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The Old Gringo

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  2,145 Ratings  ·  206 Reviews
One of Carlos Fuentes's greatest works, The Old Gringo tells the story of Ambrose Bierce, the American writer, soldier, and journalist, and of his last mysterious days in Mexico living among Pancho Villa's soldiers, particularly his encounter with General Tomas Arroyo. In the end, the incompatibility of the two countries (or, paradoxically, their intimacy) claims both men, ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published February 20th 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published September 1985)
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Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Highly oneiric. Revolutionary Mexico. Swift jumps from conciousness to conciousness, yet with the purpose of generating a coherent narrative. The language is spritely, sullen, erotic by turns. The old gringo, American journalist and author Ambrose Bierce, is a bitter man come to Mexico seeking death at the hands of the revolution. He meets the younger rebel General Tomas Arroyo whose innate machismo turns his relationship with the old gringo into a Game of Manhood. A game only the general seems ...more
ميقات الراجحي
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
تعتبر أعمال الحروب الأدبية لها نكهة خاصة جدًا فهي دائمًا لا يكون الحب فيها الركيزة بل أن الحب فيها هو حب الأرض وهذا عندي ساحر ولا يغني عن حب الروح طبعًا. لكني أجده متنفس وميدان آخر. عن الثورة المكسيكية ومدى التبادل الثقافي في المكسيك وأمريكا بحكم الجوار والنزاع بين البلدين وحضور الموت تكون أحداث الرواية للمبدع كارلوس فوينتس في الغرينغو العجوز.

دور امبروز بيرس في أحداث الرواية الرجل الثوري الذي لا يسعي لشيء بعد أن غادر كل ماضيه إلا لأجل الثورة. فمن حدث بسيط تأتي بقية الرواية المجنونة عندما يختفي (
مجید اسطیری

روایت احساسات ضدآمریکایی در هر کجای جهان رنگوبوی خودش را دارد. بسته به این که آمریکاییها در یک کشور چه نوع تجاوز و سوءاستفادهای انجام دادهباشند، تصویری در آینۀ ادبیات آن کشور منعکس میشود که رنگ و بویی خاص دارد.

یکی از کشورهایی که از دستاندازی آمریکا در امان نمانده، همسایۀ جنوبی این کشور، یعنی مکزیک است.

«کارلوس فوئنتس» نویسندۀ مطرح مکزیکی در رمان خواندنی «گرینگوی پیر» راوی بخشی از دستاندازی این همسایۀ مزاحم به خاک مکزیک است.

فوئنتس شخصیت نویسنده و روزنامهنگار آمریکایی «امبروز بییرس» را بهانهای قرار
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-novel
اگر به محض بیداری سعی نکنی زندگی را سر و سامان دهی ، ناچاری با رویایت رو به رو شوی
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Such a simple plot: the old man goes to Mexico to die in the Revolution. All he wants is a dignified death. But of course, there is a woman involved, and a Mexican general.

This is a short book but it may as well have been War and Peace based on how long it took me to read it, maybe because it's written more like poetry than prose, forcing me to slow down, re-read, savor the language and question its meaning. There are more themes here than I can probably even recognize. Death, life, love, natio
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read in Spanish, the English translation being The Old Gringo.

A bit of historical background might be useful here. Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) was a well-known American journalist, essayist, and editorial writer who traveled to Mexico in 1913 during the Mexican Revolution. He was rumored to have joined the rebel forces of Pancho Villa and was never heard from again. Countless theories of his ultimate fate have been propounded over that past century. Carlos Fuentes used Bierce’s character (never n
Ahmad Sharabiani
Oct 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, literature, review
Gringo Viejo, Carlos Fuentes
عنوان: گرینگوی پیر؛ نویسنده: کارلوس فوئنتس؛ مترجم: عبدالله کوثری؛
اما چه کس از سرنوشت استخوان هایش باخبر است، یا این که چند بار باید به خاک سپرده شود؟ سر تامس براون
Yesterday's Muse Bookstore
This is not a bad book. That being said, after reading Fuentes's Crystal Frontier and being powerfully moved, The Old Gringo fell a bit short. I was excited to read this modern classic, especially as it was inspired by the mysterious disappearance of Ambrose Bierce, an author whose life and work I find compelling.

While the hypothetical circumstances and characters Fuentes creates are believable, and there is some great symbolism here (particularly his comparison of the United States and Mexico
Feb 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: translation, fiction
An utter waste of my time, except for one passage:

"...perhaps this man had been able to do what no one was supposed to: he had come home again, he was trying to relive one of the oldest myths of mankind, the return to the lar, the earth, the warm home of our origins.

