The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Our literature is replete with the romance of riches for free. But in THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE the litany of desire reveals itself in an unusual and e...more
Ret Marut was involved in leftist politics in germany in the 1920s. he was the editor of the radical magazine der ziege ...more
When Badass Books Become Kickass Flicks
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(Farrar Straus Giroux $16)
At first glance this tale may seem less pulpy than the above, but its heart consists wholly of the stuff pulp lives are made of. To wit: losers still looking to win despite lives filled with nothing but loss – and not a damn chance in hell they’ll succeed.
If you’ve seen John Huston’s 1948 adaptation of B. Traven’s desolate 1927 classic, you’ll kno ...more
Brilliant, radical, underrated, economically written in every sense of the word. I'm a big fan of the movie and I enjoyed the book even more, which is something I'm not necessarily always prone to do.
Powerfully captures the madness and paranoia inherent in the lust for riches, particularly when this takes place amid some hardscrabble vagabonds who don't really have much of a choice in the matter.
And the still-mysterious origins of the author (exiled German anarchist? Mexican scribbler? Moonlig ...more
The story as it unfolds here is much darker than it was in the movie. The backdrop is Mexico, whose native population has been exploited for hundreds of years by the Catholic church, only t ...more
Dobbs clearly goes off the deep end and pays a heavy price. Juxtaposed with the relatively loose honesty of Curtin and Howard, Dobbs's break with sanity is that m ...more
And then a friend of mine gave me a copy of this book, and I devoured it. (Not literally)
The story itself is exciting, a page turner, & like a Quentin Tarantino film - it has many layers of several different stories woven thr ...more
Huey Lewis had a big 80s hit called the "Power of Love", and while I risk derisive laughter by admitting to remember this, I will also say it wasn't such a bad song as songs of that era go. Indeed, the power of love is a popular theme in all the arts. Perhaps a close second, and here an overwhelming winner, is the theme of the power of gold.
The title of B. Traven's one remembered book should sound familiar--it is a classic movie with Humphrey Bogart in the ...more
Traven wrote the book in 1934 and it definitely is not PC in many respects. He was a political person of extreme views who may even have been a terrorist. He kept his background purposely obscure, but he did live for extended p ...more
While I enjoyed the story, I found the frequent insertion of the author's political point of view to be a bit irritating. Yes, greed is bad, and the workers of the world have really been trampled by the business owners, I get it. Just a few of these added statements would have been fine, but there are just too many of them. Also the frequent asides by some of the characters, where long meandering stories about other people in similar s ...more
A pretty fun read, but having been a fan of the movie for so long, I finished it more out of curiosity. Goes to show what a masterful job Huston did with tightening up the story. I think the main shortcoming of the book is that the characters of Dobbs and Curtin are drawn indistinctly, but the movie, well, it has Bogart, in what I think is his best role, to do all the distinctifyin'. Highlights of the book include the back story of the bandits and Howard's campfire story about Doña Maria.
This book came, un-ordered, with an Amazon delivery. It was billed, so instead of getting a refund for it, I decided to read it. That it was made into a classic film, which I still have not seen, helped.
WHAT I THOUGHT OF IT:
I'm glad I kept the book. It was fun to read and had more to it than I would expect from a Western story. Although the language, and especially the dialogue, was wooden at times, it was fascinating how Traven illustrated ideas of life within and without society. ...more
B. Traven (el misterioso, ¿quién sería?), nos lleva a través de México con sus personajes habituales, los gringos en México y los indios, a enterarnos de aquellos dos h ...more
At times, Traven's journalistic roots show, when he seems more interested in depicting the setting of the story and its social conditions than in moving the "plot" along. For instance, in the first chapter, he spends 13 pages describing the Hotel Oso Negro in far more detail than is necessary for the few brief scenes set there. Traven knew the places and people in this story from first-hand experience. It was a wise choice for him to write a novel, even if he ...more
I cannot tell you if he is a socialist or a communist or something else. He does lean to the left, but he's subtle. He's not your typical strident propagandist SHOUTING at his audience. He takes his time; he tells an entertaining tale or two and then he lets you draw your own conclusions.
He writes in a good third person voice, something that is not easily done.
In first person, you're sitting in a quiet bar listening to someone tell you his story, what happened to h ...more
One layer is the landscape of the Sierra Madre mountains and he does an admirable job of capturing the physical characteristics of this remote, forbidden area to the extent a glass of cold water helps ease the reading.
Another layer is of Mexico itself ...more
One of my book gorup memeber just ...more