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The Carreta

(Jungle Novels #2)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  190 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The Carreta is the second of B. Traven's six Jungle Novels which together form an epic of the birth of the Mexican Revolution. The young Indian who is the hero of The Carreta is an ox-cart driver. More sophisticated than most of his companions who work in debt-slavery in the great mahogany plantations, Andrs can read and hopes to go back to his wife. But he labors with no ...more
Paperback, 271 pages
Published February 1st 1994 by Ivan R. Dee Publisher (first published 1931)
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Peter Ibsen
Sep 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
It really is a shame that more people have not read B.Traven. His style and story telling is unfuckwithable.
That being said I thought this was not as good as Government, the first book in the jungle novels. The only flaw is in Mr. Travens beautiful written and extreamly detailed prose of daily mexican life. All is told in exquisite facftual tone with a thin but very hard cynical and humourus tone (mostly in regards to the government, church and other aspects of "civilization". At times it can
...more
Octavio Sánchez
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Traven is now one of my favorites writer, He did not born in Mexico but I feel proud if considering himself as a Mexican, it would be a truly honor the writing is about Mexican culture. A deep explanation about Mexican working life on days of Porfiriato. "Yo te ensañare a hablar castellano, a escribir, a leer y a contar. Porqe verás, no se puede escribir tzeltal, no tenemos letras. Sólo los ladinos tienen letras para su idioma".
Bob Newman
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
On pre-revolutionary Mexican society-----plus a simple story

B. Traven, a German leftist who fled the chaos of post World War I Bavaria for the New World, wrote many novels of Mexico, including the movie immortalized by Bogart, "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre". This is the first one I've read, so don't put me on your list of Traven experts. I have learned that this novel, THE CARRETA, is part of a series. I hope that the characters continue from novel to novel, but have no idea if this is true.
...more
M.R. Dowsing
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
The second of Traven's "jungle novels" depicting the seeds of the Mexican Revolution. No recurring characters from the first book, so it could be read as a stand-alone, but the story is a logical progression from the first, so I think my mission to read them in order makes a lot of sense. This one's not quite as great as the first - it feels somewhat light in comparison. I think the main reason is because (unlike the first book) the hero of this one is entirely sympathetic. He's been forced into ...more
Fx Smeets
My deep fondness for the author cannot salvage The Carreta. Squeezed between an overstretched section on the life of the carreteros and the most grotesque double-love story, the novel is the worst I have read so far. It exposes Traven's shortcomings when building characters and plots. As an anarchist and a social writer, B. Traven has the hardest time following the conventions of the novel, this most bourgeois of forms. Other anarchists of the same era have managed a lot better (Jules Valles or ...more
Rita
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
You definitely wouldn't like this book if you're a republican or a libertarian, because Traven lays out how capitalists use their power over their workers to get rich off the poorest and enrich their families and friends. Traven uses his talents and publishing platform to expose the Capitalists and the Catholic Church in their shameful oppression of the lowest economic class in Mexico.
But this is also a love story and a description of the beautiful scenery and the Animals and plants of Chiapas.
Raghu Parthasarathy
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Book 2 of the “Jungle Novels,” about pre-revolutionary Mexico. Much better than Government – a bit less didactic, with an actual main character and more of a plot. A sad and fascinating glimpse of a corrupt society and the sufferings of the poor. The portrayal of the consequences of inescapable debt slavery and a nonexistent justice system are chilling; the views of everyday life are warmly drawn.
Ben
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Very disappointing. I had high hopes for this after reading 'The Rebellion of the Hanged', but it's not even half as good. The life of the cart driver is well described, but the burgeoning romance of the second half is embarrassing. That part is dull, lacking drama, and utterly unconvincing - it reads more like a personal fantasy that Traven should have kept inside his own head.
Julián Luis
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Era un ejemplo de la sabiduría de la Iglesia que se apresurara a juntar sus rebaños cuando están tiernos, porque la niñez acepta todo tal como se le dice y carece de la facultad de pensar por sí misma y de separar lo posible de lo probable y lo imposible de lo simbólico."
Freder
Nov 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dismal and fatalistic, but well-written in the simplest language, this isn't so much a novel as a social polemic. It's a necessary and valuable book, but not a pleasant one.
Ana Garcia
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you really want to understand a little bit more of Mexico, read this one.
Paulina Sanchez
I can't remember the last book that taught me so much about what life was like at a certain point in history and told me a beautiful story at the same time.

