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Adventures of the Ingenious Alfanui

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  230 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Alfanhui's master is a taxidermist who does bizarre things with trees by making them sprout feathers. When the locals burn down the taxidermist's house, young Alfanhui sets off to travel around Castille seeking knowledge rather than his fortune.
Paperback, 210 pages
Published February 25th 2015 by Dedalus (first published 1951)
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Cris
Dec 23, 2015 Cris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Leer este libro se parece mucho a contemplar una pintura de gran formato llena de elementos, signos y colores que se entrelazan, se acercan y se alejan para crear una cálida sensación de sorpresa. El realismo mágico que impregna toda la obra nos muestra una infinidad de imágenes y personajes pintorescos con una fuerza tremenda. Es difícil no verse transportado por las aventuras extraordinarias del pequeño Alfanhuí mientras recorre España en busca de fortuna.

Reseña completa y mi versión de la por
...more
Adam
Jul 02, 2010 Adam rated it liked it
Only a novel in the very loosest sense, this book should probably be classified as something more ambiguous--a “surreal progression,” perhaps. There is no plot, and there are only the slightest traces of character. At its best moments, it’s a bit like Richard Brautigan or the early films of Luis Bunuel and the short films of the Quay brothers and Jan Svankmajer. At its worst, it devolves into chapter after chapter of flat, abstract description with no narrative “hook.” And yet some passages are ...more
Francisco Tapiador
Jan 08, 2011 Francisco Tapiador rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece. I read some excepts when I was a child, as they featured in reading-skills textbooks. Almost perfect Spanish, sadly lost in the English translation I checked. A treatise on color description. The plot is simple, and no complex ideas are conveyed. Therein, you need a special state of mind to go through it -just allow yourself to enjoy the prose and the sensations, nothing else. It is a pleasure to read page after page, and the short chapters idea perfectly fits with the whole conce ...more
Israel Montoya Baquero
Curiosa y atípica novela, para la época en que fue escrita, que se aleja del realismo social imperante en la España de los años 50 para internarse en los mundos de lo sorprendente y la fantasía.
Es Alfanhuí una suerte de reverso luminoso del Lazarillo de Tormes, así como la novela una suerte de espejo de la novela picaresca del Siglo de Oro español. No encontraremos aquí desventuras, trapicheos y jugarretas, sino más bien una visión, pura e inocente, de diversas partes de la España rural (con la
...more
Murnau
Jun 16, 2015 Murnau rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ultimamente estoy teniendo un ojo nefasto para los libros, es por eso que hace ya mas de un mes que no cuelgo una reseña nueva, me ha costado horrores terminan estos dos últimos libros, y no porque sean malos, no, no, es básicamente porque ando con el criterio completamente atrofiado. En fechas tan problematicas en la que la mayor parte de las neuronas están centradas en memorizar conceptos y nombres el cuerpo pide algo de literatura evasiva, no a puto Sanchez Ferlosio: es tirarse piedras a tu p ...more
Alejandro Teruel
Novela española muy particular, publicada en 1951, que se ha etiquetado, incómodamente, de picaresca, de bildungsroman, de infantil, de surrealista, de modernista y de ejemplar precursor del realismo mágico. En mi opinión fue una novela crisálida que no llegó a completar una metamorfosis a un género específico. Incluye relatos que bien podrían ser libretos para un futuro Tim Burton o unos hermanos Quay.

Un niño peculiar de ojos amarillos, como los de un alcaraván pasa por una serie de situaciones
...more
David Peterson
Jun 07, 2015 David Peterson rated it it was amazing
Wow! Ferlosio can sure do a lot with 200 pages.

The Adventures of the Ingenious Alfanhuí is a kind of children’s book, in that the main character is a child, and the chapters are very short (two to five pages). Beyond that, though, this is a book that can be profitably read by anybody—except, perhaps, for very young, non-precocious children, ironically.

