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La vida del Lazarillo de Tormes
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La vida del Lazarillo de Tormes

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  6,555 ratings  ·  228 reviews
Lázaro es un muchacho desarrapado a quien la miseria obliga a emplearse como sirviente. Las inocentes y a veces justificadas burlas con las que Lázaro se defiende de sus amos son castigadas con una crueldad brutal. Así, garrotazo a garrotazo, la simpleza y credulidad del Lázaro de las primeras páginas ceden paso a la sagacidad y a la astucia propias del más clásico y típic...more
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Published (first published 1554)
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Mike Puma

This one came recommended by Ol’ Soiled Slacks—a neighbor, of sorts, just a short drive from here, a pleasant afternoon’s…wait, no one voluntarily goes to Indiana, anywhere in Indiana. There are scads of Republicans there, fundamentalists aplenty, and a surprising number of nudist camps. The place is scary, and the contents of the water there is suspect at best. In any case.

So here I was, casually making my way through some pretty incredible Latin American authors, occasionally dipping into the

Where reading is concerned, I'm more LOTI than LOL. That's right. I'm admittedly frugal with my outwardly expressed laughter—unlike the normative social behavior these days wherein giggling becomes a nervous tic to punctuate every banal and unfunny comment. Maybe we want life to be funny so we laugh at it whether it is or not. We inflict an impoverished semblance of humor upon the world. And if we don't happen to mirror the laughter of our neighbors when they read one of those dumb jokey chain e...more
I loved this book. Written in the 1550s in Spain before Don Quixote it is a classic picaresque novel and satire. It is anonymous and there is no doubt much scholarly debate about who wrote it.
It is about a boy, Lazaro who is abandoned and has to find work with a series of masters. He is abused and ill-treated and learns to adapt, beg and steal to survive. It is a very clever satire on those in authority, especially the church. The book reminded me of Erasmus and his attack on simony and indulge...more
K.D. Absolutely
May 12, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
If Horace Walpole’s 1764 novel, The Castle of Otranto started the gothic genre, in 1554 Lazarillo de Tormes’ started the picaresque genre. This is the genre where the likes of Don Quixote by Cervantes, Tom Jones by Henry Fielding and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain belong. Oh I have not read any of them yet (shame on me) but aha I have already read The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow!

In picaresque novels, there is a picaro or a rascal exposing the injustices in his society...more
Truly remarkable that this work was first published in 1554. Remarkable also that it became an immediate international success. What that should tell us is that human foibles have not changed since, well, we started recording human foibles.

A small boy, a prostitute's bastard son, makes the best of a brutal existence, mooring to one master after another, doing what it takes to survive. He faces greed and naïveté, pretentiousness and self-loathing, cruelty, and always hunger. He learns well enoug...more
O Lazarilho de Tormes foi publicado, em Espanha, pela primeira vez em 1554. O seu autor é desconhecido (embora nas livrarias portuguesas esteja arquivado na letra T de Tormes em vez de na A de Anónimo). É um romance do género picaresco, narrado na primeira pessoa e em forma epistolar, que relata as aventuras de um miúdo - que tem de sobreviver por sua conta e risco - e das suas tropelias para matar a fome que, permanentemente, o atormenta. Ao longo do seu crescimento, vai-se "ajustando" com vári...more
In the prologue, the author makes mention of fortune and those that are born into it -- rightly stating that little credit is due since luck of the gene pool was partial to them from the start. But what of those Fortune was against?

"Who had nothing to thank but their own labor and skill at the oars for bringing them into a safe harbor?"

What about the Lazaros of life? Born in (yes, in) the Tormes River; son to a morally unrestrained mother and swindler for a father, poor Lazaro was furiously tre...more
Bill  Kerwin

This first picaresque "novel"--more of a novella really--is an excellent introduction to the genre and a very good book on its own merits. It is very funny (I laughed out loud more than a few times, and I don't do that for anybody but Wodehouse). the atmosphere is realistic and gritty, filled with memorable character portraits (the down-at-heels gentleman who would rather starve than reveal his shameful poverty is a particularly notable--and characteristically Spanish--example), and the overall...more
Lazarillo de Tormes, published in 1554, is a book about today.

It's about political, religious and economic elites swindling the gullible masses; about starving people being told by gluttons that they're lucky to be in a land of opportunity. It's about corruption cloaked in respectibility at all socio-economic levels. It's about hyprocrisies and lies and one boy's school-of-hard-knocks education in spotting them and adapting them to his own survival needs.

