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Burnt Water by Carlos Fuentes

Burnt Water

by Carlos Fuentes

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Burnt Water, Carlos Fuentes's collection of short stories, refers to the smell of lake Texcoco, as Mexico City, then Tenochtitlan, once sat upon an island upon that lake during the time of the Aztecs. Burnt Water is Fuentes's Burnt Offering to this grand and sprawling city. He has a critical eye. The city and its people are in physical and moral decline. Neighborhoods and streets are described vividly as are its inhabitants, but ugliness, is pervasive in people and places. The city's beauty is past or bounded. Death, thievery, poverty, religious hypocrisy, and criminality are rampant. There is more realism than magic in these stories. The writing is excellent, as is the translation, however it's challenging reading, made more so by obscure references to Mexican history and culture. It is worth it to persevere and learn these sad lessons about this country and its people that you are not likely to gain in school. ( )
  OccassionalRead | Dec 3, 2013 |
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The rich and the poor, the noble and the brutish, and street kids and aesthetes find themselves portrayed in four short stories examining the life of Mexico City before the Mexican Revolution.

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