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


4.23  ·  Rating details ·  30,312 ratings  ·  2,173 reviews
Horacio Oliveira is an Argentinian writer who lives in Paris with his mistress, La Maga, surrounded by a loose-knit circle of bohemian friends who call themselves "the Club." A child's death and La Maga's disappearance put an end to his life of empty pleasures and intellectual acrobatics, and prompt Oliveira to return to Buenos Aires, where he works by turns as a salesman, ...more
Paperback, 564 pages
Published February 12th 1987 by Pantheon (first published 1963)
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 Hopscotch, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Milou Pujol No. The book is split into 56 regular chapters and 99 “expendable” ones. You may read straight through the regular chapters (ignoring the expendable o…moreNo. The book is split into 56 regular chapters and 99 “expendable” ones. You may read straight through the regular chapters (ignoring the expendable ones) or follow numbers left at the end of each chapter telling you which one to read next . A reading of the book in that way would lead the reader thus: Chapter 73 – 1 – 2 – 116 – 3 – 84 – 4 – 71 – 5 – 81 – 74 – 6 – 7- 8, and so on.
It's one of my favorites books. I simply loved it. But I recomend you to read it one way and to wait a little to read it the other way. Hope you enjoy it!(less)
Joshua Rojas Yes it's english available but nothing like the original Spanish version.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  30,312 ratings  ·  2,173 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Hopscotch
Table of Instructions

This review consists of two reviews. The first can be read in a normal fashion. Start from 1 and go to 12, at the close of which there are three garish little stars which stand for the words The End. Consequently, the reader may ignore what follows with a clean conscience.

The second should be read by beginning with 1 and then following the sequence indicated at the end of each sentence or paragraph. For example, if you see “> 24”, then proceed to paragraph/sentence # 24 (whi
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to read this because I had seen it included in some lists of the twentieth century's great novels. It is a very interesting book, quite entertaining in places but I can't pretend it is an easy read. Before one even starts there is a preamble which explains that you have at least two choices - either to read the first 56 chapters in sequence (presumably ignoring the rest) or to follow an alternative path through the book which is listed at the start and misses out Chapter 55. I opted for ...more
8 years after i read this book, i finally understand why i didn't like it.

apparently, this is an "either/or book", but i read it as an "and then" book.

dr. wikipedia claims:

An author's note suggests that the book would best be read in one of two possible ways, either progressively from chapters 1 to 56 or by "hopscotching" through the entire set of 155 chapters according to a "Table of Instructions" designated by the author. Cortázar also leaves the reader the option of choosing a unique path th
Julio Cortazar - Hopscotch

Don't read this book. For real now, don't. Throw it away or, better still, burn it. Either you will burn it or it will burn you. Seriously, it will tear you open and feast on your guts while all you'll be able to do is look around in over-saturated numbness. I envy those who weren't moved by it. I envy and pity them at the same time, for the same reason: I've felt something they have not.
I've talked before about books that read you as much as you read them, but this is
Maga World

Trying to make a living by breaking through the barrier of language is called art. Hopscotch is about a community of such labourers. It’s not an easy job fighting against language but someone has to do it. The life-style is necessarily unconventional, but that’s an effect not a prior condition.

The battle with language makes a person more than slightly mad. It requires seeing everything as if it were nothing. This, of course, is what God does. Making everything out of nothing is his sp
Rayuela — Marelle — Hopscotch

While reading this dizzy-making book (the word 'vertiginous' occurs very frequently in the text), a book that requires the reader to hop back and forth between the 155 different sections instead of turning the pages in the usual order, I found myself latching onto certain images in the text as if to steady myself: the description of a leaf, for example, or an old umbrella dropping from a height, or stars in the night sky, or revolving Japanese sunshades, or the
MJ Nicholls
I have never been more wrong about a novel I was about Hopscotch. A baffled first reading took place seven annums past, and a vexed and unfair one-star review lingered on my profile for a half that period until three years ago (the shame!), when I suspected there to be more to Cortázar and issued a partial retraction for the slander. Recent encounters with Cronopios and Famas and A Manual for Manuel showed me that Cortázar was in fact an essential writer of some magical powers, and a cheap encou ...more
Aug 29, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: uptight wannabeatnics
AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH! I had to read this for a book club. I read about 80 pages of this and threw it across the room. Wish I didn't. Maybe I could've gotten more for it when I traded it in. pretentiousness wrapped/uptight faux beatness. What I remember: expat intellectuals crying over jazz records having an "artistic" time in paris. Well read guy pines for girl who doesn't catch all his references but, you know, feels things. The cover blurb makes it look like it will change your life and then mak ...more
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Here’s a link to the Quarterly Conversation review of Hopscotch, it’s really a very good review, and does a fine job elucidating this book’s qualities and its value in the realm of literature, if I were to write a proper review of the book it would be a shadow plagiarization of this :

Or you could go read Jimmy’s review, which, as I’ve said below, is one of the finest and most fun reviews here on Goodreads - do yourselves a favor and get to know Jimmy’s wri
Manuel Antão
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1981
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Double Entendres Galore: "Hopscotch" by Julio Cortázar