It's also very funny, shrewd, bawdy and f...more
The past few months have been craptastacular in the life department, a yo-yo of highs and lows that sort of swung out of control and clocked me in the head at concussive force. Duck? Too late. Then at the beginning of the holiday vacation week, I started to get sick and sicker. I watched Forrest Gump through sneezing and mucous and ended up bawling out even more mucous. I tried to watch the Matrix movies but those made me cry, too! Every scene where two people met eyes meaningfully would set me...more
Primo romanzo picaresco, divertente soprattutto perché irriverente. Il giovane e poverissimo Lazaro cerca di sopravvivere offrendo i suoi servizi ai padroni più diversi e rappresentativi di diversi ambiti sociali: un cieco, un prete, uno scudiero, un venditore di bolle papali e altri, che l'autore sfrutta per costruire un'ottima satira sulla società spagnola dell'epoca. Né Lazaro né i suoi padroni potrebbero mai essere citati come esempi di virtù; il protagonista, che racconta le sue avventure i...more
despite being nearly half a millennium old, the life of lazarillo de tormes: his fortunes and adversities remains eminently readable, charming, and more than a little funny. published anonymously in 1554 (the authorship debate rages ever on), the novella was banned and later censored as part of the spanish inquisition for its allegedly heretical content. the life of lazarillo de tormes, credited as being the first picaresque work of fiction, follows the (mis)fortunes of young lázaro, a poor span...more
This, my friends, is the very first picaresque, a favorite genre of mine (character wanders about the countryside, taking up with various characters and occupations and learning the cold, hard facts of life). Why don't I read more of these? I'm glad to say the first of its breed is just as fresh and lively as 'Candide' or 'A Confederacy of Dunces'. One thing that is always made clear in these types of stories is that human behavior hasn't changed much over the centuries, and even though the repr...more
Bill  Kerwin

The first picaresque "novel," "Lazarillo de Tormes"--more of a novella really--is an excellent introduction to the genre and a very good book on its own merits. It is funny (I laughed out loud more than a few times, and I don't do that for anybody but Wodehouse). The atmosphere is realistic and gritty, filled with memorable character portraits (the down-at-heels gentleman who would rather starve than reveal his shameful poverty is a particularly notable--and characteristically Spanish--example),...more
I can't think of anything else written during the 1500's (or probably in any year up to this novella's publication and perhaps a century after) that rolls along in such a delightful, accessible, irreverent and hilarious way. It would be tempting to think that the book was written by a time traveler if it didn't display such an acute awareness of peon-level Europe in the grimy era of indulgences, squires, etc.

A few tastes of our hero's voice:

"Rather than throw the rope after the bucket, the poor...more
Sunny in Wonderland
Sep 26, 2012 Sunny in Wonderland rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 1001 Book List
Thank you, Project Gutenberg!

I have some very well-read GR friends, and yet, not one of them has read this short little book yet. To each of you I say "WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?"

To describe this book as hysterical is understating it. Laugh out loud ridiculousness might be a little closer to accurate. Misfortune LOVES Lazarillo, from the moment his mother sells him to a blind man and he learns to beg, to his marriage to a less than faithful wife, to his becoming rich, then poor, then rich again...more
موريسكو باندوليرو
قبل أن أقرأ هذا الكتاب، قرأت رواية تاريخ حياة البوسكون للشاعر والروائي دي كيفيدو، التي أعجبني فيها الكم الهائل من السخرية والتهكم ... لكن لغتها القديمة الغير مفهومة تجبرك على الخروج من عمق القصة والرجوع إلى هوامش الصفحة لفهم بعض المعاني والمفردات الإسبانية القديمة.

لكن هذه الرواية، "حياة لاثاريو دي طورميس وحظوظه ومحنه"(لكاتب مجهول، يقال أنه أحد الرهبان، لكن أغلبية النقاد يجمعون على أنها رواية مجهولة) تختلف عن البسكون، فهي شيقة من بدايتها إلى نهايتها، ورغم أنها كتبت سبعون سنة قبل الرواية الأخرى، إ...more
'Necio, aprende: que el moço del ciego un punto ha de saber más que el diablo'.

¿Qué puedo decir? Ésta es una de las obras más interesantes de la historia de la literatura hispánica; cada vez que la leo la disfruto y extraigo algo nuevo. Primera novela picaresca del Siglo de Oro español (aunque ya hubiera lejanos antecedentes medievales, como el Arcipreste de Hita), que influyó directamente a muchas obras del siglo XVII. Renacentista, sí, aunque surgida aún en un mundo a caballo entre la Edad Med...more
Kimberly Silva
I enrolled in a Spanish literature class and this book was a must read for the course, and I really enjoyed the book.

I must admit that it was hard reading the book because I thought about Lazarillo who was 8 years old and everything that he was suffering. Just the thought that so many kids in that time and some in our time suffer tremendously in the hands of people that should take care of them.

Anyways, I enjoyed the book and I really do recommend it to anyone.

