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62: A Model Kit

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  1,513 Ratings  ·  75 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)
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I just read this again for IDK like the 10th time. It is my favorite book of all time ever and I'd like to tell you about it.

I think what I'm actually going to do is like a CliffNotes sort of thing, where I tell you first a few reasons why this book is nearly impossible to read the first time, then give you the cast of characters and a few things they do, so that if you do try to read it, you'll have some hope of figuring out what's going on before you're 3/4 of the way through.

I suppose that
May 25, 2008 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 18, 2008 r. miyada rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 23, 2014 han rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Jul 11, 2009 Bill rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, lit-fiction
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.
Eddie Watkins
Oct 16, 2014 Eddie Watkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 12, 2010 Jimmy rated it really liked it
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
Matt Leibel
May 11, 2011 Matt Leibel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
David Katzman
Feb 08, 2014 David Katzman rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
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
Nate D
Oct 28, 2011 Nate D rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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
May 18, 2012 Mariel rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrés Borja
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
Feb 24, 2015 Paula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Le doy esa puntuación porque aunque la forma en que está contada la historia, cómo se presentan y desarrollan personajes e historia y cómo va pasando de un punto de vista a otro, de un relator a otro, me encantaron; me costó un poco mantenerme enganchada con la historia, y por momentos me sentí casi "inmadura" para los sentimientos planteados... Las primeras páginas, en las que describe la línea de pensamientos de Juan, me parecieron muy densas y largas y difíciles de superar. Apenas lo empecé q ...more
Sep 08, 2014 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Среди нас есть такие, что притворяется сумасшедшими, просто от тоски или от желания бросить вызов; иногда, правда, само притворство приводит...

Бис-бис. Читать Кортасара все равно, что гулять по летнему ночному парку в маленьком городке, где все друг друга знают, вместе с хорошим другом, за руку, блуждая по темным аллеям зеленого лабиринта свежести и тайны. Поворот за поворотом тебя уводят все дальше от освещенной фонарями дороги в глубины мрака и дольки безумия. В начале пути все ясно и понятно,
Piego di Libri
Dec 15, 2015 Piego di Libri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un libro anche filosofico se vogliamo, ermeneutico, nella sua ricerca di uscire dalla forma classica del racconto, per lanciarsi in un tentativo altro, più realistico paradossalmente...
Victor Méndez
Jul 09, 2016 Victor Méndez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Algo así como 3.5

Es apenas la segunda novela de Cortázar que leo. Y después de leerme unos dos o tres libros de cuentos de él, entiendo esos comentarios de que Cortázar era mejor cuentista que novelista.

Aunque en realidad no está mal. Es un libro que nació del capítulo 62 de Rayuela, donde Morelli, ese autor imaginario que es como un alter ego del mismo Cortázar, hace un pequeño esbozo de una novela que le gustaría escribir, partiendo de una teoría sueca del pensamiento y de cómo las personas af
Come Musica
May 01, 2016 Come Musica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Una lettura disorientante.
Ci si chiede, nel leggerla, dov'è ambientata la scena, di che si sta parlando, e si torna indietro per rileggere meglio.
Tanti racconti, tanti luoghi in uno, tante facce di un unico prisma, componibile appunto.

Geniale, Cortázar!
Apr 09, 2016 Sini rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"62 - Bouwdoos" is een soort satelliet of vervolg van Cortazars meesterwerk "Rayuela", dat ik kort geleden weer eens herlas. Het is ook veel minder bekend dan "Rayuela" en wordt door veel mensen ook opgevat als een herhalingsoefening en een veel minder sterk boek. Maar dat is echt onterecht: "62- Bouwdoos" zal vast wat minder sterk zijn dat "Rayuela", maar het is wel retegoed en ik herlas het met veel vreugde. Het is een geweldig romanexperiment, zeer associatief, surrealistisch en van een voor ...more
Daniel Wyckoff
Apr 10, 2016 Daniel Wyckoff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is simply put one of my favorite novels of all time; I just read it 1.5 times, and I think in Samuel Beckett's "Mercier and Camier", he proves how trivial it is to summarize an avant-garde novel. And so it goes, this is avant-garde fiction at its ABSOLUTE best. Reading it feels like you're in a different dimension the whole time; each sentence makes sense in some spiritually-derived sense, and you can feel the white magic of the prose heal your troubled nerves. But not white magic in the Gr ...more
Vit Babenco
Apr 22, 2016 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“If I were to write this book, standard behavior (including the most unusual, its deluxe category) would be inexplicable by means of current instrumental psychology. The actors would appear to be unhealthy or complete idiots. Not that they would show themselves incapable of current challenges and responses: love, jealousy, pity, and so on down the line, but in them something which Homo sapiens keeps subliminal would laboriously open up a road as if a third eye were blinking out with effort from ...more
May 10, 2016 Cescuschrist rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Модель для сборки... Нет, скорее, калейдоскоп. Набор ярких, вычурных эпизодов, причудливо налагающихся друг на друга, общий сюжет, окрашивающих реальность, места действия и персонажей в цвета. "Забавно было смотреть, как образовывались и мгновенно распадались многоугольники, которые удавалось закрепить на миг, лишь пристально вглядевшись или зажмурив глаза, и тут же возникали новые комбинации, в которых выделялись из-за своих размеров несколько белых бабочек, комаров да какой-то мохнатый жук."

Jul 09, 2016 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As ever, what is solid may not be as solid as it seems. Cortázar's unstable, fluid novel begins w/ a degree of solidity. It is a masterful opening, and it presents us w/ a very particular tableau (as one might find in a painting or the fixed mise-en-scène of a motion picture frame). There is a stillness here, as well, married to the fixedness, which we will return to only sparingly. Everything is moving. Everything is plastic. We are in a "city" which morphs like dreams and seems to encompass at ...more
Masha Belkina
Весь изломанный
Никогда столько не говорила о романе
Sep 28, 2016 Andrés rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
-A ver, Andrés ¿Si no te gustó Rayuela, para qué lees esta madre, sabiendo que es básicamente "Rayuela - VR Missions"?
-Pues por pendejo, por qué más.
Oct 22, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't an easy read, and it's one of those where the narrative trundles along and then stumbles across an ending. The book 's postmodern style, combined with many/all of the characters tending to have a postmodern attitude to what's going on, means it can be hard to pin down what's happening to a greater degree.

Irrespective, a great read.
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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.
More about Julio Cortázar...

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“Qué decirnos que no fueran superficies e ilusiones, de qué hablar si no pasaríamos nunca al otro lado para cerrar el dibujo, si seguíamos buscándonos desde muertos y muñecas.” 5 likes
“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 (...).”
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