The theme of this book is color, and it seems like the plot of this book is essentially an odyssey wherein the main character, Alfanhuí, travels t
...more
Patrick Kelly
Nov 02, 2010 Patrick Kelly rated it it was amazing
Part surreal fantasy, part children's fable - "The Adventures of Ingenious Alfanhui" remains one of my favorite books. It's got the perfect combination of macabre and fantastical. The protagonist, a young boy, goes out into the world to gain knowledge. His master is a taxidermist who teaches him some magical, taxidermy tricks. Their experiments have the capacity to make trees grow feathers and birds grow leaves. Even though the story seems simple, it is very cerebral and ranks up there with the ...more
Verena Annette
Apr 20, 2014 Verena Annette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ein ganz eigenes, zauberhaftes Buch. Eine Handlung gibt es eigentlich nicht, beschrieben werden in bunten Worten die Erlebnisse von Alfanhui. In poetischer Sprache, die einem in den Bann zieht.
Mich wundert es, dass ich von diesem Buch nie gehört hatte - ich kann es nur weiterempfehlen ... und werde es sicherlich wieder lesen.
Mario Rosas
Jul 17, 2014 Mario Rosas rated it it was amazing
Si buscas fantasía, nada como este libro. No es fantasía "bonita", sólo es muy buena fantasía. Quienes quieran leerlo deben tener mucha imaginación y siempre estar atentos a los cambios de narrativa. Se llevarán una buena sorpresa mientras viajan junto con Alfanhui.
Ellyddan
Oct 26, 2008 Ellyddan rated it really liked it
The title of this book hooked my eyes several times at the library. After much deliberation, I finally checked the book out and certainly enjoyed the fantastical story of Alfanhui.

I would forewarn anyone who needs fast-pacing and action to stay away from this novel. It is a dream-like read that is more atmospheric and meditative than plot driven.

The basic premise is that the story follows Alfanhui, a certainly ingenious young boy, who experiments with nature, with color. He explores the world a
...more
Cristina
Feb 24, 2014 Cristina rated it it was ok
It's a masterpiece in relation with being one of the first fantastic realism novel, but personally i haven't enjoyed its reading so much. Maybe, the third part si that i've found more ilustrative. In that part you can better discover the nature references and the progress from the childhood to the adult age of the main character.
Juan Luis
Feb 07, 2015 Juan Luis rated it it was amazing
No mires las ideas políticas. Disfruta de la excelsa calidad de la obra y si lo leíste de pequeño como yo, de su recuerdo y del descubrimiento
flannery
Aug 08, 2012 flannery rated it really liked it
Advertised on the back as being as popular in the Spanish-speaking world as Harry Potter is in the English-speaking world, which is a really misleading comparison as most of these chapters are non-narrative prose poems. Reading "Kwaidan" and then seeing the movie adaptation helped me better appreciate weird meditative books like this because it's easier to imagine these little parcels of picture and language extracted into full set pieces and stories with their own internal drama. Reminds me of ...more
Arax Miltiadous
Nov 12, 2012 Arax Miltiadous rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
απροσδόκητα ωραίο βιβλίο.
τα αγόρασα απλά και μόνο γιατί μου κέντρισε το ενδιαφέρων ο τίτλος του. και να μαι καθηλωμένη να διαβάζω ασταμάτητα χωρίς να επέρχεται κορεσμός στην πείνα μου για τις περιγραφές του.
κέρδισα έναν υπέροχο πολυμήχανο φίλο με τον Αλφανουί. ταξιδέψαμε μαζί, δώσαμε κουράγιο ο ένας στον άλλον και πιστέψαμε στην δύναμη της φαντασίας μας!
αν πετύχετε το βιβλίο αυτό σε κάποιο σταυροδρόμι, μην του γυρίσετε την πλάτη.

