Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “El llano en llamas” as Want to Read:
El llano en llamas
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

El llano en llamas

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  12,695 ratings  ·  749 reviews
Desde su aparición en 1953, este libro de relatos del mexicano Juan Rulfo se ha traducido a más de veinticinco lenguas y ha dado lugar a múltiples y permanentes reediciones en los países de lengua hispana. Esta edición, única revisada y autorizada por la Fundación Juan Rulfo, debe ser considerada como la definitiva.
Paperback, 210 pages
Published May 28th 2000 by Sudamericana (first published 1950)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about El llano en llamas, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Paul Fulcher There is a now a brand new one from Stephen Beechinor

Both the Stavans and the new Beechinor one (El Llano in flames) do have the advantage of access…more
There is a now a brand new one from Stephen Beechinor

Both the Stavans and the new Beechinor one (El Llano in flames) do have the advantage of access to a more definitive original and include 2 more stories (so 17 vs 15 in the Schade).

But I haven't compared them on a story for story basis as to which is the best.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,695 ratings  ·  749 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of El llano en llamas
Fabian
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An outstanding collection of snippets, ever-literary and uniquely blissfully Mexican. These stories are timeless. And it is precisely that quality, that of timelessness, which best describes the setting which pervades throughout these incendiary vignettes. The best are short enough to be parables--"We're Very Poor" (heart-wrenching), "The burning plain" (epic--a.k.a. where Cormack McCarthy got his prose) & "Anacleto Morones" (the anti "8 1/2") were my favorites. The leitmotifs are beautiful ...more
Mike Puma
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mike by: Roberto Bolaño

Staggering, bleak page-turners that leave you wanting more—more stories, more Rulfo. Each story is complete—nothing left wanting and nothing extraneous.

Imagine stories told by a character from one of Cormac McCarthy’s southwestern novels. Imagine that character retelling a story by Flannery O’Connor (e.g., A Good Man Is Hard to Find). [I almost…almost…suggested: imagine a dictionary-less Cormac McCarthy doing Flannery O’Connor, but I knew what the perverse among you would make of that]. It doesn

...more
Stephen P
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those open to the many facets of the human heart.
Recommended to Stephen by: Ben Winch
Shelves: latin-american

Holding the spine of the book in the palm of my hand, having read Rulfo's great novel Pedro Páramo , I felt the sear of my skin before opening the front cover. This short story collection's primal bleakness, savagery, rumbled within. Hazemat gear in toe I pried open the book and stood back. My hand burnt, cracked the pain oozing upward, outward, I stared at the sparse simple prose. A style any writer might be proud of to cover many examples of a staid story line. An aesthetic which yearns to be
...more
Ben Winch
F**k me this is good! As good as Pedro Paramo! Rulfo is a master, the equal of anyone anywhere anytime. These stories are so elemental they are as if hewn from stone. The opener, 'Macario', is a mini-miracle - a monologue by an idiot child so convincing we forget it is fiction, forget we are reading almost. And so it is with every story here. They don't 'jump off the page' like so many supposedly virtuosic feats of literary ventriloquism; they insinuate themselves quietly, seem to reach us ...more
Gumble's Yard
I read this book due to its longlisting for the 2020 Republic of Consciousness Prize for UK small presses.

It is the first full length publication of Structo Press, which is associated with the literary magazine Structo which contains “remarkable new short stories and poetry from all around the world, alongside essays and interviews with authors and others ….on the fiction side we tend towards the slipstream end of things, and encourage submission of works in translation.”. Structo Press has
...more
Neil
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, 2020-rofc
This is a collection of short stories that deserves at least one re-read, probably more. It feels like the kind of book that would reward multiple readings.

I have to confess to a complete lack of knowledge of Rulfo until this book was long listed for the 2020 Republic of Consciousness Prize. Given that a quick search on the Internet reveals that it is one of the most important Spanish language collections of short stories (quite possibly the most important), that’s clearly my misfortune and
...more
Paul Fulcher
Longlisted for the 2020 Republic of Consciouness Prize

Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo, published in 1955, is hailed by many, most notably Gabriel Garcia Marquez, as a key development in Latin American, and indeed world, literature.

However, I had not read his equally important short story collection El Llano en Llamas, published in 1955, so it was a delight to see it longlisted for my favourite literary prize.