(Original Review, 1981-05-15)

If you like your novels simple and straightforward, don’t read “Hopscotch”.
If you have an allergy to extended brainy digressions and convoluted debates, you better avoid “Hopscotch”.
If you abhor puns, double entendre and wordplay, I most seriously advise you to stay clear of “Hopscotch”.
If you can’t stand literary, philosophical, musical and artistic ref

From the Other Side
In my teens Hopscotch had a status of cult novel and maybe still it has. To its popularity in Poland contributed such accurate and reckless translation that even Cortazar had said once jokingly that he would love to know what translator really had written there. Along with Dostoyevsky and Camus it was my youthful reading. I loved that existential climate, these days spent on wanderings, night’s never-ending conversations on art, philisophy and life, in fumes of cigarettes
Vit Babenco
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Many writers of the twentieth century tried to make literature resemble many other things… Thus Julio Cortázar turned his novel into a children’s game Hopscotch so that a reader would be obliged to leap from chapter to chapter like a flea.
Writers go in a voluntary exile not to see exotic places – they seek birds of a feather, they want to be in a flock of those who would understand them and reciprocate…
“…under the eaves of vomity nights of music and tobacco and little meannesses and all kinds of
Ian "Marvin" Graye
1. "A General Idea is Enough" (First Impressions)

When I started reading this novel, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the writing. (-871)

Each short (!) chapter seemed like an extrapolation on a single image in a photo album or a contribution to a literary almanac. Unlike a chronological album of holiday snaps, it didn't seem to matter much in what order the images were displayed. I adapted to jumping around the chronology pretty quickly.

The first part of the book was a panoramic view of the
Harry Collier IV
Hopefully no spoilers but this book really cannot be spoiled.
This book is most likely a 5 star book. When I do a reread and read the 100+ extra chapters I am sure I will have a much greater opinion of this book than I already do.
I started not really caring for Cortazar's style in the first two chapters and 56 chapters later I am a convert. Some good powerful stuff was done here - and not just the language but the themes and the ideas were mind-blowing.
I loved The Club and didn't find them as ba
Katia N
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rayuela, Hopscotch, Cortazar. I approached this novel with a certain degree of trepidation. There are only three books I’ve read before my 22nd birthday which have left a very powerful impression on me: Two Captains which i've read when i was nine (though it is not a children book); The Master and Margarita when i was 17 and Cortazar at 22. I’ve re-read "Two Captains" in my 30s and it was still impressive. I am still to re-read "Master and Margarita" exactly because i am afraid to spoil the impr ...more
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
He went back to sleep like a person who is looking for his place and his house after a long road in the rain and the cold.

I should pen an untimely aphorism detailing my experiences with Hopscotch. This is not that effort. It appears that I read the linear, sequential version of this novel in my mid-20s. I suspected such about midway through my more spirited reading of this last week. A phone call to Stephen J. Powell confirmed it. Apparently I gave Mr. Powell a copy of the novel and raved about
ἀρχαῖος (arkhaîos)(RK)
Six weeks later.

There are lots of reviews to read about Hopscotch here so these are just my impressions.

A much read and highly rated book. I’ve given it four stars because six weeks or so after finishing it, it’s still with me. Plenty of images - plenty of questions - plenty of nostalgia.

The principal character, Horacio, is apparently on a quest. He, and all of his Parisian friends, are looking for something in life.

“What is he searching for? Is he searching for himself? He would not be sear
Sep 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: magical thinking
Recommended to Mariel by: Oriana
I've been looking for symmetry in places, likely as not unlikely. Counting every crack in the ceiling OCD, counting the walls to see if there's a third wall to break, carpet burn for the crawling knees. Missed one and have to go back and start from the beginning OCD. Hopscotch is about thinking. The ugly patterns (rug burn patterns? Probably ugly orange carpet that was recalled in the 1970s) and perverted loops. Don't think that, take two steps back or one leap forward. I found break your mama's ...more
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Every move you make Every page you take I’ll be watching you

A few nights ago I dreamt a bizarre dream in which I was literally jumping from one page to another depending on the falling of the pebble-pen I kept throwing on a giant book opened at my feet. I often dream I’m reading or, if it happens to be a nightmare, trying very hard to make sense of an illegible page, but this time I paid no attention to the words I was seeing, so focused I was on the game itself.

When I woke up, I realized on
aPriL does feral sometimes
'Hopscotch' is an experimental novel, which, truthfully, is as boring as reading a book on the history of philosophy. For the average reader, the book's value is in the postmodern discussions, the insider view of intellectual Paris in the 1950's, and deciphering it chapter by chapter. I think every reader who finishes the book can proudly give themselves several merit badges for an accomplishment many will applaud, and others will think you as mad as a postmodern philosopher.

