de abajo by Mariano Azuela. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published August 1st by Penguin Books Ltd first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Los de abajo , please sign up. Is it also in Hebrew? See 1 question about Los de abajo….
Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Los de abajo. What he saw and later wrote about soured him on the Revolution. He came to believe that the social justice being promoted by the revolt was equalized by the evils occurring.
That means fighting. Against whom? For whom? That is scarcely a matter of importance. Then the burn the mansion. Sometimes they shoot the priest. The carry on with willing and year old girls who are already prostitutes. Whereas early in the Revolution the villagers welcomed them with church bells, flags, music and parades, now they hide in the hills.
The ideals of the Revolution have disintegrated into serial episodes of debauchery as the army travels from village to village. The ending speaks volumes view spoiler [The general is shot and killed after leading his men into an ambush. Of the other three main characters, two stab each other to death over a gambling dispute and the third kills himself. The book is short with a lot of dialogue. Top photo Mexican rebels from fineartamerica. View all 11 comments.
And I thought Blood Meridian was bleak View 2 comments. A novella set in Mexico during the Revolution of the early 20th century. I assume some of these were incorporated into the novel. Cervantes pretends to be a convert to the revolutionary cause, although in reality he deserted the government army for personal reasons. Demetrio is completely uneducated but ferocious in battle and skilled in tactics.
Mostly they became outlaws almost by accident — by getting drunk and fighting with a policeman, or arguing with a landowner, and so on. Becoming a revolutionary allows each man to take back his pride. They spurred their horses to a gallop as if in that mad race they laid claims of possession to the earth. What man among them now remembered the stern chief of police, the growling policeman, or the conceited cacique? What man remembered his pitiful hut where he slaved away, always under the eyes of the owner or the ruthless and sullen foreman, always forced to rise before dawn, and to take up his shovel, basket, or goad, wearing himself out to earn a mere pitcher of atole and a handful of beans?
Whenever the group captures a town, they take great delight in robbing, beating, humiliating and murdering the inhabitants. They seek to live simply by plunder. The author gives us a vision of a sort of Hobbesian anarchy, where the only laws are those of the gun and the fist, and where the most violent people in society are free to do whatever they want. After all, Azuela was there. View all 8 comments. Mar 02, E. View 1 comment.
Apr 09, Mochizuki rated it really liked it Shelves: hispano-american. First of all, this is NOT a history book. If you're interested in learning about the Mexican Revolution pick up a history book. Second of all, you didn't get the point. It's not about the life of rural Mexico, or how people lived, or how they lost their ideals.
It's about joining "la bola" the mass of people fighting for no particular reason. The "campesinos" didn't really join the fight because they believed they were getting land and freedom, they joined because they believed in their leaders, First of all, this is NOT a history book. The "campesinos" didn't really join the fight because they believed they were getting land and freedom, they joined because they believed in their leaders, joining the fight for the love of their "jefe" or simply to join "la bola".
I'm sure many of you will disagree with me, and I'm sure there were exceptions to what I'm saying, but I'm only commenting on what Mariano Azuela was trying to get across; don't forget, Azuela fought in the war. An important book this, and one that has been poorly translated in the past, so I advise you not to read the free versions out there. As always with Norton, there are some great essays and other contextual docs here which provide much needed background and additional detail for those of us not too familiar with the Mexican Revolution.
The novel or, really, novella is well written and punchy - comparisons to the short sentences of Hemingway are not misplaced. Dec 31, Nathan "N. Stop eating meat! Save the planet! Or, down with racism! Down with sexism! Down with ablism! Social Justice Now!!! But you turn out looking just like The Enemy you sought to unseat! Yes of course. And so a novel of a moment of history, a tectonic moment like all revolutionary moments ; an opening in history for hope.
The hope is dashed, we predict so well in hindsight. And those despicable creatures ; they no longer fight for The Cause but for money! Why did they even bother? The French Communists published an edition of Los de abajo. The French Monarchists hailed it as blow for the Reactionary Cause!!!
That seems to be the place a novel qua novel ought to find itself. Imagine an African novel hailed by both Fanon and William F Buckley as primping their respective causes. And though there is hope to be found. There was The Year of Dreaming Dangerously. And yet unredeemed. But its ripples have brought Sanders to the fore.
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The fiery idealism that has scorched the foundations of power now threatens to erupt into an inferno of anarchic rage, and the revolution that the common people had hailed as a blessing seems likely to transform into the blackest of curses. A dedicated foe of the privileged classes who dominated Mexico throughout his youth, Azuela had been stirred by the promise of radical political change that he saw in the Mexican revolution. Nevertheless, The Underdogs is neither a sentimental memoir nor a one-sided, political propagandistic tract. An uncompromising artist, Azuela eschewed such simplicity.
The Underdogs Reader’s Guide
Principia Press Trinity University new translation based on edition University of California Press translation based on the original version Penguin Based on edition. The Underdogs Spanish : Los de abajo is a novel by Mexican author Mariano Azuela which tells the story of a group of commoners who are dragged into the Mexican Revolution and the changes in their psyche due to living through the conflict. It is heavily influenced by the author's experiences during the revolution, where he participated as a medical officer for Pancho Villa 's Northern Division. The novel was the first of its kind to be translated into English, as part of a project sponsored by the Mexican Government and the Mexican Renaissance intellectual movement to promote Mexico as a literature-creating country. It had been previously well received by American critics like Earl K. James from the New York Times in  so the translation project went on and was released in by Brentanno's Books, at the time, the largest bookstore chain in the US.