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Caramelo

Caramelo

Scritto da Sandra Cisneros

Narrato da Sandra Cisneros


Caramelo

Scritto da Sandra Cisneros

Narrato da Sandra Cisneros

valutazioni:
4/5 (23 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
15 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Mar 14, 2006
ISBN:
9780060794200
Formato:
Audiolibro

Nota del redattore

Heritage love letter…

Award-winning author Sandra Cisneros's semi-autobiographical novel traces a family of shawl-makers from Chicago to Mexico City and back. The under-the-radar bildungsroman is also a love letter to Cisneros' Mexican heritage.

Descrizione

Lala Reyes' grandmother is descended from a family of renowned rebozo-, or shawl-makers. The striped (caramelo) is the most beautiful of all, and the one that makes its way, like the family history it has come to represent, into Lala's possession. The novel opens with the Reyes' annual car trip-a caravan overflowing with children, laughter, and quarrels-from Chicago to "the other side": Mexico City. It is there, each year, that Lala hears her family's stories, separating the truth from the "healthy lies" that have ricocheted from one generation to the next. We travel from the Mexico City that was the "Paris of the New World" to the music-filled streets of Chicago at the dawn of the Roaring Twenties-and finally, to Lala's own difficult adolescence in the not-quite-promised land of San Antonio, Texas.

Caramelo is a vital, wise, romantic tale of homelands, sometimes real, sometimes imagined. Vivid, funny, intimate, historical, it is a brilliant work destined to become a classic: a major new novel from one of our country's most beloved storytellers.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Mar 14, 2006
ISBN:
9780060794200
Formato:
Audiolibro


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Cosa pensano gli utenti di Caramelo

3.9
23 valutazioni / 17 Recensioni
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Recensioni della critica

  • This semi-autobiographical novel by award-winning author Sandra Cisneros ("The House on Mango Street") traces a family of shawl-makers from Chicago to Mexico City and back. The under-the-radar bildungsroman is also a love letter to Cisneros' Mexican heritage.

