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

The Underdogs

by
3.63  ·  Rating details ·  5,344 Ratings  ·  306 Reviews
The greatest novel of the Mexican Revolution, in a brilliant new translation by an award-winning translator

The Underdogs is the first great novel about the first great revolution of the twentieth century. Demetrio Macias, a poor, illiterate Indian, must join the rebels to save his family. Courageous and charismatic, he earns a generalship in Pancho Villa's army, only to be
...more
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 176 pages
Published July 29th 2008 by Penguin Classics (first published 1916)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Alejandro
Strong fiction set in the middle of the Mexican Revolution.


This review is bilingual. First, you will find the English version and after that one, you will find the Spanish version.

Esta crítica es bilingüe. Primero, encontrarán la versión en Inglés, y luego de esa, encontrarán la versión en Español.


REVIEW IN ENGLISH

I had to read this novel as part of the Spanish program in high school, in my country, Costa Rica.

Los de Abajo that it can be translated as "The ones from bellow". I think it's a
...more
Carlos
May 19, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Siempre hay que tratar de mirar el vaso medio lleno, y esta vez no será la excepción.
Lo bueno es que el libro es acerca de la revolución mexicana. Lo malo es que, primero, lo tuve que leer cuando estaba en la escuela hace muchos años y no me gustó. Le di otra oportunidad leyéndolo de nuevo... y nada, el mismo tono y ritmo aburrido.
En mi opinión bastante personal y humilde, no es mi tipo de lectura. Muy lenta y de la forma en que está hecha... meh, no es para mí.
No lo recomiendo sencillamente por
...more
Edward
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Foreword, by Carlos Fuentes
Introduction, by Sergio Waisman
Suggestions for Further Reading
Chronology of the Mexican Revolution
Chronology of Mariano Azuela's Life and Work


--The Underdogs: A Novel of the Mexican Revolution

Notes
Mochizuki
Apr 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hispano-american
First of all, this is NOT a history book. If you're interested in learning about the Mexican Revolution pick up a history book.
Second of all, you didn't get the point. It's not about the life of rural Mexico, or how people lived, or how they lost their ideals. It's about joining "la bola" the mass of people fighting for no particular reason. The "campesinos" didn't really join the fight because they believed they were getting land and freedom, they joined because they believed in their leaders,
...more
Erika
Este maravilloso libro cuenta la vida de Demetrio Macias y su grupo de amigos durante la Revolución Mexicana, es una historia tan sencilla pero tan bien hecha que no es de extrañar que en un momento te haga reír y al otro te haga sentir un nudo en el estomago.

El uso del lenguaje es impecable, puedes oír a los personajes hablando en tu cabeza con la jerga de aquellos tiempos, imaginarte los paisajes por los que van avanzando, la gente que encuentran a su paso y te hace amar u odiar a sus persona
...more
Jonathan
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An important book this, and one that has been poorly translated in the past, so I advise you not to read the free versions out there.

As always with Norton, there are some great essays and other contextual docs here which provide much needed background and additional detail for those of us not too familiar with the Mexican Revolution.

The novel (or, really, novella) is well written and punchy - comparisons to the short sentences of Hemingway are not misplaced.
George K.
"Οι καταπιεσμένοι", εκδόσεις Λιβάνη (1983).

Βαθμολογία: 7/10

Κατά πολλούς, το μικρό αυτό βιβλίο είναι το καλύτερο (ή έστω το απόλυτο) μυθιστόρημα για την Μεξικάνικη Επανάσταση, που ξεκίνησε το 1910. Προσωπικά δεν μου φάνηκε και τόσο καλό για έναν τέτοιο χαρακτηρισμό, αν και φυσικά δεν ξέρω ποια άλλα μυθιστορήματα έχουν σαν κεντρικό θέμα την συγκεκριμένη επανάσταση και πόσο καλά είναι. Εννοείται πως ούτε άσχημο είναι, αλίμονο, μπορώ να πω ότι είχε κάποιες πολύ καλές σκηνές και ορισμένες ωραίες περι
...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
We’ve been there so many times and we are where we are today because we all smugly know that all of our Rising Up will be followed up immediately with a Rising Down. It’s too complicated too complex too ambiguous. Unless someone makes it clear to us but then we assure ourselves it can’t be so simple -- Change a light bulb! Stop eating meat! Save the planet! Or, down with racism! Down with sexism! Down with ablism! Down with whatever anti-LGBTQ is called! Social Justice Now!!!