That cannot be done, she told herself, and not only because very likely the place won't be there anymore. Even if it were, though, nothing could ever be the same: people age, things break down, feelings change. You can never go home
Jan 14, 2013 rated it liked it
In the end I came sort of round to the book, but lots of impediments to the liking.
Fuentes must have read all of Faulkner, then thought: so this is how one writes.
Too many convolutions, paradoxes, contradictions, enigmas, etc. of primal, mythic, esoteric etc. essence for me. And unfortunately not Faulkner's skill at making you feel like you really are peering into the heart of something very dark and mysterious, something which you really need and want to know about but never will.
I think Fuent
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Old Gringo was agony for me to read. Carlos Fuentes came to Houston a few weeks back and I drove in to see him. He was pretty much as I'd expected. An achingly handsome eighty-year-old man who writes poetic novels. And who sees life as experienced mainly through his manly body parts. This may work for his male readers. This may work for the parts of Old Gringo told from the point of view of his male characters like Pancho Villa and one of Villa's generals and even Ambrose Bierce. But it did not ...more
Robert Ross
Apr 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have long held a sense of admiration for Ambrose Bierce, in part for him as a writer, and also because he went to Mexico during its revolution, ultimately disappearing without a trace. Fuentes' novel gives a wonderful romanticism of his disappearance and death that is moving and realistic. Who knows in what way Bierce died, but I would like to think it happened something like this.
Apr 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

اگر لازم باشد ذهن چند پاره ی ما عشق را ابداع می کند , عشق را تصور می کند یا ادای عشق را
در می آورد , اما بی آن سر نمی کند. چرا که در هنگامه ی این پراکندگی محض , عشق حتی اگر بهانه ای هم باشد , معیاری برای سنجش باخت هامان به ما می دهد
Vold Kira
Apr 17, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Otro meh para Carlos Fuentes.
Lo siento, bebé. Tal vez no nacimos para estar juntos.
Jan 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Almas pacientes y simpatizantes de Freud
Recommended to Lourdes by: Felipe
Las fronteras no son sólo geográficas: también quiebran el espacio interior de cada ser humano en un vitreaux irreparable. Algunas están hechas de miedo e impiden a las personas realizar sus deseos más ocultos. Otras, todas de soberbia, obstaculizan la apertura hacia los demás. En cualquier caso, todos los personajes de Gringo Viejo, la novela que hizo a Carlos Fuentes famoso en USA, tienen el coraje suficiente para cruzar estos límites autoinfligidos. Lo paradójico es que ninguno es más feliz o ...more
Madhulika Liddle
Dec 07, 2016 rated it liked it
During the Mexican Revolution, a seventy-one year old American journalist comes to Mexico, seeking death. He wants to join Pancho Villa and his men; he ends up joining the tormented Tomas Arroyo, who, while fighting for Villa, is also very specifically out to avenge his lost childhood as the illegitimate child born of a woman raped by her wealthy master. Thrown in with ‘the old gringo’ and Arroyo is Harriet Winslow, a thirty-one year old American woman who’s come to Mexico in search of life: as ...more
Ali Nili
"تنهایی غیبت زمان است."
Pj Over
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Raheleh pourazar
«مرزی هست که ما فقط شبانه دلِ گذشتن از آن را داریم؛ مرز تفاوتهای خودمان با دیگران، مرز نبردهامان با خودمان.»
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
آدمی مبتلا به مرضی دردناک یا چندش آور ، آدمی که بار سنگینی است به دوش آدم هایی که به اشان علاقه دارد ، آدمی که جنون تهدیدش می کند ، آدمی بی هیچ مال و منال ، بی هیچ شغلی و امیدی ، آدمی که خودش را بی آبرو کرده ، دایم الخمری که هیچ چیز چاره اش نمی کند ! چرا ما از یک سرباز شجاع یا یک مامور آتش نشانی قدردانی میکنیم و ازآدمی که به جا و به موقع خودکشی کرده نه ؟
Jan 08, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not too many people

An occasionally entertaining blend of poetically charged "dream-biography", and incoherent babbling.