    Scribd Editors

Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Wow this was AMAZING. I was putting off finishing it cause I didn't want it to end. It shows the grace, beauty and stength of mexican culture and ecspecially women. It was pure poetry.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (5/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Beautiful novel. Loved it.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (4/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Glorious! Full of color and life, the story of Mexican-American Celaya/Lala's entrance into womanhood has a wealth of smart and resonant observations on culture, gender and all humankind.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (3/5)
    Things I liked: The storyline of Lala and her immigrant family living in Chicago, then San Antonio.
    Some of the prose was beautiful. What I didn't like: Fragmented Vignettes. Did not flow. The Spanish made it feel interrupted because I had to either skip over parts or constantly look up a phrase. I did not like all the footnotes and also cameos of famous people that did not advance the story. I would not recommend this work of Cisneros to anyone who was not already a fan of her writing.
  • (3/5)
    A loosely autobiographical novelization of the life of a young Mexican American girl including a good deal of her family's history. Peppered liberally with Spanish words and phrases, not always translated. Interesting, but pretty slow-moving and sometimes almost on the edge of boring. It was difficult to care for these characters as only the (unreliable) narrator seemed like a decent person. A middle part where the history of the Awful Grandmother is being told is interjected with comments from another in italics. It took quite a while to figure out who this other was supposed to be.
  • (3/5)
    This is the story of four generations of Reyes family, told by the youngest member - Lala. She recounts tales of her parents, grandparents and great grandparents, mixing the timeing and sequence just as they might be revealed over the years at multiple family gatherings. Her descriptions are priceless - a man who cut his own hair looks like "his head had been chewed by coyotes."I first read the book in Nov 2003 on my own because I'd been a fan of Sandra Cisneros for some time. At the time I didn't recommend it to either of my two book clubs because of the amount of Spanish used (both groups had complained about similar "difficulties" with other books).In 2008 my Hispanic book club chose this book so I read it a second time. I'm less enthralled than at first. Her writing is poetic, but the middle section of this novel is disjointed.
  • (3/5)
    Snippets of life in the Reyes, strung together into a story. I loved the family pet names that emerged: Awful Grandmother, Little Grandfather, Auntie Lightskin, and all the variants of other names sprinkled throughout. The book was inspired by the author's Mexican heritage and childhood in Chicago. Each summer, her family (her own family and that of her two uncles) caravaned to visit her grandparents in Mexico City. The book is supposedly semi-autobiographical, but the vignettes, whether real or fictional, are interesting, amusing, and have a ring of verity about them.
  • (4/5)
    Apart from what seemed to be the theme of the book - that women are slaves to men's passions and their lives will always be tossed like corks on the sea of masculine whimsy - it was pretty good. No-one seemed to be happy, though.
  • (5/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    To write is to ask questions. It doesn't matter if the answers are true or puro cuento.Sandra Cisneros explores themes of identity, family, memory, perception, nationality, ethnicity, immigration, and gender issues through the eyes of Celaya Reyes (“Lala”), a young Mexican American girl growing up in the post-World War II era. Lala's father was born in Mexico. Lala and her brother were born in the U.S., but spend their summers with her father's parents in Mexico City. No matter where she is – Mexico, Chicago, or San Antonio - Lala is conscious of her status as an outsider. She doesn't even have a place at home. In Chicago, she sleeps on a recliner in the living room, while in Mexico, she sleeps in her parents' room. When her father tells people he has seven “hijos”, Lala hears him claiming seven “sons”. She knows she is her father's favorite child, yet she still feels like daughters don't count in his worldview.There are layers of story within the novel. Even the names of characters and places tell a story. Self-absorbed Narciso and his lonely wife Soledad make their home on Destiny Street. Narciso and Soledad are distant cousins and share the name Reyes (“King”). Lala's father, a Reyes, marries a Reyna (“Queen”).In the middle portion of the book, Lala tells her grandmother's story. She interprets Mexican history through experiences in the lives of members of her family. In some ways, it reminds me of what Rushdie does with the history of India and Pakistan in Midnight's Children.Cisneros uses endnotes as a device in many of the chapters, and some of the notes are quite lengthy. I don't think the format would easily translate into an e-book, and that probably explains why it doesn't seem to be available in that format.Caramelo is a book to savor, and one I won't soon forget.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (1/5)
    Caramelo is a novel that spans multi-generations and lapses often into Spanish. As a person who does not understand Spanish, I found that the many Spanish words broke up the continuity of the narrative, which was already pushing boundaries as the story vacillated from present to various past remembrances. Yes, there were several interesting and humorous stories, but there was much that was off-putting. Shouting matches, ultimatums, lies, fights, and deceptions seemed to be the norm. I know that many people absolutely loved this tale. I found it a chore to get through.
  • (3/5)
    I'd be hard pressed to find a writer with as relevant and evocative similes as Cisneros in this longer work. She's also the queen of lists-- detailed and ridiculous lists of products, foods, smells, decorations, and clothing. The overall story is rather episodic and doesn't generate too much drama, especially the second part's section about the era of the Awful Grandmother's youth. I don't care about what becomes of the characters. However, I just eat up the language. Oh, and the lady on the cover looks just like me without my glasses!
  • (4/5)
    Celaya, also nicknamed "Lala," narrated her family's history; she gives emphasis to her own experiances and the life of the "Awful Grandmother." The visits to Mexico and family every summer keeps the Hispanic tradition in Celaya and her brothers. Society and the ones this family trusted the most decide to abondon Celaya's family and make them suffer from poverty. Surprising twists and turns make the story even more irresistable to read, but I cannot say anymore before I start to spoil more than one scene. I'd only recommend this book if it comes prepared with time and patiance because of the short chapters and the way they leave you hanging. It leaves you wanting to know more, but I promise you it's all going to fit together like a puzzle in the end.
  • (3/5)
    I found myself thinking - all families are pretty much the same - brothers tease sisters, long car rides are boring and tiresome, grandparents are mysterious.I enjoyed myself while I was reading Caramelo. Sandra Cisneros uses a lot of Spanish - she quickly translates it - but I suspect that this may be a reason many people didn't like this book.(I haven't met anyone else who liked it! - yet)
  • (3/5)