But you turn out loo
...more
El Cuaderno de Chris
pues no tengo palabras, la historia me gustó.
حسين إسماعيل
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
لا أذكر متى كانت المرة الأخيرة التي خالجتني فيها مختلف الأحاسيس في عالمٍ روائي كما أجبرتني هذه الرواية على أن أعيش. حينما باشرتُ قراءة مقدمتها ووجدتُ الكاتب المكسيكي كارلوس فوينتوس يصفها بالملحمة (أو بالملحمة الانحطاطيّة)، ظننتُ أنه يبالغ قليلًا. كم كنتُ مخطئًا حينها.

سوى هذه المعلومة الأخيرة، من غير الممكن أن أبدأ مراجعتي هذه حيثما ابتدأت صفحات الرواية. تمتلك رواية “المستضعفون”، أو “هؤلاء القادمين من الأسفل” كما يشير المترجم إلى المعنى الحرفي لاسمها الأصلي، تأثيرًا يجعل قارئها يستحيلُ شخصًا آخر
...more
Mike
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Next year marks the centennial of the publication of Mariano Azuela's "The Underdogs," often said to be "the greatest novel" of the Mexican Revolution of 20 November 1910. It may be, though it isn't a sweeping and detailed account of that fierce but doomed uprising. Rather, it's a slim book of brief segments that look at the revolution in intimate terms by focusing on the innocence, confusion, courage and eventual disillusionment of Demetrio Macias, an illiterate Indian who like other disenfranc ...more
Alberto Jacobo Baruqui
Esta es sin duda la mejor obra de Mariano Azuela, quien formó parte del grupo de "Los Dorados". "Los de Abajo" tiene la cercanía al movimiento de la Revolución con unos ojos analíticos, valientes y sinceros. Se comparten sin miedo las vivencias y esclarece algunas de las barbaries que existene en todas los movimientos de su clase, donde casi siempre se termina una injusticia para dar entrada a una distinta pero con nombres y esquemas diferentes.
Dentro del Clan de Francisco "Pancho" Villa, Azuel
...more
Hilda
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I really enjoyed it, this book is a very interesting and honest about the mexican revolution, even when this isn't an historical book about the mexican revolution war. The characters are honest and with realistic features, you'll find the honest leader who believed that only revolution will bring justice to the people and commands a small force of rebels, the poor who don't have anything to lose and obviously the rascal opportunist who take advantage of the war.
My main complaint is that this bo
...more
Maricarmen Estrada M
Retrato de la Revolución Mexicana del lado de los revolucionarios. Me gustó bastante la utilización del lenguaje mexicano, es una gran muestra de aquel tiempo (y de lo que perdura hasta hoy). También es una buena descripción de cómo era el trato hacia las mujeres, la forma de interactuar y los valores de aquellos hombres que en momentos en que ya estaban embriagados de la violencia en que vivían, perdían la conciencia de la causa de por la cual peleaban.
Mi única reflexión al final de la mayoría
...more
Shane Westfall
Dec 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading this one! Several of the criticisms mentioned in other reviews are valid, yet where I felt Azuela excelled was in illustrating the "gray". No saintly protagonists nor sinister bad guys to be found...simply a portrait of real humans embroiled in a conflict where perhaps the only moral difference between the two parties depends on whom one is cheering for. Sure, Cervantes' ride off into the mercantile business seemed a bit of a stretch, but then no more so than Shakespeare relying ...more
Mauricio
Sep 13, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ficción
En estos días releí "Los de abajo". Y no hay punto de comparación entre cómo la leí hace años y cómo la he leído hoy. Para empezar uno piensa de inmediato en una novela anterior "Andrés Pérez, maderista," que pese a tratar un tema de la Revolución está más cerca del tratamiento costumbrista y pseudo realista de las novelas anteriores. Me interesó mucho la segunda parte de Los de abajo, cuando ha triunfado la Revolución y la gente de Demetrio Macías se une a los villistas. Entonces aparecen dos p ...more
Gabriel
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me encanta leer libros mexicanos y mucho más donde puedas aprender un poco la manera en la que fueron las cosas y casi vivirlas en carne propia. Me fascinó la manera de escribir de Mariano Azuela, con partes en las que deja ver un poco de ironía, en las que plasma la mentalidad a veces inocentes de la gente que hacía el trabajo sucio en la revolución, como los mandaban de allá para acá y ellos no sabían ni porqué y ni preguntaban tampoco. Al final se deja ver cómo quedó México después de las fue ...more
Alex Lopez-barton
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gives an excellent overview of the Mexican Revolution 1910 which is amazing as he wrote it from his experiences.
Elyse Hdez
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es el primer libro que leo que relata a la revolución mexicana, la verdad es que no logré entender el titulo del libro hasta casi el final de la obra... Realmente muy recomendado!
Julián González
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un libro con muchos temas interesantes como la revolución, la traición y la perdida de los ideales.
Este libro es un reflejo de la historia y el presente del pueblo latinoamericano.
Matt
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who has learned anything about the Mexican Revolution knows that it was a complicated era in that nation’s history that just seemed to continue without end. The Underdogs was the first novel about the conflict even as it continued to grind on and written by a former participant Mariano Azuela.

