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Arráncame la vida

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  8,653 ratings  ·  547 reviews
Arráncame la vida narra el inicial amor sumiso de Catalina por el general Andrés Ascencio y la progresiva desvinculación de la mujer a un tiempo de su papel de subordinación conyugal y de su aceptación del contexto político que aguará los ideales revolucionarios. Novela pues, de aprendizaje de la vida y de la conquista de la propia identidad en un mundo machista.
Paperback, 268 pages
Published February 2004 by Booket (first published 1985)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  8,653 ratings  ·  547 reviews

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To all of you out there who believe that Mastretta does not introduce her characters enough, or that the first half of the novel is quite hard, there is a simple explanation for this. The novel is quite regionalized, it's written by a Mexican woman whose mother grew up in that environment.
Any Mexican that has parents or grandparents who grew up in post-revolutionary Mexico can clearly understand the author and what she’s talking about. It’s actually considered to be a very light-hearted read by
This is a story immerse in the Mexico of the 1930s and 40s. It has very interesting political undertones as Catalina (the protagonist) marries Andres Ascencio, who is something of a politician but whose main role is that of the man behind the curtain pulling at the puppets' strings.

Catalina marries young, too young she tells us as the novel goes on. She thinks she's in love, but only because she doesn't know what love is, at least not yet. Andres isn't in love with his new bride either, but she'
Dec 29, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I gave up on this book about halfway through. Maybe I just don't have the time or the concentration to read it right now. Or maybe it just developed quite differently from how I had expected the plot to unfold. The story centers around Catalina who is barely 15 when she marries a general at least 15 years her senior whom anyone with half a braincell can tell is going to turn out to be a power-obsessed narcissistic jerk. In case you have any hopes for this guy, he establishes himself pretty quick ...more
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best Latin American works I have come across. Page by page it reminded me of how much I love Mexican history. The life of Catalina makes so much sense to me and reminds me of the old stories my own grandmother, who would be a contemporary of Catalina, would talk about. I could clearly visualize the story and place Catalina as the female lead role in one of Pedro Infante's movies. Marrying a much more older man at the age of 15 was common practice at the time, but the way she evolved i ...more
Wasn't sure what to expect from this Mexican novelist, but the book was an interesting and enjoyable exploration of politics, machismo, class, and family relations as seen through the eyes of a fifteen (to mid-thirties) year old woman married to a misogynistic, brutal, strongman general/governor in post-revolutionary Puebla, Mexico. It is hard to relate to the protagonist; although you sympathize with her and root for her when she stands up to her husband, you also realize the pressures to confo ...more
Linda Abhors the New GR Design
I've never understood why people consider this to be a "feminist" work. The story begins at the beginning of the protagonist's relationship with the man who would later be her husband and a well-known politician. It follows her through years of self-sacrifice, and although her story doesn't end with their relationship (I'm trying not to spoil), the novel does. I found the end to be the most intriguing part--at the end of their relationship, she can begin to live for herself. That's when I really ...more
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, it is a "three stars only": it is easy to read; it was written for a regional public and it shows, once more, how violence and corruption engulf México. Yes, it is not Virginia Woolf nor Juan Rulfo. Still, it has a concern over women's role in the post-revolution period. Literature it's not only Cervantes or Alighieri; also, it's something written for a larger amount of public, with a contribution, to unify, not to divide and feed elitism. ...more
The book is excellent and very discriptive, the women in the story could not have been more real and enduring of all the mental and otherwise abuse of the powerful macho men, unfortunately very real in true life,in the midle of their tragic lives, they go on with their lives,but they still manage to have a very cinical sence of humor, very typical of our women and our culture
Julie Spencer
This is a very dramatic story written by a Modern Woman Writer.

Is it a romance? No.

It does encompass a relationship set within difficult oppressive times, in Mexico. I don’t know enough personally, about the history of Mexico which is embedded deep within the Novel, but I do know that even today, the relationship that Andres and Catalina have, continue to exist. The war and the oppressive state are an excellent plot device, and historically captivating. But, dear Catalina.

That is what I though
Dear future me,

Do you remember that time you said that you would never be capable of enjoying a novel written in Spanish? Well, you were wrong. Oh, fuck man. Ok. Ok. Ok. Ok. That was good. Like it was so good. Probably the best book I've ever read in Spanish. I'll admit that it took me a while, like a long, long while, but in the end, I really enjoyed the novel. I guess Spanish isn't that bad after all. Man, I've been good this month, like I think I've finished quite a few books and I've reviewe
Alexa Caffio
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Arráncame la vida reveals the perspective of an unsuspecting woman who marries a cruel, shady, older politician. Catalina Guzmán de Ascencio, much like the character of the same first name in La muerte de Artemio Cruz, must tolerate years of abuse and frustration while she attentively observes and questions her husband's political ambitions. Ángeles Mastretta creatively interweaves common themes from the Mexican Revolution with the unique ordeals of Catalina and her unwanted responsibilities. Wh ...more
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I've ever read. I didn't know it was possible to write a book like this, that evokes the feeling of being a woman in Mexico so clearly. Even though the book was written 35 years ago, and is set in post-Revolutionary Mexico, it still portrays what Mexico is like. Mexican politics, art, cities, towns. I don't know what that says about the country. This book is so raw and unfiltered, I didn't think it possible for a woman to write like this and that is what I like most about t ...more
Alma Nieto Ramirez
This is a story of a young and naïve girl who marries a politician with bad intentions. This is a story from a female perspective that narrates the struggles of being marry into a corrupted government. This is a love story about a brave woman who finds love in the most inconvenient time.

