Happy Families: Stories
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Happy Families: Stories

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  326 ratings  ·  33 reviews
The internationally acclaimed author Carlos Fuentes, winner of the Cervantes Prize and the Latin Civilization Award, delivers a stunning work of fiction about family and love across an expanse of Mexican life, reminding us why he has been called “a combination of Poe, Baudelaire, and Isak Dinesen” (Newsweek).

In these masterly vignettes, Fuentes explores Tolstoy’s classic...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 23rd 2008 by Random House (first published 2006)
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Κατερίνα Μαλακατέ

Η ουσία των βιβλίων του Φουέντες είναι η λήξη, η αίσθηση της κάθαρσης στο τέλος σαν να πρόκειται για αρχαία τραγωδία, είτε πρόκειται για μυθιστόρημα, είτε για συλλογή διηγημάτων. Αυτή είναι η τέχνη της αφήγησης στην παλαιότερη μορφή της, που σε βάζει να σκέφτεσαι, να σκέφτεσαι, να αισθάνεσαι, να αισθάνεσαι, τόσο που να μην μπορείς πια, να μην θέλεις να τελειώσει, να διαβάσεις το τέλος.
«Όλες οι ευτυχισμένες οικογένειες», όλες οι Λατινοαμερικάνικες ευτυχισμ...more
As Tolstoy wrote in Anna Karenina, happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Truth in advertising: mostly these short stories give us unhappy middle- and upper-class Mexican families. The setting is modern Mexico, although since Fuentes published this work in 2006, when he was nearing 80, some family stories go back a ways and there is a lot of reflecting on Mexico City and how neighborhoods and districts changed from the “old days.” In several stories an olde...more
Too artsy-fartsy for me. Couldn't really follow what was going on. It was like the author was enamored with portraying marriages with over the top descriptions of people living grim, violent, depressed lives. Yuck.
Editorial Alfaguara
�Yo vengo de una familia en la que cada miembro da�aba de alg�n modo a los dem�s. Luego, arrepentidos, cada uno se da�aba a s� mismo.� Un ranchero quiere que sus cuatro hijos sean sacerdotes; ellos piensan distinto. Un hombre es humillado por su patr�n; su hijo quisiera humillarlo m�s. Una madre renuncia a su carrera de cantante y se pregunta si vali� la pena; su hija renuncia al mundo y vive a trav�s de los reality shows. El hijo del presidente se rebela contra su padre, pero depende de su prot...more
Magnifique mais tellement trash que ma lecture au début enthousiaste s'est ralentit jusqu'à ce que je me demande si j'allais finir ce gros livre de nouvelles.

"De mirage en mirage, de Venise à Split, le monde des souvenirs se changeait en monde des désirs et, entre les deux, battait un cœur lui-même partagé par un amour mis à l'épreuve entre le passé et le présent."

"On a besoin d'amis tristes pour leur raconter ce qu'on ne peut pas dire à son amant. On a besoin d'amis disponibles pour nous accord...more
Debo empezar diciendo que creí que su nombre representaba el de un gran escritor, lamentablemente su selección de cuentos sobre las “familias y sus demonios” son básicamente un despliegue de condescendencia snob hacia los clichés de familias mexicanas y no sólo mexicanas. Entre líneas me parece que lo que trata de decir o reflejar es cómo su familia era adepta a sentirse non plus ultra, y por lo tanto denostar a los mexicanos más pobres y algunos de clase media no ilustrada, es constante el uso...more
Oscar Moran
Great compilation of short stories. Fuentes includes a broad range of characters from different social classes, economic means, and forms of family structure.

As a whole it shows the great diversity of contemporary Mexican society and how "family" can be understood in more ways than the traditional nuclear mom+dad+kids way.

The stories themselves are full of life, intricate depth, and humor. It is a very enjoyable read especially for those interested in Latin American literature.

