Paul's Reviews > The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes

The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes by Anonymous
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Dec 07, 13

Read from April 04 to 10, 2011

I loved this book. Written in the 1550s in Spain before Don Quixote it is a classic picaresque novel and satire. It is anonymous and there is no doubt much scholarly debate about who wrote it.
It is about a boy, Lazaro who is abandoned and has to find work with a series of masters. He is abused and ill-treated and learns to adapt, beg and steal to survive. It is a very clever satire on those in authority, especially the church. The book reminded me of Erasmus and his attack on simony and indulgences in "Praise of Folly". Only it is a lot funnier, bawdy and much more entertaining.
Initially I felt the later part of the book was weaker, but on reflection I thin this is maybe meant to reflect Lazaro growing up and becoming what he satirised. Having learnt to live by his wits, to steal and cheat when he has to and to trust no one, he decides his best career is in government. As he says "nobody really thrives except those who have positions of that nature". He learns to be a rogue and so goes into his natural home, politics. No lessons to be learned there then!!!!
This is a classic and deserves to be better known than it is.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope But recently I have seen a few reviews of this in GR.


message 2: by Lynne (last edited Dec 07, 2013 02:57AM) (new) - added it

Lynne King Paul,

Excellent. Another book that I have to admit I have never heard of. This sounds great fun.

I loved:

"He learns to be a rogue and so goes into his natural home."

There are rogues and rogues but the lovable ones are those that I lean towards...


message 3: by Dolors (new)

Dolors Funny to see good ole Lazarillo here in GR. It was a compulsory reading back in my school days. If you enjoy picaresque you should take the jump and give Francisco de Quevedo and Luís de Góngora a try!


Paul I'll bear them in mind Dolors, thanks; It is great fun Lynne


message 5: by Caroline (new)

Caroline He learns to be a rogue and so goes into his natural home, politics. No lessons to be learned there then!!!!

Indeed :-)


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