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The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas

WINGSPAN

The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas

WINGSPAN

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Every Book has a Silver Lining: Pedro Páramo

In+this+weekly+review%2C+Every+Book+has+a+Silver+Lining%2C+staff+reporter+Christina+Huang+takes+a+look+at+books+to+find+their+silver+lining.
Christina Huang
In this weekly review, Every Book has a Silver Lining, staff reporter Christina Huang takes a look at books to find their silver lining.

Juan Rulfo’s novel, Pedro Páramo, has paved the way for more work in the genre of magic realism, impacting other authors such as Gabriel García Márquez. Described as a classic of Mexican modern literature, Rulfo blurs the line between reality and illusion and past and present. 

Written in several short fragments that become lengthier over time, the story starts with Juan Preciado, the son of Pedro Páramo, a man he has never known. Preciado promises his mother that he will find Pedro Páramo and her hometown and sets off to the town of Comala. But when he arrives, he finds the land barren with no trace of Pedro Páramo or the bright town his mother had reminisced about. 

The story becomes more challenging to follow when the perspective begins to switch. Rulfo jumps from Preciado’s first-person perspective in the present to the third-person perspective of a younger Pedro Páramo of the past. As Preciado’s narrative fades away, a different narrator replaces him: Susana San Juan, Páramo’s childhood love. The frequent change in pace may make it difficult to decipher. 

The nature of the story is explained in the foreword, something readers may need before beginning the book. Additionally, Rulfo’s lack of many dialogue tags left doubts about who was speaking. Readers may have found the work ‘suffocating’ or simply confusing. These were points not entirely unfounded as, at times, fragments lasted for a conversation or so before moving to a different time or even a different state of being as Rulfo employs the connection between the dead and the living. 

The detailed world Rulfo creates is a surrealistic ‘masterpiece,’ as described by the New York Times and others. Still, whether that is true or not can depend on readers’ personal tastes—and if they want to reread it for clarity on the disconnected storyline. Pedro Páramo is more of a story to study—with the name itself a way of foreshadowing—but short enough to be worth a read (or two).

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About the Contributor
Christina Huang
Christina Huang, Staff Reporter/Interactive Media Editor
Christina Huang is a sophomore in her first year officially with Wingspan. She enjoys reading, writing, playing the piano and viola, and finding/creating wallpapers for her phone which she will likely never use. She’s looking forward to the opportunity to better her writing and find the good in scorned books this year through her book blog: Every Book Has a Silver Lining. Contact Christina: christina.huang.862@k12.friscoisd.org

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