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The Night Buffalo

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  437 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Award-winning, internationally acclaimed writer Guillermo Arriaga weaves a luminous, insightful story of love and friendship, passion and betrayal, lunacy and mental illness. Set in Mexico City, The Night Buffalo revolves around the mysterious suicide of Gregorio, a charismatic but troubled young man who was betrayed by the two people he trusted most.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 20th 2007 by Washington Square Press (first published January 1st 2001)
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Francisco Seguin
The first novel I've read by Arriaga, while I was able to read the book in one day at only 198 pages due to Arriaga's simple mastery of language, this heading-nowhere-gradually tale felt very much like a late serving of Spanish drama on SBS. The sex is there, the deep yet twisted unsound love for tortured youth is there, even the disinterested Latino parents are there. What The Night Buffalo lacks in momentum it makes up for in mystery and intrigue, yet it is again another tale about lost youth, ...more
Samuel Ch.
Desde el principio de la lectura se siente el estilo y sello de Guillermo Arriaga; en ocasiones estorba, pero hace que la novela se sienta natural y libre.
Digo que estorba porque en numerosas ocasiones el discurso se siente demasiado achilangado, con majaderías que están mal empleadas y que sobran, como: "mamonamente" o "me vale huevos", en diálogos que se antojaban mucho más simples para la construcción de los personajes. Es decir, muchas veces es el propio Arriaga quien se manifiesta a través
I was looking forward to this outing by Arriaga as I have enjoyed his many screenplays which have made for well-written and well-executed films. However, I was not completely enamoured by his novel The Night Buffalo. It centers on Manuel, a young man from Mexico City who is dealing with the recent suicide of his best friend Gregorio, his best friend with whom he was engaged in a long term secret relationship with his girlfriend Tania while he was in and out of mental institutions. As Manuel is t ...more
J.M. Cornwell

When the earwigs swim through your blood, the night buffalo isn’t far behind.

Gregorio was just released from the hospital again. Manuel went to see him, unsure whether or not their friendship remained, and went home again certain he had been forgiven. That night Gregorio’s sister, Margarita, called Manuel. Gregorio was dead. Suicide. And Tania had disappeared.

Throughout their school years, Gregorio, Tania and Manuel were close. They were friends and more than friends. Tania was the glue that k

This is a dark and weird story of some seriously messed-up youth. Gregorio, with his straightforward madness, is perhaps the most accessible of the characters. Delusions, depression, & suicide are comprehensible. The others, all sleeping with & cheating on each other, never apparently working, seldom going to school, laying about, lying to everyone, and, of course, constantly having sex with someone--these characters are harder to understand, yet not quite as much as the parents, teacher ...more
Brian Parrish
i read this book after seeing arriaga speak in miami. i was intrigued by the fact he claimed to have written the first page 800 times trying to get the voice right. well after that i just had to read it...

as for the 800 re-writes, i don't know if it produced the best first page ever, but it did lead into a complex story which was compelling enough to keep me from reading classwork. as for the plethora of internally complex characters which seem to be typical of his stories, i found them more int
Grace Gunawan
For me this is quite a light read. It tells about a character and how he evolves in the course of a few weeks after the suicide of his bestfriend. This novel was written by Guillermo Arriaga, the author who wrote 21 grams. So knowing that, you kinda know what ur going to get. The story is basically based on life in reality, so you wouldn't always find the big relief at the end. But the character development and character play in Arriaga's works are amazing. It is all so very nicely told. And alt ...more
Nov 27, 2014 Helen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
Quick read about disturbing characters in a love triangle. Initially I liked Manuel and felt sorry for him. As the plot develops you learn more about Manuel and that he isn't the sweet boy he seems to be, and Manuel seems to be discovering this too.
Who wrote the letters? Where did Tania disappear to?
This is a twisted tale of toxic love between two best friends (Manuel and Gregorio) and one girl (Tania). Throw into it mental illness, hallucinations, suicide, and sex - both languid and passionate - and you have The Night Buffalo. The “Mexico City Noir” visuals are one of the reasons I really enjoyed this novel. And despite, or because of, all of his flaws, you grow to like and understand Manuel, the narrator. He reveals his darkest thoughts, admits his wrong-doings, and confesses his fear of ...more
Flat and uninvolving. May be the fault of the translation not capturing all the necessary nuances, as the premise seemed promising; might also be cultural as I felt I was expected to be shocked or surprised at times, but no reason to feel that way seemed to exist.

