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4.24  ·  Rating details ·  14,869 ratings  ·  641 reviews
In these eight masterpieces there is no room for the smallest sign of stumbling or youthful undertones: they are perfect. These stories that speak about objects and daily happenings, pass over to another dimension, one of nightmare or revelation. In each text, surprise and uneasiness are ingredients added to the indescribable pleasure of its reading. These stories may upse ...more
Paperback, 104 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Punto de Lectura (first published 1951)
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Marcos Galindo Considero que Rayuela es un intento de Cortázar de hacer algo largo. Pero el siempre fue mucho mejor en sus cuentos: La Otra Orilla, Los Fuegos el Fue…moreConsidero que Rayuela es un intento de Cortázar de hacer algo largo. Pero el siempre fue mucho mejor en sus cuentos: La Otra Orilla, Los Fuegos el Fuego y Bestiario son los mejores para comenzar. Con esos basta para mantenerte apegado a él. (less)

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Average rating 4.24  · 
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"We enjoyed the house apart from its spaciousness and it's history ...but it protected the memories of of great grandparents, paternal grandfather, our parents and all of my childhood." Casa tomada (House Taken over)

So the first page starts. A couple cleans the large house everyday trying to make themselves comfortable. Then they start hearing noises. Memories of the past? Monsters? Ghosts? What a great kick off to a collection of haunting tales from Julio Cortázar.

These eight tales range from s
Phyllis Eisenstadt
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Julio Cortazar is one of the most famous of the so-called "Boom" authors of Latin America, and with good reason. He is a natural story teller, a natural lover of words, and meticulous in his descriptive details. My favorite story in this collection is "Lejana," which I had read in college for the first time. It is just as interesting and suspenseful the second time around. All of his short stories are excellent and make for enjoyable reading, but some of them are truly outstanding and memorable. ...more
Steven Godin
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Six out of eight of these highly imaginative and meaningful short stories were just brilliant! And after reading Blow-up and other stories, and really liking that, Cortázar is a writer I now truly admire. Will certainly read more of him, with Hopscotch likely next. But the trouble with a lot of his other work is going to be getting hold of it in English, as my Spanish sucks.

The eight stories scored -

House taken - 4/5
Letter to a lady in Paris - 5/5
Distant - 5/5
Omnibus - 3/5
Headache - 5/5
Circe -
Nov 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julio Cortázar escribe ficción, pero con tal elegancia, que te convence que estás leyendo una verdad o por lo menos una "realidad alternativa".

A pesar de que los cuentos fueron escritos con la misma pluma (hablando metafóricamente, porque de lo demás... no me consta) cada uno aborda temas tan distintos sin guardar ninguna familiaridad con el anterior o el siguiente. Además, Cortázar tiene la delicadeza de acomodar las palabras en una forma tan fuera de lo común, que parece que nunca has leído un
This was definitely one interesting work! Weird; but at the same time, extremely, extremely powerful experience. In fact, I feel quite short of words, but I also really want to write about this book.

In these pages there are eight short stories, which Cortázar wrote being inspired by his own nightmares and fears. Sounds cliché. However, it isn't. He truly has captured something here... it's surrealism, horror, fantasy, magical realism, thriller, everything at the same time.

Probably, experience re
May 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Strange and captivating stories. I didn't really understand any of them, even though I read some of them twice. Still, they transfixed me. My favorite was probably Carta a una señorita en París. Who could forget the torment of the man who vomited rabbits? I'm also dying to understand Cefalea, one of the stories I read twice. I'm sure I'll revisit this book in the future. ...more
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All fires the fire indeed. *****
A collection of 35 stories not to be confused with the shorter editions under this grouping.
I found these short stories too intense and enjoyable to read back to back. I was tempted to skip the last few just to know they were there to come back to. "Press Clippings" was an intensely dark tale that cast a shadow on all previous stories.
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best collections of short stories I have ever read.

Many of these stories have brilliant intellectual depths but they flow easily and smoothly in a prose that is very different indeed from the glacial prose of Borges, an author that Cortázar is often paired with. Most stories unfold gradually, organically, and they don't allow themselves to be dominated by the core concept that will surely spring a remarkable surprise at the end. Cortázar is extremely good with surprise endings: the tw
Yvonne (It's All About Books)
Finished reading: February 29th 2016
Rating 3,5qqq

“Las costumbres, Andrée, son formas concretas del ritmo, son la cuota del ritmo que nos ayuda a vivir. No era tan terrible vomitar conejitos una vez que se había entrado en el ciclo invariable, en el método.”

(view spoiler)
I wouldn't confess my secret either.
I have never described this to you before, not so much, I don’t think, from the lack of truthfulness as that, just naturally, one is not going to explain to people at large that from time to time one vomits up a small rabbit.

Letter of a Young Lady in Paris

If Jorge Luis Borges is the literary scientist who excels at exhibiting impossible geometries in miniature, Julio Cortázar is the long-winded, mussy-haired standup act with something direly unsettling about
Néstor Silverio
Every man has a dark side, a beast side within himself. It's up to him letting it outside...
Light and darkness, perfection and chaos, Cortázar uses his tales based on dualities and opposites to describe the way we, humans, react to the different complications of our lives. Many of those difficulties are not even rational...
Second time of reading it and besides the fact that it squeezes your brain while you try to figure out what does he mean with all those crazy stuff, I love it.
"Casa tomada", "Omnibus", "Lejana", "Carta a una señorita en París" they are all as crazy as they are amazing. And let's not forget the story that gives the name to the book: "Bestiario".