Needless to say,...more
I am fast coming to the conclusion that I have a real problem with South American authors. Such a shame that this is the subject for the nest term of my literature group! So, I struggled through this book and I can't say that I enjoyed it a great deal. Some of the stories were passably enjoyable, but I hated the sexual violence in many of them. Heaven only knows how our rather elderly group will get on with discussing it - not with our usual freedom and vigour I am sure. I am sure that Carlos Fu...more
(Disclaimer: I read this in English but couldn't find the English version on Goodreads)

This was super forgettable. Every story kind of seemed the same, with these stoic, accepting Mexican women and their ambitious, playboy, assholic husbands. Not very compelling after the third or fourth. I did really like the story about the gay couple, but other than that I didn't care for this collection of short stories. Bummer! I'm not proving very good at choosing random fiction for myself!
The most depressing book I've ever read. Never finished.
Marixa Q
Muy bueno, tiene realidades familiares cotidianas.
I did not like the last story, but otherwise I found the writing in this very compelling and often poetic. He has a gift of writing and understanding people and families, in a kind of disturbing way. Most of my family relationships are not like anything in this book, but I found myself identifying with the root issues. I would probably give it 3.25 stars if you could do fractions.
Is it possible that this book is new to goodreads? Title is ironic of course. Fuentes takes his cue from Tolstoy, and drives it home through a series of seriously unhappy families and slashing poetic excursions. Some stumbles (the finale did not work for me), but most surely footed, intensely probed and often illuminating about the uniqueness of unhappy families.
José Enrique Vivas M.
Un conjunto de cuentos, de amplísimo rango formal, sobre las familias, las relaciones filiales, y sus múltiples disfunciones, tragedias, sinsabores, ironías. La frase en la contratapa me compró: «Yo vengo de una familia en la que cada miembro dañaba de algún modo a los demás. Luego, arrepentidos, cada uno se dañaba a sí mismo.»
Gustavo Rivera
Excelente representación de las costumbres, vicios y errores de las familias mexicanas. Desde las más humildes hasta las más complejas, desde las más simples hasta las más poderosas. Altamente recomendable, para leerlo y sobre todo para comprenderlo.
José Pedraza
Probablemente una mala elección de primera lectura de Fuentes. Algunas buenas historias, pero algunas de plano no me gustaron. Me gusta leer libros que me hagan pensar un poco y que al final los entienda, éste es muy directo en mi opinión.
I truly enjoyed this book because the stories focus on people that have different
problems in their families, immediate and extended. It is not an easy read but I
would hightly recommend it.
El primero de Fuentes que no me gusta. Hay algunos relatos muy buenos, como si Fuentes pudiera escribir alguna vez mal, pero el conjunto me aburrió mucho. Ni modo. No siempre se puede...
this collection of stories of contemporary Mexican life is a rewarding yet disturbing read. all connected to families, their dysfunctionality reigns throughout.
Why do I keep on trying to like short stories when I know perfectly well I don't. But I like Fuentes. This will stay on my "currently-reading" for a long time...
I just read a flipping telenovela--nutty priests, love affairs, tweens trying to break free from their parents, servants not happy with their bosses, etc.
Eduardo Sánchez
Un escritor muy cercano al día a día de los mexicanos que retrata en este libro muchas de las cosas que pasan en cualquier familia (aunque muchos lo nieguen).
I didn´t get that far to make an objective point to this book, but something just stoped me from going on, i don´t know,
Carol Harrison
Maybe something was lost in translation, but I never did understand how the choruses between stories fit in.
Great writing because you know, it's Carlos Fuentes...but really depressing stories. Read at your own risk.
Sofie Q
Well written short stories that are dark and convoluted. Overall good but at times hard to follow.
Nancy Rojas
Un retrato real de diversas problemáticas dentro de algunas familias mexicanas...
Bookmarks Magazine
Readers familiar with distinguished novelist Carlos Fuentes (The Eagle
Ricardo Destarac
No pude con Carlos Fuentes, lo intentaré más adelante.
Gerardo Mendoza
Muchas historias distintas en un solo libro.
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Carlos Fuentes Macías was a Mexican writer and one of the best-known novelists and essayists of the 20th century in the Spanish-speaking world. Fuentes influenced contemporary Latin American literature, and his works have been widely translated into English and other languages.

Fuentes was born in Panama City, Panama; his parents were Mexican. Due to his father being a diplomat, during his childhoo...more
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“Love can isolate us from everything around us. But in its absence, we can be filled with the fear that something comparable exists.” 31 likes
“No, it's not that they're bad. It's that they're obliged to pretend they're good. They've been brought up to deceive and be cunning, to protect themselves from our society. I don't want to be like that.” 17 likes
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