I expected better from Arriaga; none of the characters or situations really seemed to get off the ground. It it was impossible to empathise with Manuel, whose motivations and reasoning were opaque to say the least; he seemed tediously
Oscar Calva
I read this book a couple of years ago, and the fact that I don't quite remember the specifics of the story, plot or characters should be a very good indication that this novel is a bit forgettable (the movie by the way is just as forgettable). I think Arriaga is better at writting screenplays than novels. It's not a bad book, it's even enjoyable, a light read and catchy story but nothing more. Curiously, the plot and story development reminded me a lot of Murakami's Tokio Blues, published a yea ...more
Melinda Dallass
This book is dark and beautifully written. Full of beautiful imagery and hidden meanings, it does make you wonder if you were the one who went slightly insane by the end of the book.
Dario Alioscha
Adoro el modo de escribir de Guillermo Arriaga. Se le nota lo chilango a leguas al cabrón. Con frases y lugares típicos, descripciones que se acercan a la forma de pensar de los mexicanos con actitudes rosando lo macho, violento, y cliché.
Deja un sabor insípido, triste, algo que te descifra el libro en medida en que lo vas leyendo. Es crítica y desvelo a la vez. Una mezcla rara de Detectivismo, personajes padeciendo su propio tipo de locura, y propuestas duras, y marcadas por una clara influenci
Alberto Philips
Libro aburrido como pocos, con una trama dizque trágica que transcurre entre clichés y melodramas de telenovelas. Bazofia.
Ryan Frawley
Just ok, nothing special. Probably would have worked better as a screenplay.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bel libro senza essere eccezionale che cammina sul confine sottile che divide un thriller da un romanzo "normale". La storia è quella classica del triangolo composto da due uomini molto amici ed una donna che li ama entrambi, a turno scompariranno fino a lasciare il protagonista vittima dei suoi stessi pensieri. Se mi capita leggerò altro dello stesso autore, anche perchè la prosa è scorrevole e comunque il libro prende visto che l'ho cominciato ieri mattina e l'ho finito ieri sera.
An interesting psychological book. What I liked most about it was the atmosphere created through the settings (Mexico, the hotel room, different houses). It was almost as if the different settings of the books were different characters in the novel. I also noticed a few translation errors (or what look like translation errors), and so I think I would like to reread this book in the native Spanish. I wonder how reading it in its native text would affect the narrative.
This book did interest me. I picked it up by chance, read the back and decided to get it. While reading it though I felt confused. Why does the main character, manuel do some of the things he did? Why does he get mad at his lady friend for having another man while he has a few other lady friends himself? Not just friends but women who he has sex with. Overall the book was good but it wasn't explained so well. Which did leave me comfused and annoyed for not getting it.
Weird and very disturbing, yet engrossing... Despite it being a first-person narration, seen through the eyes of the main character, Manuel, I still felt disconnected from him as a character. I couldn't get a full grasp on his actions or
thoughts, and by the time I reached the end of the book, I was surprised it was done and I still didn't really know who Manuel was. Overall, it kept my interest but still felt short of my expectations.
I was attracted to this book because the author, Guillermo Arriaga, wrote the screenplays for "21 Grams" and "Babel"; two movies I loved for their edgey human rawness. This book did not disappoint me for that effect. I found it dark and very real.

I was entranced with how one guy who is insane can affect and torment others with their own ugliness and shortcomings. The book grabbed a hold of me and didn't let me go.

I want to say there is a specific genre for the style that Guillermo uses in his fiction. A story that begins at the climax and then transitions into the events that lead up to that climax for the rest of the story, I truly enjoy. I would have like to see the night buffalo get turned into a movie. It even transitions like a movie. Guillermo is extremely talented. He paints a very vivid picture. I could feel Gregorio's suffering.
I'm a bit torn on this one. Ultimately, the utter selfishness of its protagonist drove me crazy and landed it three stars instead of four. It's only 228 pages long, but it's one of the thickest books I've read. Every movement is documented, and in the end, you don't know what the hell you've just been through except you're ultimately depressed.
The book starts in a high momentum, with the datils about Gregorio's death and then Tania and Manuel.
It however ends in an anticlimax. The author seemed scared of unravelling the mystery of the Night Buffalo, I felt he could have done better on Tania and Gregorio's plot. I however think the description was done really well
Eduardo Sangarcía
Poco hay de sobresaliente en esta novela, aunque es cien veces mejor que la sosa película que nació de ella. La historia de Arriaga no se trata sólo de acostones, como en la película, sino de una venganza que va orillando a los personajes a la locura y la separación, aunque su amor se mantiene siempre.
I would have given this book 4 stars when I was in the midst of the book. The ending ruined that chance. It felt rushed, the epilogue was disappointing, like it was just tacked on to quickly finish it. I get where the author was coming from, but there were no hints of it. Also, who was sending the packages?
Surprisingly picked up and became a decent novel in the last 100 pages. The first 150, however, were a drag and a bore. Whether by some fault of the translation or the author, the book makes you feel disconnected from every single character. It takes far too long for the story to unfold.
Slightly mysterious and intriguing. The main character is some one you like, hate, relate to and dont understand all at the same time. The author is someone who I would love to read more from. I have enjoyed all the films based upon his works (Babel, Amores Perros and 21 Grams)
"Il bufalo della notte ti trotterà accanto, ne sentirai i passi e il respiro. Ne annuserai il sudore e ti verrà cpsì vicino che quasi riuscirai a toccarlo E quando deciderà di attaccarti, ti sveglierai nella prateria della morte.
Il Bufalo della notte è l'inizio della mia fine."
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Guillermo Arriaga Jordán is a Mexican author, screenwriter, director and producer. He received the 2005 Cannes Film Festival Best Screenplay Award for The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.
More about Guillermo Arriaga...
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