The majority of the narrative follows Demetrio Macias, who finds himself on the bad side of the local chief and is burned out of his home before feeling to the mountains. Gathering his friends, Macia
...more
Michael Haase
It's hard to stomach a novel filled with so much violence and brutality. Los de abajo is like a shorter and more mild version of Blood Meridian, but all the same, it gets to a such a point that I imagine only sadists could derive any enjoyment from their reading. It may be said that, as a work of historical fiction, the quality of the book comes from its educational value and less from the pleasure of reading it.

This is a novel that preserves the atmosphere of hostility and chaos that pervaded
...more
Ruth Santana Valencia
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Aún no entiendo cómo es posible que nunca en el colegio me hayan puesto a leer esta novela histórica.

A más de 100 años de escrita no hay mucha diferencia seguimos siendo un país de castas con un gran índice de alfabetización.

Muy recomendable ...fue todo un descubrimiento (este ha sido el año de descubrir autores mexicanos).

"Somos instrumentos del destino para la reivindicación de los sagrados derechos del pueblo. No peleamos por derrocar a un asesino miserable, sino contra la tiranía misma. Eso
...more
Misael
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Realmente no esperaba nada y salí impresionado a más no poder. Entre la novela folletinesca por su estructura capitular, la estructuración mítica del héroe que es Demetrio Macías, el interesante juego de tesis-antítesis que forma con Luis Cervantes y el lenguaje del campo revolucionario, esta novela se sostiene como más que un simple documento crónico del conflicto armado. Es por cuenta propia la obra inaugural de la novela del XX mexicano.
Sheri Fresonke Harper
The style was unusual, the story engrossing. The tale set during the Mexican Civil war of 1910 was brutal. The characters are well portrayed. I found the end really impressive; it made me glad to not be there and the actions taken seemed understandable, but not very effective for achieving the goals, with most confused about what they wanted.
Tyler
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a funky and wonderful historical novel. At first, I thought the translation was just weird and off, but then, reading over the Spanish original, it's really just how Azuela writes. He's a real stylist, and I can see why this is the lasting work of the revolution period. It doesn't just reflect the history of the time, but the language is alive, it's sticky and it bubbles up here and there throughout the text with the baroque, romantic, and impulse to over-describe.