I would recommend not reading The Old Gringo if you want to know something about Ambrose Bierce; though in all fairness, you should probably never read a novel to teach yourself history. Anyway, it was not Fuentes' intention to be historically specific. The life and disappearance of his subject is a very difficult obstacle for any novelist, and instead of focusing our attention on the broad range
Jun 26, 2014 rated it liked it
The Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes

There have been some good, if not great expectations about this book. I have read that Carlos Fuentes is the greatest writer of Mexico.
And I have a soft spot for Mexico: it may be the movies and the TV series like Viva Zapata, No Country for Old Men, Amores Perros, The Mexican, Babel, Breaking Bad and many others that take place in Mexico, have Mexican characters or just stumble across the border.
The border between Mexico and the United States is another reason to
Russell Bittner
Sep 04, 2013 rated it liked it
I’m not really sure what to conclude about The Old Gringo, by Carlos Fuentes. The man clearly knows how to think — and to write. It’s just that I had enormous pains to follow a lot of his logic … or syntax … or punctuation … or pronominal reference (when he or the translator even bothered with pronouns) and to decide who was talking — or at least thinking.

It’s always difficult—possibly unfair — to judge a book by its translation. Perhaps I’ll simply quote what I believe to be the summary paragra
Ali Heidari
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
امبروز بی یرس نویسنده سرشناس آمریکایی که در اواخر قرن نوزدهم و اوایل قرن بیستم با کتاب ها و مقالات خود جنجال های فراوانی را در آمریکا به پا کرده بود در سال 1913 در سن 71 سالگی به سرزمین مکزیک می رود تا به انقلاب بپیوندد اما رد او گم می شود و کسی از سرنوشتش با خبر نمی گردد .در این کتاب فوئنتس سرنوشت خیالی این نویسنده در انقلاب مکزیک را تصویر می کند .

در مورد انقلاب مکزیک هم قابل ذکر است که اولین مرحله انقلاب آنها در دهه 1820 نتیجه می دهد و استعمار اسپانیا در این کشور پایان می پذیرد . بعد موضوع تثب
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Even though this novel came to me as a highly recommended modern classic, I didn't appreciate it that much. This may have more to do with me & my state of mind, however, than the book itself. The novel is a highly atmospheric portrait of Northern Mexico in 1914 at the time of the Revolution. The prose is dense & circular. Two gringos, a 71 year old man (purportedly the journalist Ambrose Bierce) & 31 year old woman, Harriet Winslow, cross the U.S/ Mexico border for differing reasons ...more
F.X. Altomare
Apr 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fuentes weaves a tightly knit tale about the mysterious final days of American writer Ambrose Bierce, who disappeared into Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. The characters are extremely well-wrought: Bierce (referred to only as the "Old Gringo" throughout the novel) is a tough-minded but disenchanted victim of a life of tragedy; Harriet Winslow is a tough-minded American schoolteacher facing abandonment issues; and Tomas Arroyo is a swaggering icon of one of Pancho Villa's self-declared Gene ...more
May 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: hispano-american
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephen Durrant
Feb 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Fuentes' "The Old Gringo" picks up on the mysterious disappearance of the American writer Ambrose Bierce after he crossed the border into Mexico in late 1913, just when the Mexican Revolution was in full force. Fuentes imagines Bierce joining up with a group of revolutionaries connected to Pancho Villa and eventually finding the death that he so earnestly sought (no spoiler alert needed here since his death is signalled from virtually the novel's first page). But before that death, Bierce, now s ...more
Aug 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: westerns
This author just passes away and NPR gave him quite the send off, so when I stumbled across this book in the library I thought I would give it a try. Set in revolutionary Mexico, where an old gringo, a Civil War veteran and former Hearst reporter, has gone in the hope of being killed in some glorious action, instead of dying a slow death of old age. I don't read much literature and this book unfortunately had all the characteristics that I don't like in literature. It jumps around without clearl ...more
Jose Villanueva
Apr 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Una historia muy sencilla e interesante, basado en Bierce aquel escritor que decidió visitar México y morir en el, jamas se volvió a saber de el, de aqui Fuentes toma esto como base para su historia, una novela muy corta, se puede leer facilmente en un fin de semana, no lleva un argumento lineal, sino que da giros en el tiempo, con monologos de los personajes y saltos tanto en el futuro como en el pasado. No he leido mucho de Fuentes, solo la Silla del Aguila y sin emabrgo siento que las 2 novel ...more
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Carlos Fuentes Macías was a Mexican writer and one of the best-known novelists and essayists of the 20th century in the Spanish-speaking world. Fuentes influenced contemporary Latin American literature, and his works have been widely translated into English and other languages.

Fuentes was born in Panama City, Panama; his parents were Mexican. Due to his father being a diplomat, during his childhoo
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