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O Centauro no Jardim
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O Centauro no Jardim

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  449 ratings  ·  36 reviews
No interior do Rio Grande do Sul, na pacata família Tratskovsky, nasce um centauro - um ser metade homem, metade cavalo. Seu nome é Guedali, quarto filho de um casal de imigrantes judeus russos. A partir desse evento fantástico, Moacyr Scliar constrói um romance que se situa entre a fábula e o realismo, evidenciando a dualidade da vida em sociedade, em que é preciso harmon ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 1st 2011 by Companhia de Bolso (first published 1980)
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Wow, what a book! Impressed by Max And The Cats A Novel, I decided to read another, a little more substantial novel by this author. And this is really a great book - about a Jewish centaur and a centauress, yet realistic as few other books. I guess that's why they call it magical realism. Written from the Guedali's (the centaur's) perspective, this is a very touching book and one gets to go through his moods and emotions with him, but also turns angry towards some of the things he does. But in t ...more
We first heard of Moacyr Scliar when the NY Times published his obituary. I started with this book, and found it both a challenge and an inspiration.
At face value, it is a bizzare story. A baby is born to a couple, Jews living in South America. The baby is a centaur -- quite a challenge! Scliar is up to the challenge to the author to tell a story that is believable (given the premise) and meaningful.
So the hitch for me in the meaningful part. I'm sure this is a strange and beautiful parable! I h
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It's very rare for a book to get 5 stars from me. I'd heard of this author and this book and, getting ready to revisit Argentina, decided to read it. It's the story of a child born to a Russian, Jewish immigrant family; they are living in a rural farming community that was started (in reality) by Baron Hirsh to support Jews fleeing from pograms. However, for most of the immigrants the reality of farming (having come from totally urban lives) was beyond them and they left for the cities. Guedeli, ...more
While reading "The Centaur in the Garden," I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at times. The story's conflicting emotional effect was unsettling but it's also, in part, what made this a brilliant and thought-provoking work. This tale of a Jewish boy born a centaur on his family's farm in Brazil was the archetypal story of the hero's journey a la Campbell's monomyth, but that in no way made it predictable. Quite the contrary, I was surprised every step of the way, never knowing what to expect n ...more
Juanito Olcese
Thanks to you, I was able to awaken my, at that moment, sleeping passion for reading. You've opened my eyes to the world of letters, fantasies and truths. Thank you Moacyr, you were my first love.
Magical fiction about a Jewish centaur. Set in Brazil, memoirs from Russia, and ironic humor from our centaur hero.

I was most impressed about how casually the author writes about such an absurd but cleverly allegorical situation. We get to trace the centaur's life from his shame filled childhood, to him joining the circus, and finally to him and his wife becoming a part of the banal Jewish Brazillian upper class. I was really enchanted by the identity issues of the centaur and enjoyed the irony
phi nước đại chứ tại sao phải dừng ờ làm một con nhân mã chết trong hoàng hôn
Luong Nguyen
Fascinating story with magnificent details. Typical for the Magic realism.
I LOVED this book--inventive, unique, poignant. But most distinctive is the first-person narrative voice. Pulled me right in, always warm and believable, the political/social/religious themes lightly inserted into the narrative. Must read more by Scliar.