" διαβάζω τελικά σημαίνει... ονειρεύομαι?"
Arcadia
Beautiful poetic prose. However, the actual Alfanhui story is of little interest save for those beautifully crafted descriptions he places, along with the two supplementary short stories at the end. Those were killer.
Gaelx
Nov 18, 2015 Gaelx rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aunque las historias de fantasía y ciencia ficción nos atrapen con sus tramas y personajes, a veces hace falta leer literatura literaria para disfrutar del lenguaje y sus infinitas y bellas posibilidades.
Xan
Jun 13, 2013 Xan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es la mejor novela de fantasía de la segunda mitad del siglo XX en España, un relato del mundo visto a traves de los ojos llenos de magia de un niño, Alfanhuí, en los que la naturaleza se confunde con la fantasía. Un libro imprescindible en la literatura española.
Angel Serrano
Un niño español revive en el siglo XX la tradición de la picaresca española del siglo de Oro. En sus viajes por la Castilla de la postguerra tendrá su iniciación en la vida adulta, todavía tintada del mundo mágico infantil, retratando la sociedad de su tiempo.
Alex
Mar 23, 2008 Alex rated it it was amazing
Perhaps this is a forgotten magical masterpiece because its title so easily slips the mind. Its beauty is intangible, leaving alluring little memories of color, fire, and wandering. (Thank you, Tom, for the research/resurrection.)
Francisco
Feb 05, 2007 Francisco rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novela
No se si calificarla de "realismo mágico". Pero desde luego, tiene algunos aciertos creativos muy interesantes e imaginativos.
Caroline
Mar 27, 2010 Caroline rated it really liked it
colors & the natural world reimagined; frightful, wonderful, unexpected explorations
Arax Miltiadous
Feb 03, 2012 Arax Miltiadous rated it it was amazing
πολυ μου αρεσε παιδια να το διαβάσετε... καθολου σνομπ και πολυ ειλικρινείς.
kimberly
Mar 02, 2010 kimberly rated it liked it
beautiful descriptive writing, but also really boring.
Jefferson
Feb 22, 2012 Jefferson rated it really liked it
great images in this book.
Despa Zapryanova
Despa Zapryanova marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2016
Enrique Oviedo
Enrique Oviedo rated it it was ok
Aug 24, 2016
Petya Kokudeva
Petya Kokudeva is currently reading it
Aug 23, 2016
Víctor R. Ramos
Víctor R. Ramos marked it as to-read
Aug 22, 2016
leniajof
leniajof rated it really liked it
Aug 21, 2016
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35253
Hijo del escritor y uno de los principales ideólogos del falangismo Rafael Sánchez Mazas y de la italiana Liliana Ferlosio, nació en Roma, donde su padre era corresponsal del diario ABC. Es hermano del filósofo y matemático Miguel Sánchez-Mazas Ferlosio y del poeta y cantante Chicho Sánchez Ferlosio. Estudió en el colegio jesuita San José de Villafranca de los Barros y posteriormente cursó filolog ...more
More about Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio...

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“They had painted a lady leaning her arms on the sill of the window. This lady was waiting for a husband. Her flesh was slack and she was some forty-five years old. Perhaps she had been waiting since she was fifteen. A rose and mauve lady that had not yet gathered her flesh and her beauty into dark clothes, and still waited, like a rose stripped of its petals, with her faded colors and her artificial smile, bitter as a grimace.” 3 likes
“Madrid. It was that time, the story of Don Zana 'The Marionette,' he with the hair of cream-colored string, he with the large and empty laugh like a slice of watermelon, the one of the

Tra-kay, tra-kay, tra-kay,
tra-kay, tra-kay, tra

on the tables, on the coffins. It was when there were geraniums on the balconies, sunflower-seed stands in the Moncloa, herds of yearling sheep in the vacant lots of the Guindalera. They were dragging their heavy wool, eating the grass among the rubbish, bleating to the neighborhood. Sometimes they stole into the patios; they ate up the parsley, a little green sprig of parsley, in the summer, in the watered shade of the patios, in the cool windows of the basements at foot level. Or they stepped on the spread-out sheets, undershirts, or pink chemises clinging to the ground like the gay shadow of a handsome young girl. Then, then was the story of Don Zana 'The Marionette.'

Don Zana was a good-looking, smiling man, thin, with wide angular shoulders. His chest was a trapezoid. He wore a white shirt, a jacket of green flannel, a bow tie, light trousers, and shoes of Corinthian red on his little dancing feet. This was Don Zana 'The Marionette,' the one who used to dance on the tables and the coffins. He awoke one morning, hanging in the dusty storeroom of a theater, next to a lady of the eighteenth century, with many white ringlets and a cornucopia of a face.

Don Zana broke the flower pots with his hand and he laughed at everything. He had a disagreeable voice, like the breaking of dry reeds; he talked more than anyone, and he got drunk at the little tables in the taverns. He would throw the cards into the air when he lost, and he didn't stoop over to pick them up. Many felt his dry, wooden slap; many listened to his odious songs, and all saw him dance on the tables. He liked to argue, to go visiting in houses. He would dance in the elevators and on the landings, spill ink wells, beat on pianos with his rigid little gloved hands.

The fruitseller's daughter fell in love with him and gave him apricots and plums. Don Zana kept the pits to make her believe he loved her. The girl cried when days passed without Don Zana's going by her street. One day he took her out for a walk. The fruitseller's daughter, with her quince-lips, still bloodless, ingenuously kissed that slice-of-watermelon laugh. She returned home crying and, without saying anything to anyone, died of bitterness.

Don Zana used to walk through the outskirts of Madrid and catch small dirty fish in the Manzanares. Then he would light a fire of dry leaves and fry them. He slept in a pension where no one else stayed. Every morning he would put on his bright red shoes and have them cleaned. He would breakfast on a large cup of chocolate and he would not return until night or dawn.”
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