La Carreta is a book that goes beyond describing the lives of laborers and carreteros in the beginning of the 19th century, in the mountainous regions of the south of Mexico/northern Guatemala. It tells the story of Andrés, from the time that he is 12 years old to his late 20s.

It doesn't just tell Andrés' story, it tells the story of the
...more
Ulises Morales
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
El estilo de B. Traven se caracteriza por la crítica social hacia los abusos de las minorías y las clases menos privilegiadas mediante una descripción muy detallada con toques de sarcasmo, sus críticos tenían una opinión muy positiva de sus novelas pero todos estaban de acuerdo que el nunca sería capaz de escribir una novela de amor, la Carreta fue la respuesta de B. Traven, una narracion que deja de lado elementos fantasiosos e idilicos tan comunes en las novelas de amor y relata los ...more
Daniel
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Andres and his family and everyone he knows is forced further and further into debt peonage with no hope of relief. He is a rational actor in an irrational economic structure filled with people who self-justify their cruelty and deviousness with appeals to reason and order.

One striking aspect in the book is the effect of innumeracy and illiteracy and the way that both are used as weapons of class warfare meant to enslave.

This book is heavy on exposition and stage-setting and light on plot. And
...more
Tina
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Desde que B. Traven llegó a México se hizo estudioso y simpatizante de las comunidades indígenas de quien siempre escribió bellos libros. Esta historia narra la situación de la época, entre peones y patrones; las injusticias, explotación y sometimiento bajo el cual estaban los indios que trabajaban de sol a sol, sin sueldo o con una miseria, mala alimentación, entregados a una religión que no entendían y con una ciega obediencia a sus amos. Muy bella historia que además encierra una hermosísima ...more
Andrea
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
No one knows quite who B. Traven was, when he was born, or even where. He undoubtedly lived in Mexico, and this is a steadily sarcastic look at indigenous Mexico before the revolution. Sarcasm, however, is reserved for those with wealth and power, there is much sympathy with the protagonists and the blinding need for a radical politics. I imagine it simplifies people's lives just a bit, but a great read.
Adastra
Oct 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history nerds, capitalists
Shelves: deutsch, historical
Ein hervorragendes Buch was zu seiner Zeit sicherlich skandalös war. Trotz der zwischendurch immer wieder auftauchenden "Erklärungskapitel" ist es nie langweilig, im Gegenteil.

Der Schreibstil ist manchmal grammatikalisch etwas komisch und lässt grübeln ob und aus welcher Sprache das Buch übersetzt wurde.
Marcela Mtz
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a book about the life of the farmer's life in Mexico. Nearly the end of the Mexican Revolution.
Here you can find the description of the life of the poor people and the rich people, and the corruption between the politicians.
It's a good book, but kind of sad.
Micah
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-poetry
"A new and healing order of things can never come into being through order, however admirable, but only through the boiling up of disorder."

A Tseltal ox cart driver confronts absurdities in an ironically told tale of misery and love.
Mikee
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: latin-literature
This is a strange and powerful revolutionary little book, though nothing really happens. It is a polemic against the wealthy and powerful, and evinces great sympathy with the poor Indians of southern Mexico. Its' one of a series of "Jungle Novels" by the author. I shall read more of them.
Leonard Pierce
May 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I've become rather obsesses lately with B. Traven, and this installment of the Jungle novels is probably my favorite so far.
Boletin
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Dec 10, 2011
Mike Mack
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Apr 19, 2017
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Sep 26, 2019
A.p. Eberhart
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Mar 23, 2011
Kristi
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Jul 13, 2012
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May 15, 2016
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Dec 16, 2011
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B. Traven (February, 1882? – March 26, 1969?) was the pen name of a German novelist, whose real name, nationality, date and place of birth and details of biography are all subject to dispute. A rare certainty is that B. Traven lived much of his life in Mexico, where the majority of his fiction is also set—including his best-known work, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1927), which was adapted as ...more

Other books in the series

Jungle Novels (6 books)
  • Government
  • March to the Monteria
  • Trozas
  • The Rebellion of the Hanged
  • General from the Jungle
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