Thumbs up for Julio Cortazar´s magical realism.
Roud Faria
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There’s nothing like Argentinian short stories. From Borges to Mariana Enriquez, there’s always something way too real to the fantastic world created by these authors. Cortazar presents us a universe of wonder with humane emotions in bestial situations or the opposite. The use of the fantastic is either a metaphor or a reality to portray the absurdity of existence itself.
Mar 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

High expectations lead to higher disappointments; however, as much as I admire Cortázar, this book in particular did not have that much of an interesting premise for me to begin with. Why did I read it? Ruling out my ownership of both this book and a vast amount of free time, I was intrigued with the way Cortázar would perform in his genre of preference, short quotidian stories laced together with supernatural elements. Despite my devotion to the author, I do not share his liking for these wo
Diana  Aurelia Stoica
I've rated each story in turn because there are some I loved and some I didn't quite like. The first three I've rated below are my favourites and absolute masterpieces in my opinion, stories I would keep reading again and again and again; in fact I've lost count of how many times I've read Casa Tomada. Pure Genius.

Casa tomada: ☆☆☆☆☆ × infinity
Ómnibus: ☆☆☆☆☆ × infinity
Lejana: ☆☆☆☆☆
Las puertas del cielo: ☆☆☆☆☆ (more like a 4,5)
Circe: ☆☆☆☆
Bestiario: ☆☆☆☆
Carta a una señorita en París: ☆☆☆
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is his first collection of shorts and it is a funny beast. Innocent, delicate and gracious by themselves, the stories share a similar pattern by featuring an irrational element casting an air of mystery and unsettlement over them. It creates a deliciously unique tone that I have not encountered before. It plays with your mind, it is not scary but rather surrealistic, imaginative, enigmatic. The "element" is always different, open to many interpretations, and I'd lie if I said the stories we ...more
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Cortazar's imagination is so inseparable form his writing style (his thinking style), that is impossible to just explain to another one of his tales. So are here reality and fantasy: nothing appears as a surprise, everything is fluid, hell is always under the curtain. ...more
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Arturo Hernández
A compilation of popular stories. Some are good, some are too bizarre. Opening and closing stories were my favorite. New word: Manscupia
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very interesting short stories, but I need to read them again.
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is a compilation of tales by Cortazar. Each tale portrays the mind tribulations and relationship tensions of the human existence in very distinct ways.
In, most of, the tales animals are used as allegories/metaphors of a person's feelings (guilt, sense of loss) but detailed in a very intense form.
Cortazar writes in some cases in a way similar to the fantastic scenarios of his fellowman Borges.
An interesting entry point to the work of Cortazar.
Juan Nicolas
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Clearly you can appreciate Julio Cortazar's "strangeness poetics," in which he dismantles reality by conveying a particular unusual feeling on the reader, almost telling the reader, "reality might be as fake as this book for all you know," or asking "what assumptions are you taking for granted right now." ...more
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First I thought I didn’t get these short stories because I read them in Spanish. Then I realized that it wasn’t the language, it was the stories.

Weird, surreal, and... totally awesome. These stories are Latin American magical realism at its best. ”Carta a una señorita en París” and ”Bestiario” went straight to my favourite short stories of all time.
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Well, no surprise here. I never really liked my country's literature but wanted to give it another try.
2 stars instead of one because I liked Casa Tomada, Carta a una señorita en Paris and Omnibus.
That's 3 our of 9.
Robert Frecer
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A weird mix of Dušan Mitana and Stephen King written with flourish and creativity. Even though they were published 80-50 years ago, the stories feel absolutely contemporary. Cortazar is a master of foreshadowing and subtle humor; reading this was a delight.
Trinidad Rocio
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Read it for IB. A handful of short stories, all of them so innovative and strange. Liked the one about the workers the most idk its name. Minus one star because IB made me hate it. But we adore it still
Nov 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not easy reading, but most definitely engaging! In all stories there is this underlying sense of threat or of the alarming just under the surface of everyday occurrences. This is one to revisit in a year or two.
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Took me ages to read these short stories - they felt so dense and heavy I couldn't swallow more than one in the same sitting. Magic realism, with sudden flourishes of violence. Very easy to see the similarities to Bolano. ...more
Reixel Soy Yo
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: literature
With the exceptions of two of the eight tales, I found them a bit boring and weird. I don't doubt that Cortázar may be a great writer, but definitely, he's not my type. ...more
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
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I want the English titles of the 8 stories in this book 5 47 Aug 21, 2014 06:48AM  
Literautas: Bestiario (enero - marzo 2014) 27 98 Mar 06, 2014 12:15PM  

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Julio Cortázar, born Julio Florencio Cortázar Descotte, was an Argentine author of novels and short stories. He influenced an entire generation of Latin American writers from Mexico to Argentina, and most of his best-known work was written in France, where he established himself in 1951.

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“Nunca se lo había explicado antes, no crea que por deslealtad, pero naturalmente uno no va a ponerse a explicarle a la gente que de cuando en cuando vomita un conejito. Como siempre me ha sucedido estando a solas, guardaba el hecho igual que se guardan tantas constancias de lo que acaece (o hace uno acaecer) en la privacía total. No me lo reproche, Andrée, no me lo reproche. De cuando en cuando me ocurre vomitar un conejito. No es razón para no vivir en cualquier casa, no es razón para que uno tenga que avergonzarse y estar aislado y andar callándose.” 31 likes
“Me daba asco pensar así, una vez más estar pensando todo lo que a los otros les bastaba sentir.” 26 likes
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