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4.25  ·  Rating details ·  12,819 ratings  ·  511 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 ...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…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 4.25  · 
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 ·  12,819 ratings  ·  511 reviews

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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.

"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 (Drunken house)

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
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 -
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
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
Kathryn Jacoby
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.
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 Cortazars magical realism.
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...
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
Diana  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
Las puertas del cielo: (more like a 4,5)
Carta a una señorita en París:
Cefalea: (This was a complete
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
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.
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.
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.
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."
Nov 20, 2017 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
Olive Writter
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some tells were better that others (for example, “Circe” was better than “Cefalia”). Cortázar is an amazing autor and everybody has to read it.
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very interesting short stories, but I need to read them again.
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.
Jack Greenwood
Cortázar preys on the minds of his readers by wrapping the seemingly ordinary in a pervasive coating of malevolent fear, seasoning simple plots with thrilling sprinkles of magic that coax immediate re-readings. He toys with the mind’s gloomy recesses, kindling a nefarious dread that broods and chuckles just out of tangible reach.

In several of the short stories, such as La Casa Tomada, the reader is left alone to ponder the evocative denouement, and imagine for themselves the true nature of the
Air Knight
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature
Bestiario is eight short stories, the first published book under Cortázar's name. The stories show his usual style of writing, the way he likes to approach the genre (the best place to introduce fantasy elements) and his inspiration for the genre (neutralized products of neurosis, nightmares or hallucinations, an exorcism)

- Casa Tomada (House Taken Over) is probably one of his best known works due to the flawless way fear, resignation and acceptance are compressed in such a short text. It came
Oct 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: spanish
I had a very bimodal reaction to hese shorts. I really enjoyed Omnibus, Carta a una señorita en Paris, and Casa tomada. I think Casa tomada was my favorite, although I also really liked Bestiario (the titular short). All had very deep, very raw treatment of emotions that I found very compelling.

I think what unnerved me about many of the other stories was the flat, emptiness of many of the female characters. Lejana, Circe, and las Puertas del Cielo all fell in to this category: the female
Katja Vartiainen
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel
Coratzar's 'Bestiario is economically written surrealism or fantasy, digging up images from the collective unconsciousness in an enjoyable manner. The whole book is a collection of dreams, disturbing, absurd, a bit haunting. One identifies with its events: 'yes, it's just like the dream i once had!' and this of course fascinates us since it's a common basis for us all, and shed a light the essential moments of our human development. I also got this mood of another country. I have never been to ...more
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Una serie de cuentos entretenidos y fácil de leer. Que se puede decir sobre esta monumental obra? Cortázar ha creado un enorme monumento literario. Muy recomendado: es un libro intenso, en el que se siente la fuerza narrativa de Julio Cortázar.

Overall, easy to approach and read short stories by the Argentine master of the fable turned to pragmatic narrative, Julio Cortázar. This collection is, despite its compact length and easy-to-approach stories, a monumental work of narrative in the unique
Josefa Ruz Ginouves
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
*read for school*

I read most of the stories but not all of them. Julio Cortazar' stories are creepy, they make you feel uncomfortable and anxious, it's definitely an experience I have never felt while reading a book. I am glad that I did try a new genre because I found myself being attracted to the way he tells story, how weird and different they are. You do have to stop and analyse them though otherwise you won't truly get the full experience of understanding them. My personal favorite was
Dec 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it but at the same I didn't. I loved its weirdness and the magical sense of it but I don't know if Cortázar's writing confused me or I simply suck at reading in Spanish. It was very enjoyable when I got the gist of the stories but most of the time I was struggling to understand his mannerisms and figures of speech. And I do understand the extravagance and elegance his writing provides for the stories but to me it was beautifully perplexing.
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Letteratura Postm...: Sessantaquattresimo GdL - Bestiario di Cortazar 46 43 Apr 20, 2019 09:37AM  
I want the English titles of the 8 stories in this book 5 41 Aug 21, 2014 06:48AM  
Literautas: Bestiario (enero - marzo 2014) 27 97 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.” 30 likes
“Me daba asco pensar así, una vez más estar pensando todo lo que a los otros les bastaba sentir.” 25 likes
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