62: A Model Kit
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62: A Model Kit

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  1,006 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Cortázar's classic 1968 novel about an unnamed European "city" is finally back inprint as a New Directions Classic. First published in English in 1972 and long out of print, 62: A Model Kit is Julio Cortazar's brilliant, intricate blueprint for life in the so-called "City." As one of the main characters, the intellectual Juan, puts it: to one person the City might appear a...more
Unknown Binding, 281 pages
Published January 1st 1972 by Pantheon Books (first published 1968)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,033)
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Eddie Watkins
The impetus, or even the blue-print, of this novel is Chapter 62 of Cortazar’s own novel Hopscotch. In that chapter a “chemical theory of thought” is referenced; a theory that posits a wholly materialistic basis for psychological processes and human motivations and desires, reducing human behavior to by-products of neural activity. In this chapter the narrator sketches the idea of a novel that would replace individual human behavior by social behavior and neural activity by character activity. R...more
Having already read this through a half dozen times, I read bits and reread chapters and dabble about every so often. It's always always worth spending some time with the most astonishing, slippery, shivery, fantastic book of all time ever.

This book is magic, magic, magic; on every page, in every line, shot through every twistedly long and nearly un-parse-able sentence.

If I could only read one book ever again, over and over, for the rest of my life, it would be this one. Oh Cortazar, I will lo...more
Nate D
Oct 28, 2011 Nate D rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the zone, the city, the plaza of streetcars
Recommended to Nate D by: my paredros
Haunting and disconcerting, formally confused and elegant, a novel as a system of correspondences, scattered both spatially and temporally, a vast map or set of maps which perfectly overlay in uncertain fashion, whose ink under weight of tears and dark waves gradually bleeds through into a single compound form, bleeds and coagulates anew into a highly ordered system of ambiguities, a dark constellation that guides the unwary down unfamiliar streets and through empty arcades to eerily circular re...more
Jeff Jackson
For Dennis Cooper's blog, I recently transcribed a super rare interview Cortazar did in the late 60s while writing "62: A Model Kit." He talks about his process, the book's structure, and other interesting bits:


This book is jaw dropping amazing. The episodic "Hopscotch" may have higher highs, but this is Julio Cortazar's greatest novel from start to finish. It's unlike anything else I've read. The closest analog might not be in literature but Jacques Rive...more
David Katzman
A tale of two cities. One is Madrid the other imaginary. A tale of two novels written by itinerant, international authors both of whom had Spanish as their first language. A tale of two experimental novels. One I loved; one I did not. Can you guess which is which?

Cortazar published 62: A Model Kit in Spanish in 1968; the edition I read was translated in 1972. Alfau published Locos: a Comedy of Gestures in 1936 in English. Cortazar had Argentinean parents but was born in Europe then moved back t...more
May 18, 2012 Mariel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: King of Spain
Recommended to Mariel by: My geographical mind
Shelves: my-love-life
I enter my city without knowing how.

A goodreads friend of mine recently said in a review of hers about a book that I loved and she hated that it was "emperor's new clothes". I wouldn't have the arctic articles necessary, or the down to the bones baring all to defend myself in someone else's mind about what I related to about being dreamtruck. I couldn't say if I was "right" or anyone else was "wrong". I'd be afraid to know. I try not to look down, like an afraid of heights thing. My gut felt wha...more
This book came from analytical, almost scientific beginnings, the concept of which is detailed in chapter 62 of Hopscotch. But the experience of reading this book is anything but scientific, it is like waking up from a dream: you genuinely feel things in your own logical way, but now that you're awake and back in this world it is impossible to put into our human words, words that are real ones, that seem so insufficient, mere human words which are the same instruments that Cortazar uses to make...more
I have too many thoughts in my head after reading 62: a model kit.

I also have a terrific hangover. Having finished the book last night I was so overcome that it was necessary to make cosmopolitans. Julio Cortazar would have approved. In fact, he insisted that I have a cigarette as well.

There are just not enough fancy words in my vocabulary to describe how amazing i found this book. So I'lljust gush and generally get a hard-on instead of reviewing it properly.

