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El Cobrador

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  334 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Most widely admired for his short fiction, The Taker and Other Stories is Fonseca's first collection to appear in English translation, and it ranges across his oeuvre, exploring the sights and sounds of the modern landscape of Rio de Janeiro.

Rubem Fonseca's Rio is a city at war, a city whose vast disparities- in wealth, social standing, and prestige- are untenable. In the
Paperback, 175 pages
Published 2010 by LaBreu edicions (first published 1979)
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(showing 1-30 of 579)
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i swear, i am the queen of four stars lately. does that mean i just have very good instincts for picking books or am i just lazily rating? i feel like i have to write reviews now to defend my fourstar worldview (that will be a band name within a year)


these stories are brutal and frequently unexpected (with one glaring exception, which reads like a really dated twilight zone episode) and sometimes incomprehensible - characters behave erratically and seemingly without motive. and yet, its actual
Estermann Meyer
Nov 19, 2012 Estermann Meyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Fui até a jaula dos animais. Dentro de poucos anos não existiria mais nenhum, toda a fauna amazônica estava sendo dizimada. Quando me viu, a onça começou a brincar; corria e rolava de barriga para cima, como se fosse um gato. Outro animal muito bonito e elegante era a sussuarana, uma espécie de leopardo; seu pêlo lilás lavado brilhava na claridade matutina. Os macacos, porém, pareciam animais tristes, infelizes e maníacos. Havia um que escondia o rosto agarrado nas barras de ferro. Suas mãos er ...more
Apr 11, 2012 Fernando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Um dos melhores e mais brutais livros de contos que li.
Rubem sabe o que diz sempre, e tem o tempo certo.
Javier Jiménez
Formado por un conjunto de 10 relatos, este es un libro con gran fuerza ambientado la mayor parte en Brasil en donde se desarrollan historias que atrapan al lector con temas como la (des)adaptación de ciertos individuos en la sociedad y las marcadas diferencias en las clases sociales.

Mi relato preferido es aquel que le da el nombre al libro, a pesar de (o gracias a) que está lleno de violencia logra transmitir a la perfección la desesperación, locura y odio del famoso "Cobrador".

Por otra parte,
Newton Nitro
Apr 12, 2015 Newton Nitro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O Cobrador é outra porrada literária do Rubão, cheio de sexo e violência absolutamente não escapista, e com contos criados para chocar, incomodar, incitar e tirar a sociedade brasileira de sua pasmaceira complacente com a desgraceira que é a nossa existência urbana.

Nesse livro, de 1979, publicado depois do "O Caso Morel" (que preciso ler urgentemente, estou viciado no Rubão), niilismo, ódio social e desconstruções pós-modernas misturadas com cachaça, nunca poupa o leitor do choque. Ou melhor, o
Cymru Roberts
Some authors show you disturbing images of murder and rape and horror with absolutely no remorse or mercy because... they are actually sensitive people. I hope I'm correct in putting Mr Fonseca in this category. There were sittings where I read three or four stories in a row and by the end I began to doubt it. With material such as this one reaches a certain point where the author is either enjoying himself, granting himself the powers to kill and rape in a fictive universe, or there is somethin ...more
Aug 09, 2009 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a strange little connection, with some really varied kinds of stories here-- I'd like to believe that's because it's not an organic collection but instead a group of stories from different points in Fonseca's career, slapped under one cover because they were all translated by the same guy. But I think I might be wrong about this-- they feel like three different kinds of stories, but I guess they do all belong together.

So what we get are shock-for-the-sake-of-it stories, the first trio he
Oct 19, 2009 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first came upon Fonseca in an anthology of international crime stories, a chilling little tale about a poor man who targets the rich not for their money, just to beat them at their own frivolous game. The title story of this macabre collection take that same theme and runs with it into some very disturbing territory indeed, with its poor serial killer who is sort of a downtrodden shadow image of Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho. The collection begins with a gut-wrenching short-short about a ...more
I suppose it might be a bit of a cliche to write that any given book is a tour de force of its' genre, but dammit if that doesn't fit the bill for this one.

I came upon it because of a now defunct blog project whereby I'd read a book by as many Camoes prize winning authors as I could in a month. That project didn't quite pan out, but I did finish this amazing little book.