I found Wikipedia an
A.J. Howard
Coming up with an adequate reaction to Hopscotch involves a bit of a paradox. For instance, try this: Hopscotch is a really great book, but I would have liked it more if I didn't hate it so much. How about this, Hopscotchis a bore and a struggle to get through, but it's also one of the most brilliantly breathtaking books I've ever read. The best analogy I can think of to explain this reaction to Cortázar's novel is that Hopscotch like an incredibly great computer or device application with an in ...more
I wish I could rate a book according to my enjoyment of it, but unless the writing is exceptionally poor (which is not the case with this one) it seems like I simply can’t give it a low rating. I don’t think it’s fair, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m not going to rate this one. For now.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with this book and author but I assume most of you aren’t, not only because I rarely see anyone reading Cortazar on here but also because I have never (and I mean never) found
Jul 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: pub-1963
It's an amazing book! You can read it page by page or according to the code from the back of the book or even according to your own system and it will never make sense!
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Drifters, Thinkers, Jazz Lovers
4.5 stars.
Must one stay in the center of the crossroads, then, like the hub of a wheel? What good is it to know or to think we know that every road is false if we don’t walk with an idea that is not the road itself? We’re not Buddha, and there are no trees here to sit under in the lotus position. A cop appears and asks for your identity card.

Only by living absurdly is it possible to break out of this infinite absurdity.

Once all roads led to Rome, later they led to Paris.
The 'City of Lights' wher
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just released a podcast and Hopscotch was the first first.

I cannot say more than the fact that I have taken myself into a journey I was truly not prepared to take myself into.
The book was the earthquake I think I've needed to be shaken awake to reality. Although it was often heavy on my heart and ravishingly painful and beautiful, I loved every syllable that I've read. I did hate it at times and I wrestlered with with on the go, but it somehow saved me.

Jun 12, 2011 rated it did not like it
Just a bunch of losers moping around discussing jazz so that every reader will know how cool the author is. And then some more moping around: this book is long, repetitive, meandering, like a mental patient mumbling to himself for days and years on end. The chapters can be re-arranged not so much because there's a second story as that there's no story at all. It's one of those books that people fear they don't "get", a fear made worse by so many people making the bold claim that they do get it, ...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
You and your Friend disagree a lot about books. Certain novels. Typically in the context of those big behemoth postmodern encyclopedic mega novels. You love ‘em. Your Friend usually says something about how they need an editor, a slicer, trim off about 200 pages, sometimes as much as 600 pages. Well, then, here is a book you can both agree on without the need to wait for a posthumous restored edition (cf, say, Nightwood or Moby-Dick). Your Friend can read Just The Story Thank You Very Much, whil ...more
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars? Did I love this book so much? Well, I didn't get like 1/4 or maybe 1/3 of the chapters. But it is a masterpiece, even if I believe Cortazar is trolling us at some points, with chapters than have no meaning.

Oliveira is an Argentinian immigrant in Paris. He has a girlfriend, Maga, and they are part of a club of similar people: intellectuals/artists, unemployed, most of them immigrants. They get together to talk and listen to jazz. In the second part of the book, Oliveira is back in Bueno
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cortazar's brilliant novel is beautiful. Like a flower it blooms, unfolding itself deliberately for the reader. What I initially perceived as derivative ex-pat fiction-having more in common with Kerouac and the like's Search For Deeper Experience*-evolved into something much more developed and holistic. Looking forward to returning this to read the 'hopscotch' method.

*to be clear, I have no beef with Kerouac and the Beats. I simply ascribe that brand of beatific wanderlust to a young, naive ide
I've never heard a negative opinion about Julio Cortazar. Every time someone mentioned his work, it was in an admiring manner. He's been hailed as the best Latin American writer, he's been compared to Joyce, writers that came after him tried to imitate his style or were at least influenced by him. Only praise, everywhere I looked. And it's easy to see why. There's an immense joy in his writing, a rebellion against conventional norms, an infectious playfulness that transforms the act of reading i ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • El túnel
  • Julio Cortázar (coleccion Para Entender) (Spanish Edition)
  • Salvar el fuego
  • Ficciones
  • Pedro Páramo
  • El Aleph
  • The Savage Detectives
  • Sobre héroes y tumbas
  • La ciudad y los perros
  • The Aleph and Other Stories
  • La tregua
  • A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four
  • Carlota
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • El llano en llamas
  • El coronel no tiene quien le escriba
  • Poesía completa
See similar books…
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.

Related Articles

Emma Straub was all set to spend May on tour promoting her new novel, All Adults Here. Instead, due to the global pandemic, the Brooklyn-based...
14 likes · 5 comments
4 trivia questions
2 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“Andábamos sin buscarnos, pero sabiendo que andábamos para encontrarnos” 889 likes
“Lo que mucha gente llama amar consiste en elegir una mujer y casarse con ella. La eligen, te lo juro, los he visto. Como si se pudiera elegir en el amor, como si no fuera un rayo que te parte los huesos y te deja estaqueado en la mitad del patio. Vos dirás que la eligen porque-la-aman, yo creo que es al vesre. A Beatriz no se la elige, a Julieta no se la elige. Vos no elegís la lluvia que te va a calar hasta los huesos cuando salís de un concierto.” 534 likes
More quotes…