It was fantastic, touching, searing...more
Matt Leibel
Cortazar is one of the most fearless, innovative and wide-ranging of the group of "experimental" writers who came to prominence largely in the 1960s. And there's certainly something hippie-faux-intellectual-bohemian about the crew of Argentian ex-pats in London, Paris and Vienna throughout this baffling-but-addictive book, which was grown out of one of the "disposable" chapters in Cortazar's earlier more famous masterpiece "Hopscotch". The characters drink every kind of alcohol you can think of,...more
Very interesting and unusual novel. It's a bit slow to start with and not an easy read by any means but well worth the effort. It's too bad more people haven't read Cortazar.
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Martin Hernandez
Hay libros buenos, que uno los lee con atención y al terminarlos, listo, ya estuvo, te quedas con un buen sabor de boca y pasas al siguiente libro sin mayor trámite. Y hay otros libros que son más que buenos, que te atrapan, que necesitas leer con calma, y al final de cada párrafo necesitas detenerte a reflexionar, a contrastar lo que dice el libro con tu propia experiencia, y casi deseas que el libro no acabe. "62/Modelo para Armar" es de estos últimos. Maravilloso, magistral, inolvidable. Con...more
Ashleigh Cartmill
Oh my god. This book was sooooo hard to read. It skipped around in the chronology and the narrator changed frequently, sometimes even in mid-sentence. I'm not making it up. And there were sentences that could be an entire page long, and seemingly unaware that punctuation existed. It was such a frustrating book to read! I don't even really know what it was about. Definitely a one, or maybe even just a .5
Chris Campanioni
This is a rare misstep by the master ... Cortázar wrote "62: A Model Kit" several times better; the best version is called "Rayuela" (Hopscotch). The story (what story?) is all over the place, as are the characters/characterization (good luck trying to distinguish between any of the familiar cast of intellectuals here). It all adds up to a literary dud interspersed with several beautiful lines, including prose poetry. This is some raw writing here, and it could have benefited from a more conside...more
This book confirmed my unconditional love for Cortazar as it took nearly half the book for me to realize what might be going on in the plot as well as who the narrator(s) are; but in spite of this, I never lost enthusiasm.
if you really pressed me i might tell you i like this better than rayuela. all of the narrative tricks (+vampires and dream cities). none of the jibber jabber. and little of the pathos, granted. ok so maybe i take it back.
r. miyada
O final do livro se adensa ou condensa e toma tal forma e fica tão difícil de respirar que acabei arfando e tirei minha gravata e enfiei no meu bolso do paletó, pois

o livro é tão.
Gabriel Kingsom
Uno de los libros que más me han gustado en mucho tiempo. Me fue difícil, al inicio (las primeras 50 páginas no supe ni qué leía), entender las piezas que el autor va soltando como si fueran enchiladas (como señora en un tianguis haciendo, una tras otra incansablemente, cientos de tortillas de masa cruda, con alguna mezcla de salsa y requesón). Es una lectura en la que no todo está claro, llena de "transgresiones literarias", cuyos personajes y figuras están tan vivos que casi puedes tocarlos. N...more
Seba Mastruzzo
Cuando llegue al último Bisbis bisbis de Feuille Morte, no pude evitar llorar. El libro es intensamente cambiante pero uno no deja de enamorarse, no solo de su transgresión y de sus personajes, si no de esa nostalgia desparramada, de ese amor profundo e intrínseco de la ternura de Osvaldo, de las noches y todos los personajes fumando, que son tan libres y al mismo tiempo están todos encadenados a algo.
Es increíblemente genial, además, el propósito de Cortázar de molestarnos a todos para que el...more
Primer acercamiento a Cortázar.
No había leído Rayuela, ni los cuentos, nada. No tenía ningún prejuicio o expectativas, tal vez por eso lo he disfrutado tanto. Sólo me habían "avisado" de que era una lectura complicada que te exigía concentración, paciencia e implicación.

La primera parte de la novela es un poco caótica. En realidad lo es la totalidad de 62/, pero lo cierto es que después de varias páginas vas familiarizándote con los personajes (muy poco a poco), con las relaciones, con los detal...more
El experimento de Morelli en el capítulo 62 de 'Rayuela' termina siendo una maravilla de novela. Con mucho del aire de la misma 'Rayuela', '62/Modelo para armar' se siente como una segunda parte o al menos como una ramificación digna del tronco de origen. Cortázar en su mejor momento, con un estilo particularísimo, esa manera de pasar casi imperceptiblemente de un narrador a otro en medio de un mismo párrafo, como si las consciencias se pegaran unas con otras y se confundieran. Un nuevo grupo de...more
Nacido del capítulo 62 de Rayuela, "Modelo para Armar" es el experimento iniciado en su anterior novela llevado a otro nivel.

Al analizar la lectura nos damos cuenta que posee toda su estructura propia, donde lo cambiante es la forma y no la idea. Su presentación busca burlar cualquier precepto de disposición o presentación, pero más allá, se trata de una especie de juego para ver hasta qué punto se es capaz de continuar para no caer en el absurdo.