And very interested to learn of the controversy with Martel's LIfe of Pi! How do writers get their ideas? Well, sometimes from each other. But if they do, they damn well should give full and flowing credit as well!!
Martha Toll
This is a fascinating allegory by an author who is very well known in Brazil. He is of eastern European Jewish extraction, and combines Latin American magical realism with the shtetl culture of eastern Europe. The Centaur in the Garden covers everything, from Freud to Marx to the role of the outsider (Jew) in Latin American culture, to mythology. Should be required reading for every college literature student.
I've never read a book that talks about penis so much in all my life! This story is entertaining, although the last chapter kind of undercuts the whole thing. It's interesting because it makes you feel defensive about what you've read. The end reminded me of Life of Pi, although it's not the same.
I've really enjoyed reading this fable that takes place in present days Brazil. It's about a man that was born as a "centaure" in a "normal" Brazilian family. After reading this book I am really interested in reading others from this imaginative writer whose name I wasn't even familiar with...
i read this after reading life of pi, written by yann martel but criticized for being too much like moacyr scliar's book max and the cats. regardless of the comparison, the centaur in the garden is fantastic, especially if you've ever felt different, and haven't we all?
Nov 04, 2010 Julia rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Julia by: Portuguese book club in NYC
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For some unknown reason, I read this book in German. It was one of my first stabs at magical realism, and I probably would have gotten more out of it if I'd read it in English. I enjoyed it enough to recommend it to my Dad. Never heard what he thought of it.
Another just OK book, I think it got lost in translation. Very complicated story Written in the tradition of magic realism, is probably much better in its native Portuguese. I might give this book another try in a few years.
This story surprised me, which is to say I really enjoyed it. The modern day setting of a Centaur coming of age is almost comical, however, how he and the reader come to realize his identity is innocent and very touching.
such a great premise, but nothing interesting happens. i wonder how long it will be until the trend of humanizing the supernatural, which was fun to begin with, will run its course
Darkly humorous or humorously dark? Either way, I was absorbed into this book right away and I kept thinking about it after I was done, which is usually the sign of a good book.
Carolina de Goes
Uma delícia ler Scliar enquanto descubro Porto Alegre.

Ótima história, personagens humanos (!) e bem desenvolvidos, situações fantásticas perfeitamente plausíveis. Foda.
Boris Feldman
Greatest Jewish writer in Brazil.
A Russian family emigrates to Brazil in the '20's to live on a farm. They give birth to a baby boy, who happens to be a centaur.
I like the author -- no, really, I think he's good. But the book itself is just a mix of gross TMI and craziness. Really not my type of book.
I read this in about a day. It is good, though magical realism is not my favorite genre. Easy, enjoyable, interesting and unusual.
An odd, odd book. Interesting, with multiple possible truths. I wonder if it would have been better in the original Portuguese.
It's really well-written and uses fantastic realism to talk about living with differences and facing prejudice.
"It wasn't exactly religion I was practicing, it was more a form of nostalgia. I was echoing my own childhood."

Thy Ngân
Cuối cùng cũng có một cuốn sách, để mỗi lần tự kỉ đi tìm về một nơi cách xa sự kết nối, sẽ lấy ra đọc. :3
Delicious and totally taboo. He writes incredibly and leads you in to a fairy tale.
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Moacyr Jaime Scliar (born March 23, 1937) is a Brazilian writer and physician.
Scliar is best known outside Brazil for his 1981 novel Max and the Cats (Max e os Felinos), the story of a young man who flees Berlin after he comes to the attention of the Nazis for having had an affair with a married woman. Making his way to Brazil, his ship sinks, and he finds himself alone in a dinghy with a jaguar w
More about Moacyr Scliar...
A Mulher que Escreveu a Bíblia Max and the Cats O exército de um Homem Só O Mistério Da Casa Verde Kafka's Leopards

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“Primeiro casa para todos, diziam, depois comida para todos, depois transporte para todos, depois meios de produção para todos. Que as casas devessem ser construídas por empreiteiros privados não lhes importava muito; a verdade haveria de prevalecer no choque dialético entre o individual e o coletivo, entre o egoísmo e o altruísmo, entre o custo das casas e os preços cobrados pelos empreiteiros, entre a boa qualidade apregoada para a argamassa e as fendas que mais cedo ou mais tarde apareceriam nas paredes; fendas enormes, ramificadas em caprichosos desenhos (galhados de cervos, árvores de decisão ou mesmo letras como as que o plano incluía, de acordo com as ideias do socialista francês Louis Blanc, a criação, no setor público da economia, de verdadeiras oficinas sociais auto-administradas em moldes empresariais. O lucro dessas oficinas, em parte seria destinado à assistência médica e à previdência social, e em parte reinvestido. Operários investindo, aí estava a coisa: as armas do capitalismo usadas contra o próprio capitalismo!” 1 likes
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