Here are three snippets
...more
Carmen Amato
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A couple of years ago I walked through a display of Mexican Revolution photographs in a museum in Rome, Italy. Meant primarily to showcase the era's photographers, the photographs were a sepia-toned illustration of the brutality and confusion of the times. All of the images we association with early 20th century Mexico were there--horsemen with crossed bandoliers and wide palm sombreros, women in white dresses with ruffled bodices, ragged laborers in white cotton rags, soldiers in short jackets ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
A novel of the Mexican revolution of 1910.

As in most revolutions, this was supposed to have been staged in order to topple a dictatorship and to gain freedom from tyranny. The book, however, illustrates that not all of those who take part in a revolution know what they are revolting for. Some "freedom fighters" take to the hills with their own personal agenda, some of them even fugitives from the law themselves.

Survivors of the revolution, assuming they emerge therefrom victorious, would metamor
...more
Laura
May 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001, 2014, westerns

The Underdogs really reminded me of Blood Meridian by Cormack McCarthy. I think that there are several reasons for that. First, the story is very violent, but the violence is part of the environment. It is not gratuitous. The violence is simply as much a part of the environment as the blood red sunsets and the Sierra.

Another aspect of this book that reminds me of McCarthy's western novels is the terseness of the dialog. These characters are actually more talkative than the ones in McCarthy's wo
...more
Bob
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short novel following the progress of a small band of participants in the Mexican Revolution years of 1910-15. In the thread of my recent reading, this book nicely continues one of the themes of The Poisonwood Bible; the "people" (peasants, rural villagers, i.e. the poorest and least advantaged) rarely have much of a grasp on what the revolution is supposed to mean for them. They have almost nothing, suffer continuous hunger and hardship, and all too often that's what they still have after the ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Akins Hollis Engl...: SSR josh 1 5 Dec 02, 2011 11:52AM  
Akins Hollis Engl...: SSR Josh 1 2 Oct 28, 2011 11:59AM  
Akins Hollis Engl...: SSR josh 1 1 Oct 07, 2011 12:19PM  
Akins Hollis Engl...: SSR josh 1 2 Sep 30, 2011 11:55AM  
Akins Hollis Engl...: SSR josh 1 2 Sep 23, 2011 11:55AM  
Akins Hollis Engl...: SSR Josh 1 2 Sep 16, 2011 11:56AM  
Akins Hollis Engl...: SSR Josh 1 2 Sep 09, 2011 12:01PM  
  • Here's to You, Jesusa!
  • Facundo: Or, Civilization and Barbarism
  • The President
  • Los recuerdos del porvenir
  • Los ríos profundos
  • Don Segundo Sombra
  • Los relámpagos de agosto
  • The Death of Artemio Cruz
  • El Llano en llamas
  • Balún Canán
  • Noticias del Imperio
  • Tiempo de silencio
  • Confabulario
  • The Labyrinth of Solitude and Other Writings
  • El siglo de las luces
  • Pepita Jiménez
  • El astillero
39083
Mariano Azuela González was a Mexican author and physician, best known for his fictional stories of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. He wrote novels, works for theatre and literary criticism.
More about Mariano Azuela...
“La revolución beneficia al pobre, al ignorante, al que toda su vida ha sido esclavo, a los infelices que ni siquiera saben que si lo son es porque el rico convierte en oro las lágrimas, el sudor y la sangre de los pobres. || The revolution benefits the poor, the ignorant, who all his life has been a slave, the unfortunate who do not know if they are is because the rich becomes the tears, sweat and blood of the poor in gold.” 9 likes
“¿Será justo abandonar a la patria en estos momentos solemnes en que va a necesitar de toda la abnegación de sus hijos los humildes para que la salven, para que no la dejen caer de nuevo en manos de sus eternos detentadores y verdugos, los caciques?” 3 likes
More quotes…