Un libro fundamentalmente de desamores, de pareja...more
Bethany Lang
This is definitely not the kind of book that you can see down for a leisurely read with, but as almost all of the other reviewers have stated, the investment that it requires is definitely worth it. Yes, it's confusing - narrators often change in the middle of sentences, characters seem almost interchangeable at times, and locales change at the drop of a hat - but there are some absolutely beautiful passages here. Despite the fact that at times the book and the plot can seem cold and distant, th...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Dec 30, 2012 Paquita Maria Sanchez marked it as to-read
Shelves: literature
I have two copies of this now, thanks to a wonderful Canadian woodsman named Shanna Banana, and to my own selfish tendency to buy books for myself around Christmas time. They arrived two days apart. Oops.

So anyway, I can part with one if anyone is interested. It may take me 6 years to get it to you because the post office is just too much for me to handle apparently, but if you haven't read it and want to and actually will, I will send you the pretty cover featured above, and hold on to my prese...more
Lo que nos salva a todos es una vida tácita que poco tiene que ver con lo cotidiano o lo astronómico, una influencia espesa que lucha contra la fácil dispersión en cualquier conformismo o cualquier rebeldía más o menos gregarios, una catarata de tortugas que no termina nunca de hacer pie porque desciende con un movimiento retardado que apenas guarda relación con nuestras identidades de foto tres cuartos sobre fondo blanco e impresión dígito-pulgar derecho, la vida como algo ajeno pero que lo mis...more
Annaleely Leely
Oct 04, 2010 Annaleely Leely is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
one day i will pick this book up again and all the words will make sense.
today has not been that day.

the trick is to build up momentum.

as in the neverending case of moby dick...
i keep rereading the same chapter over and over again.
stuck in this infinite loop
unable to progress.

someone said there were vampires.
I can't say it was an easy book to read. In my case, it'll certainly need a couple of re-readings but I'm looking forward to it. The second half of the book was truly amazing.

No es un libro sencillo. En mi caso necesitará un par de re-lecturas pero realmente lo espero con ganas. La segunda mitad del libro es realmente excelente.

Increiblemente esta semi-secuela de la Rayuela que me fue imposible leer, la encontré un poquito más digerible, y hasta pude disfrutar de algunos pasajes. No es que la recomiende, pues no pude conectar con la mayor parte, pero de todos modos es interesante hacer esfuerzos literarios de vez en cuando.
Claudio Saavedra
This is a wonderful novel, hard to follow at times, but once you break through, it can only be captivating. It's fair to say that anyone who enjoyed 'Rayuela' will probably be delighted by this book as well. I can now say that this is will certainly be one of my favorite works by Cortázar.
Omar Alfaro
"62 Modelo para armar" es muy entretenida, y posiblemente la novela mas graciosa de Julio Cortázar. No pretende revolucionar algún genero literario, y el autor tiene libros mejores, pero aun así vale la pena leerse.
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Julio Cortázar, born Julio Florencio Cortázar Descotte, was an Argentine author of novels and short stories. He influenced an entire generation of Latin American writers from Mexico to Argentina, and most of his best-known work was written in France, where he established himself in 1951.
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“Entro de noche a mi ciudad, yo bajo a mi ciudad donde me esperan o me duelen, donde tengo que huir de alguna abominable cita, de lo que ya no tiene nombre, una cita con dedos, con pedazos de carne en un armario, con una ducha que no encuentro, en mi ciudad hay duchas, hay un canal que corta por el medio mi ciudad y navíos enormes sin mástiles pasan en un silencio intolerable hacia un destino que conozco pero que olvido al regresar, hacia un destino que niega mi ciudad donde nadie se embarca, donde se está para quedarse aunque los barcos pasen y desde el liso puente alguno esté mirando mi ciudad.

Entro sin saber cómo en mi ciudad, a veces otras noches salgo a calles o casas y sé que no es mi ciudad (...).”
“Y no había palabras, porque no había pensamiento posible para esa fuerza capaz de convertir jirones de recuerdo, imágenes aisladas y anodinas, en un repentino bloque vertiginoso, en una viviente constelación aniquilada en el acto mismo de mostrarse, una contradicción que parecía ofrecer y negar a la vez lo que Juan, bebiendo la segunda copa de Sylvaner, contaría más tarde a Calac, a Tell, a Hélène, cuando los encontrara en la mesa del Cluny, y que ahora le hubiera sido necesario poseer de alguna manera como si la tentativa de fijar ese recuerdo no mostrara ya que era inútil, que estaba echando paladas de sombra contra la oscuridad.” 3 likes
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