This is actually the third translation to English, although the first published outside of
...more
Jonathan
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfection. Polished, clear and precise. Now I wish I could read them in the original...
Ignatius
Oct 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Truly beautiful prose. The plots in themselves are ok, overall a pleasant read :)
Steven
We don't say what we are thinking. We lost the will to speak a while back. We lost it because of the heat. You would be happy to talk elsewhere, but it is hard here. You talk here and the words become hot in your mouth from the outside heat, and they dry on your tongue until the breath is gone. (2)
After having greatly appreciated Rulfo's novel Pedro Páramo, I decided to read his other major work, the short stories collected in The Plain in Flames, which took me surprisingly long to finish – all
...more
John Farebrother
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An awesome book. A series of related short stories from Mexico's turbulent revolutionary past. But the magic of the book is perhaps not the events of the stories themselves, as poignant and relevant as they are, ranging from childhood to nuns to livestock rustling. What I really enjoyed is the evocative language, the descriptions of people and places that make them come alive, and place the reader in that time and space. The gritty violence and desperate poverty that made up everyday life - in a ...more
Daniel Polansky
A collection of searing tales from the wilds of early 20th century Mexico. This reminded me somewhat of Horacio Quiroga, in its focus on desperate and impoverished men on the edges of society, and its fascination with the brutality of the natural world. I quite enjoyed it, I’ve got another one in my bag waiting to be read.
David
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: español, mexican-lit
I'll be honest. I started this book six months ago and found the first few stories didn't grab me. Then I picked it up this week and couldn't put it down.

The stories come in all sort of themes. There is the boy (Macario) who kept eating so he would stay alive and couldn't die because his godmother kept threatening that he will to purgatory instead of going to heaven to see his parents. A traveller stops in the bar in the driest place on earth and is offered the mescal that won't let him leave
...more
Alejandro
Nov 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
It reads like a book of fables with no clear moral, except an uncompromising look at the solitude, uncertainty and the infinite weight of fate in early 20th century Mexico. It has many fun and lighthearted moments, mixed (as it happens in life) with really sad and frustrating ones.
If you can read it in spanish, do. Half of it's value resides in the language the characters use. Simultaneously authentic and poetic.

Lo sentí como un libro de fábulas sin moraleja clara. Únicamente una mirada
...more
Marcia Letaw
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If Death were to keep a journal, it would probably be very much like Rulfo's Burning Plain and Other Stories. Within these pages, Death's exploits are detailed as he slowly, patiently pursues his victims, torturing them beyond recognition, reducing them to the mere desire to live. Sounds terrible, I know, but I couldn't put the book down. Rulfo's words though unadorned and straightforward possess an incredible power capable of drawing the reader into a grim, waterless world. There isn't even any ...more
Sam
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sparse stories about a an unforgiving Mexico where the sun always shines, but it burns you, and when it rains, it floods.
"Diles que no me maten," "Oyes ladar los perros," and "El llano en llamas" were probably my favorites but it's a very consistently good, albeit depressing, collection of short stories.
In terms of style, it's very easy to see how Rulfo moved from this to Pedro Paramo two years later.
Rise
Sep 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very exacting stories. Rulfo wrote only two books in his lifetime. The other is the acclaimed Pedro Páramo. This collection of short stories is an excursion into an inhospitable environment. Rulfo immerses you into the ugly and banal side of human nature. It's full of conflicts and peopled by criminals, adulterers, and rebels. The strange thing is that despite the ugliness described, the beauty of the writing comes across very well. It must be hard to balance this kind of thing.

Natalia
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: priceless
Short stories by a master story teller.
Andrew
Cryptic little stories of rural Mexican poverty, and very, very clearly an influence on Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy -- stories of desperation and primal joy, told amid a landscape of pinon trees and sandstone outcrops. I don't know enough about Mexican literary history to know where Rulfo fits in, but I know in a broader sense that the firm of Garcia Marquez & Sons, Magical Realists cited Rulfo as a major influence. And while Garcia Marquez writes jungles and Rulfo writes deserts (in ...more
Kobe Bryant
What about the happy times
Bill Hsu
Enjoying this so far; it reminds me somewhat of Brian Evenson's Western/McCarthy-esque pieces, with the harsh landscapes, occasional bursts of violence, and unreliable narratives. The text is nice, but Kermit Oliver's drawings are really gorgeous.
Cherisse
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I had to study this collection of short stories for my studies and only one word comes to mind when describing it: hopelessness. Everytime I read a short story I kept thinking I don't want live on this planet anymore! It's as if you were a Mexican living during/after The Mexican Revolution, experiencing all the poverty and crimes first-hand. Juan Rulfo paints the harsh of the daily life of Mexicans during/after this time. There was this one particular story, Es que somos muy pobres (We are very ...more
Ursula
I feel like I say this every time I review a book of short stories, but I'll say it again anyway: I'm not much of a short story fan. I often feel like I'm left hanging at the end of a story, and not in a good, "I'm going to think about what I think might have happened next" sort of way, but in a "well, that seemed pointless" sort of way. This collection drew me in with the first story, which takes place inside the mind of a child who is waiting next to a drain to kill frogs.