Angeles Mastretta does a good job at describing the role of women after the revolution of Mexico. I enjoyed this feminist work especially because Mastretta is not afraid to use colloquial language. In the book,
Eugenio Fouz
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How couldn´t I remember this book? How did I dare not to write something about the beauty in the story? The thing is that I had read "Arráncame la vida" (Mastretta) in 2015 as I see in my @goodreads account. So, this is the second time I read it. I have just finished the novel this morning. I loved it. What a style! How strong! There were passionate characters in Mexico. Of course, Catalina was my favourite. Nevertheless, some other secondary ones, Marcela and Octavio forbidden relationship, Car ...more
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Lost interest half-way through. Started off great with some interesting comments on sexual fluidity in religious societies. However, the author skims over years in a matter of paragraphs which makes it hard to get to know characters & ultimately feels more like a Mexican history lesson than a novel.

Wouldn’t recommend.
Wanda Brenni
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very easy read that takes one into a period of Mexican history, while depicting the passive & objectified role of a woman with all its subjugation That said, Mastretta's women are never stifled and always come across as very strong, independent, intelligent and sexy; and her stories are always very rich in cultural textures & feel. ...more
marcy moz
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful book! Angeles Mastretta is my new favorite author. Her storytelling is authentic, intriguing, vivid and heartfelt. Catalina's character is written so well- she is honest, raw and relatable. The Mexican humor and banter is smart and hilarious. I loved reading this book. ...more
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
best book in spanish i have ever read. absolutely loved it. probably because i am mexican and i could understand the references made in the book. i read it in spanish. if you are mexican read this book it is a must
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an outstanding book with an entertaining story that is complemented by the rich character development, intriguing - although somewhat predictable - main plot, sub-plots that add to the story, and continuous messaging from the author through the words of her story.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Too much sex for my tastes.
Kisses -A
3.5 stars
Pedro Garrido
The best are the musical references to the time, its a very easy history but i really enjoyed it
I would give it 3-1/2 stars. It’s fast moving & keeps you engaged.
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A kind of intense book that fills you with sadness. But it does provide a perspective into the life of women during these times.
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a good story which presents an underrated point of view, the woman's point at this time, a 40's Mexico surrounding by bad politics and high hierarchy levels of power ...more
Erika Cornejo
It is a good book, but not an amazing one. I was expecting more 🤷🏽‍♀️
RD Chiriboga Moncayo
The social-political history of Mexico from the Revolution of 1910 to WWII is the tumultuous setting for this fascinating story of love, betrayal, complicity and vengeance.
Dec 21, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought it's maybe not my season for reading serious, "demanding" literature, that's why i picked this one as it seemed a nice slim novel set in Mexico during the 1940's and narrates the story of a young girl who at the age of fifteen gets married to a way older man involved in Mexican politics and who’s the archetype of a totalitarian machista guy who rules Puebla with the sheer brutality of his gun.

Maybe Ángeles Mastretta should have written a longer novel to really introduce each character
Carlos Mock
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arráncame La Vida by Ángeles Mastretta Spanish Edition

This is Catalina Ascencio's story, narrated by her from the first person point of view.

The book opens when Catalina is 15 years old and she's to be married to Andrés Ascencio, a powerful general and soon to be governor of the state of Puebla in Mexico.

From an innocent teenager, Catalina blossoms to become a powerful woman in the Mexico of the 30's and 40's. Intertwined with the Mexican history of Porfirio Díaz, Emiliano Zapata, Pancho Villa,
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was back and forth between liking this book and not liking it. I think it's because it took while for me to enjoy the protagonist, I guess it makes sense. the protagonist, Catalina, annoyed me at first but as she grew and matured into herself I enjoyed the story more and more. There were instances of whiplash for me, I would go from extreme sadness and sympathy to giggles. In this sense, the book fits Catalina's description of herself and her sister when she says: "se moria de la risa o se ech ...more
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Ángeles Mastretta es una escritora y periodista mexicana. Es conocida por crear personajes femeninos sugerentes y ficciones que reflejan las realidades sociales y políticas de México. Actualmente está casada con el también escritor y analista político Héctor Aguilar Camín. Sus principales novelas son: Arráncame la vida y Mal de amores.

Una vez en el Distrito Federal, Mastretta decide estudiar la c

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