The only thing is that I did read...more
A lot of fun.

I picked this up because of its influence on Cervantes, which, I was pleased to find, is wonderfully obvious as you read it. This is the beginning of the picaresque tradition, one which continues down to our day, whose most famous latter day examplar is Bellow's Augie March.

As such, everything you need to know about the picaresque as a mode is in here. It is essentially a comedy in that its hero is a low-born orphan boy whose meaning in life is survival, which comes not from fortun...more
Jorge Gómez
Algo extraño me sucedió con este libro, tengo una copia de él en la casa, pero por pura obsesión y curiosidad decidi leer la copia en Castellano que entrega Goodreads. La verdad, el libro me tenia harto, no queria terminarlo, cada vez que tenia tiempo para retomar la lectura, lo evitaba (Me demore 9 días en leerlo, cuando no debiera tomar más que unas horas), pero ya lo he terminado, y me ha dejado con gusto a poco, tal vez, simplemente, no me inmiscuí en el libro desde el comienzo por eso solam...more
Nicholas Beck
This book, which contains two novels, is a great example of what life was like for the poor in Spain during the sixteen century. At times, the stories are dramatic and emotionally intense, and at other times they can be funny in a depressing sort of manner. Overall, the stories are excellent though and were interesting enough to have continued attention throughout both novels. I would recommend this for anyone wanting to learn more about what life was like for those at the bottom of the barrel d...more
Ricardo Alves
Livro anónimo do século XVI, Lazarilho de Tormes inaugura uma das marcas distintivas da literatura espanhola, a novela picaresca.
Lázaro, um habilidoso mal-nascido, sustenta-se como criado de diversas figuras-tipo, normalmente mais malandras do que ele, e que se vão sucedendo: um cego, um clérigo, um escudeiro, um frade, um proclamador de bulas, um capelão e um aguazil. Com excepção do escudeiro, pobre fidalgote que tudo faz para ocultar a miséria do seu estado, os outros sevandijas exploravam L...more
Un roman fondateur de la tradition "picaresque" et donc un vrai modèle du genre ! Le héros, un jeune garçon courageux mais un brin profiteur, mène une existence ballotée de maître en maître pour le plus grand plaisir du lecteur qui se réjouit autant de sa débrouillardise que de ses extravagantes mésaventures. Le récit est drôle malgré l'origine plus que misérable de Lazarillo (lequel est né littéralement dans un ruisseau !).
Athena Ninlil
Una de las mejores criticas sociales que se han hecho. Lazarillo es un muchacho de la nada que se encuentra con personajes pintorescos que a menudo mienten de su estatus social para parecer en las palabras de Lazaro o Lazarillo, algo que no son. Al final de la novela eso es lo que Lazaro se acaba volviendo cuando descubre todo sobre su esposa y su amo. Vivir en falsedad o volver a morir de hambre? En una lirica satirica como esta Shakespeare no lo podria haber descrito mejor como el escritor ano...more
Aburrido, aburridísimo, ¿donde está lo divertido que todos hallan?
Es un libro demasiado distante de la lengua actual, o quizás no hablo castellano bastante bien, o quizás para apreciarlo necesitaría de antemano un lavado de cerebro como lo que me hicieron con otro p**o clásico (perdón por mi arrebato), Los Novios.
I only read part one for class, but seeing as it is in a second language for me, I figured it counted. I actually enjoyed the parts that I read and would consider finishing the book! I think it is a great book for someone learning to speak/read Spanish as the language is very simple.
"Leído" por obligación (para clase, por supuesto). Las comillas son porque no me lo terminé, al fin y al cabo lo íbamos comentábamos en clase así que aunque los últimos capítulos no me los leyera me los sabía. Por cierto, el final me pareció horrible.
Blog Escribiendo el Libro de la Vida
''El relato es cómico, pues Lázaro no ve más opción que recurrir a las artimañas para poder comer; al tratarse de un niño hambriento, es triste; y provoca furia, al enseñarnos lo injusta que es la vida para los más desafortunados, y que parte de esa desgracia pudo haber ser remediada por seres humanos comunes, que en cambio prefirieron darse lujos antes que alimentar a su joven empleado.
El ciego era un personaje malvado, injusto, y a pesar de todo, me da la impresión de que ayudó a Lázaro a abri...more
Philip Lane
Short and great fun this novella is a really interesting glimpse into life for the poor in the Middle Ages. The book reveals a society very different from our own in many ways; treatment of children, abject poverty, dominant role of the church, but at the same time is so familiar; the humour, the posing and the cunning.
I thought it was great fun and enjoyed the introduction as well which explained how being on the Catholic Church banned list helped it to become a best seller. It was banned no do...more
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