The stories are about
...more
jeremy
Jun 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the burning plain and other stories (el llano en llamas) is one of the two works juan rulfo published in his lifetime (the short novel pedro páramo being the other). while hardly prolific, the mexican author is widely considered one of latin america's most influential writers. the fifteen stories contained in this collection are all rather harsh and merciless, much like the landscape rulfo knew so well. set around the time of the mexican revolution, these tales convey everyday rural hardships, ...more
Edgar
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's really difficult to belive that "Juan Rulfo" only wrote two books. His narrative shocked me. I just can say that I can't wait to read his other (masterpiece) book: "Pedro Páramo".

Now, as a mexicain i can say this book really helped me to imagine how life could be in the revolution time (1910) and how this kind of stories even happen today in some regions of the country (as they are an heritage from that time).

(This review is in process)
Marc
Sep 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
5-stars for the short story MACARIO. I just read this for a writing class. It's told in a stream of conscious monologue by a "town idiot/retarded person?" who is always hungry and likes to bang his head against things because it is so hard. I have never read a story quite like this. I had to read it twice. I'd be interested to check out the rest of the book.
kim
May 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm at a loss for words in trying to describe what this book does to me. in a few short words/pages, rulfo manages to make his characters with all their flaw and in all their glory come alive. i'm in awe of his talent of his ability of so clearly describing the human experience.
Sumon Rahman
May 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mortals who dare to write after Rulfo
The most obvious book if someone is willing to know about the essence of the life as portrayed in stories. I set this book as a benchmark before my literary career, with a certain idea that I would never touch it. Just read it!
Hank
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Essential. Elemental. Sad. Unfair. Necessary reading for writers and readers. Rulfo is the poet of post-Revolution Mexico on par with the titans of Short Stories like Chekov and Carver if for nothing else than his blunt, brilliant and always brutal simplicity.
Richard
Feb 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elegant, sparse prose that, in each story, paints stunning portraits of the meaning, and often the utter despair, of a man's life.

Anyone interested in 20th or 21st century Latin American writing should read Rulfo.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Mookse and th...: 2020 RoC longlist: El Llano in Flames 30 36 Feb 06, 2020 07:48AM  
It's very good 1 12 Dec 07, 2016 05:50PM  
صدر حديثا - كتب و...: السهل يحترق - خوان رولفو 1 71 Dec 04, 2013 11:51PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Las batallas en el desierto
  • Aura
  • Los de abajo
  • The Labyrinth of Solitude and Other Writings
  • La tumba
  • Los relámpagos de agosto
  • El principio del placer
  • La noche de Tlatelolco
  • La región más transparente
  • Canasta de cuentos mexicanos
  • Estas ruinas que ves
  • Ficciones
  • Bestiario
  • Santa
  • La tregua
  • Fatherhood
  • Broken Jaw
  • Confabulario
See similar books…
916 followers
Juan Rulfo nació el 16 de mayo de 1917 Él sostuvo que esto ocurrió en la casa familiar de Apulco, Jalisco, aunque fue registrado en la ciudad de Sayula, donde se conserva su acta de nacimiento. Vivió en la pequeña población de San Gabriel, pero las tempranas muertes de su padre, primero (1923), y de su madre poco después (1927), obligaron a sus familiares a inscribirlo en un internado en ...more
“Te cansarás primero que yo. Llegaré a donde quieres llegar antes que tú estés allí -dijo el que iba detrás de él-. Me sé de memoria tus intenciones, quién eres y de dónde eres y adónde vas. Llegaré antes que tú llegues.” 27 likes
“ربما كانت على أعيننا غشاوة ولم ننتبه أن أحدنا يقتل الآخر” 5 likes
More quotes…