I can't give too much of it away, won't even tell you what's on the back cover because even that says too much. In fact, if you
Alexis Vélez
El Cobrador es una colección de cuentos que comienza perturbador con el cuento que dá nombre a este libro y termina con otro que te deja asombrado. Todos tienen algo en común que es el reflejo de un Brasil violento y de la interacción de los diferentes status sociales. Prosa oscura, directa al hígado, intrincada a veces y llena de diálogos entretenidos en otro. Libro con bastante buen balance.
"Aquel ser viejo me había sido impuesto por una sociedad corrompida y feroz, por un sistema inicuo que fuerza a millones de seres humanos a una vida parasitaria, marginal y miserable." Once de Mayo
May 01, 2016 Eneas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Man! You never expect the ending...
Soooo delightful.
I bet it ispired someone to become "O cobrador".
Anaí Palacios
Tengo algo con Fonseca que no sé explicar.
Algo feo.
Lo leí en español, por supuesto.
Sep 25, 2016 Emmie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No me esperaba eso. Relationship goals (?).
Jul 07, 2009 Lucysnow1851 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brazilian writer Rubem Fonseca takes through a collection of short stories filled with characters that willfully commit crimes or stumble into them by accident. Impossible to pick a favorite, if I had to, I would chose "Trials of a Young Writer" as the pacing is frantic and I love how the characters think of themselves first in relationships. Most would be offended by the title story, but its descriptive quality even for brutal events made me want to read more.
A bit disappointing. The stories are either pointless or predictable, though I did appreciate Fonseca's deadpan representation of anger and violence among the Brazilian poor. I don't think he's making any radical social observations when he portrays men as willful and unfeeling and women as needy. Another GoodReads reviewer of this book is correct to say that one story was even like a bad Twilight Zone episode. Ugh. The novel I read by him was far better.
Oct 27, 2009 Ferris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rubem Fonseca is the South American Cormac McCarthy, or vice versa. This collection of short stories is stark, intensely disturbing, and so well written, even in translation. From the Type A exec who runs people down to relax to the man who experiences drowning while on an examining room table, each story reaches into the dark places of the human soul. Be prepared for quite a ride when you read this collection.
Chad Post
Jul 20, 2015 Chad Post rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DISCLAIMER: I am the publisher of the book and thus spent approximately two years reading and editing and working on it. So take my review with a grain of salt, or the understanding that I am deeply invested in this text and know it quite well. Also, I would really appreciate it if you would purchase this book, since it would benefit Open Letter directly.
Mar 24, 2010 Andy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing short stories from Brazil.

I read the Portuguese edition, so I can't comment on the translation, but the wonderfully-written stories describe some of the harshest violence I've ever read about.

Highly recommended.
Eduardo  Ferreira
fiquei absurdamente chocado quando li esse livro e então entendi que alguns livros devem servir exatamente para esse propósito. o cobrador cumpre fielmente esse papel.
Rubem Fonseca me sigue sorprendiendo y sigue sacando ascos de las partes más profundas de mi ser. Sin embargo, me gustó más Ella y otras mujeres.
Aug 13, 2010 Nate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Odd stories. Violent, nihilistic. Read most of them, not all. Funny, but in that way that I have trouble perceiving in text. Was not blown away.
Angel Ortiz
Amazing short stories with one of the most thrilling and cinematographic story i have ever read: Angels of the Marquees
Jul 15, 2009 Greg rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Nauseating. I get the joke but I don't think it's funny.
Fernando Studzinski
Fernando Studzinski marked it as to-read
Sep 26, 2016
Paulina Sanchez
Paulina Sanchez marked it as to-read
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Luana Amorim
Luana Amorim rated it liked it
Sep 25, 2016
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Que outra obra de Fonseca vocês me indicam? 1 1 May 15, 2013 06:06PM  
  • Os Cem Melhores Contos Brasileiros do Século
  • O Caderno Rosa de Lori Lamby
  • Dentes guardados
  • Monsieur
  • Strange Times, My Dear: The Pen Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature
  • The Discoverer
  • A Máquina de Joseph Walser (O Reino, #2)
  • A River Dies of Thirst: journals
  • A Vida Como Ela É...
  • Dreams and Stones
  • As Cem Melhores Crônicas Brasileiras
  • A Alma Encantadora das Ruas
  • Diary of Andres Fava
  • Translation Is a Love Affair
  • The Campaign
  • Thrown into Nature
  • The Novices of Sais
  • Nachlaß zu Lebzeiten
He is an important Brazilian writer (novelist, short story writer and screenwriter), born in Juiz de Fora, state of Minas Gerais, but he lived for most of his life in Rio de Janeiro. In 1952, he started his career in the police and became a policy commissioner. Even though, he refuses to do interviews and is a very reclusive person, much like Thomas Pynchon, who is a personal friend of Fonseca.
More about Rubem Fonseca...

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