    Wrapped Up in CarameloCaramelo was a novel of epic proportions (eighty plus chapters) written by well-known author Sandra Cisneros (The House on Mango Street). The book was published in 2002 by Harper Collins. The audio book is read by author Sandra Cisneros. I both listened to and read Caramelo.This book seemed semi-autobiographical to me. Like the narrator, Lala Reyes, Cisneros was born into a large family and she was born in Chicago in the 1950s. Also, both are the only daughters born into the family. Each is of Mexican descent and, of course, each woman can really spin a thread. Nonetheless, the novel is prefaced with, perhaps, a caveat saying that not one bit is true. In fact, Cisneros disclaims, "If, in the course of my inventing, I have inadvertently stumbled on the truth, perdónenme." Caramelo came in a Spanish edition as well. The English version which I experienced is liberally sprinkled with authentic Spanish phrases.A few things about Caramelo caught my attention before I decided to read the book. The mention of the rebozo of San Luis Potosi, Mexico reminded me of mission trips I went on to SLP and my own search for a rebozo. Also, I read the back and saw that part of the book takes place in San Antonio, each Texan's second home town. Then, there was the curiosity about Cisneros's writing style. So, I gave Caramelo a chance.With Caramelo, the reader is given a chance to learn or brush up on Mexican history, immerse him/herself in the Mexican-American experience as well as learn the stories and, sometimes, the Reyes family history. The young narrator, Celaya "Lala" Reyes provides her audience a window into her heritage, weaving in strands to create a rich, poignant caramelo rebozo of a tale.Lala's paternal grandmother, Soledad Reyes, comes from a family of the legendary, Mexican shawl of San Luis Potosi. The book begins with an annual summer pilgrimage from Lala's native Chicago to visit the grandparents, the Awful Grandmother and the Little Grandfather, in Mexico City.Caramelo begins with one such summer when Lala was a little girl. Here, the Awful Grandmother rules the roost. The Awful Grandmother dotes on her favorite child, Lala's father, Inocencio, to the irritation of Lala's mother, Zoila, and to the exclusion of the rest of the Awful Grandmother's children. When Zoila reaches her breaking point with the Awful Grandmother, the story takes the reader on a journey to the time the Awful Grandmother was a sad, lonely little girl called Soledad Reyes.The reader finds the little Soledad being sent with her late mother's caramelo rebozo, a shawl of boasting the colors of toffee, licorice, and vanilla, (Cisneros 94) to Mexico City from San Luis Potosi and into a fateful introduction to Narciso Reyes (the Little Grandfather). In the midst of the Mexican Revolution (1911 - 1920), Narciso and Soledad come together, marry, and start of family. Inocencio, the first child and the favorite of Soledad, was born. As a young man, Inocencio moves to United States and works his way to Chicago, and meets Mexican-American Zoila.The Awful Grandmother moves in with the Chicago Reyeses after the death of the Little Grandfather. At first, they all live in Chicago. Then, they all move to San Antonio where the Awful Grandmother dies. Teenage granddaughter Lala is left with numerous loose ends and looks into the family histories and stories to better understand her late grandmother.Some reviewers have compared Caramelo to John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. I believe that while the Reyes family may not be monetarily wealthy, they are rich with stories and identity. At times this book was reminiscent of Forrest Gump in the numerous appearances of famous and/or infamous, true people. However, I did like the historical context these cameos lent the work.For the most part, I enjoyed listening to this book. Cisneros was able to better convey her points with her vocal characterizations - from the Awful Grandmother's whine to Inocencio's formality to Zoila's crackling sarcasm. Additionally, Cisneros can pronounce these words. She knows her own stuff and that's great. Still, it was good to have the book to see exactly how some of these words looked so I could say, "Oh, that's how you say that word." If anyone has as little understanding of Spanish as I, Caramelo may be a struggle.I appreciated that many of the characters had an oft-repeated sentiment throughout the work. Narciso (the Little Grandfather) was a man feo, fuerte, y formal although he was not ugly (Cisneros, 103) while Soledad (the Awful Grandmother) reminds herself "Just enough, but not too much (92).I am happy I stuck it out, though. I was able to see Lala make and wear her very own rebozo with the help of various relatives, especially her grandmother. Thus, I recommend this to the patient history buff out there.Caramelo receives three out of five pearls from me.
  • (4/5)
    This 440-page book reads like a extended short story. On top of that, it reads like a historical extended short story. Caramelo takes you through several generations of a Mexican family whose story shifts from Chicago to Mexico City to San Antonio and back to Mexico City and Chicago, with pit stops all over America and Mexico. Caramelo also uses annotations throughout the book to explain Mexican-American culture or offer mini-biographies of famous people who serendipitously end up in the family history.More than any novel I've read in 2004, this book did not appear to be in any rush to get where it was going. It didn't seem to include any major plot points or work up to a major climax. I don't mean for that to be as critical as it sounds. It was simply the (pretty much true) history of a family. I think it was the breeziness and poetry in Cisneros' writing that gave the book the short story feel. But it was not a slight book. When I finished it and looked back on the story I realized that there were many major plot points in it, it's just that Cisneros didn't hit me over the head with them.With Caramelo, you know that family history is actually family storytelling, and there's no problem telling a "healthy lie" (as the narrator's father puts it) if it helps the story. These myths somehow help centuries of stories weave together seamlessly. Ironically, the only time the novel feels disjointed is when the story centers on the narrator, as she goes through puberty. But that is a short diversion and a minor objection.So, how did I like the book? While I was reading it, I actually wasn't sure. It took me a relatively long time to get through the book. I think that was caused by the book's laid-back feel and its lack of the strong backbone of a gripping tale. I ended up reading a few pages at a time, with very little pushing me to want to read on and on. But after finishing the book I found that I did enjoy "cheating" and reading a short story, no matter how long it was, as a break from reading novels. The historic bits about Mexican-American history from the Mexican viewpoint were very interesting and the storytelling is on a personal scale and often very funny. But for this family's story to be considered a novel I think it would have to be more concrete. More propelled. Like many of the short stories I've read in anthologies like Best American Short Stories, this was a very interesting little story that I enjoyed while I was reading it, but after moving on becomes part of the collective "short stories" that I may not remember but makes me a fan of short stories.
  • (5/5)
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, including the glimpse at a novel hispanic experience. I LOVE her writing which picks you up and carries you along until, before you know it, you're at the end, wanting more.
  • (1/5)
    Oh the shittiness that is this novel, the reading being shit, being that it is so long and sticky, in the way that the writing is, on the porch, using pliers so as to wrench the words while hating it and in bed hating and hating the sticky way cisneros writes.