62: A Model Kit

ISBN: 0811214370
ISBN 13: 9780811214377
By: Julio Cortázar Gregory Rabassa

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About this book

As one of the main characters, the intellectual Juan, puts it: to one person the City might appear as Paris, to another it might be where one goes upon getting out of bed in Barcelona; to another it might appear as a beer hall in Oslo. This cityscape, as Carlos Fuentes describes it, "seems drawn up by the Marx Brothers with an assist from Bela Lugosi!" It is the meeting place for a wild assortment of bohemians in a novel described by The New York Times as "Deeply touching, enjoyable, beautifully written and fascinatingly mysterious." Library Journal has said 62: A Model Kit is "a highly satisfying work by one of the most extraordinary writers of our time."

Reader's Thoughts


I read this about a million years ago and loved it but i can't recall a damn thing about it.


if you really pressed me i might tell you i like this better than rayuela. all of the narrative tricks (+vampires and dream cities). none of the jibber jabber. and little of the pathos, granted. ok so maybe i take it back.

Jeff Jackson

For Dennis Cooper's blog, I recently transcribed a super rare interview Cortazar did in the late 60s while writing "62: A Model Kit." He talks about his process, the book's structure, and other interesting bits: http://denniscooper-theweaklings.blog...This book is jaw dropping amazing. The episodic "Hopscotch" may have higher highs, but this is Julio Cortazar's greatest novel from start to finish. It's unlike anything else I've read. The closest analog might not be in literature but Jacques Rivette's wild films of the 1970s. The continual dislocations of time and space (not to mention the vampire subplot) lend the novel's realist situations a vertiginous sense of the fantastic. The point of view keeps shifting from character to character, slowly emphasizing a collective web of relationships over any one personality. Cortazar has profound insights into friendships and amorous relationships, but he offers them at steep and oblique angles. The book teaches you how to read its peculiar shifts and emotional hues and half-tones, though it can be tough going in the beginning while you're getting the hang of it. But the novel's style quickly becomes intoxicating and you can see how the various intertwined and overlapping stories are hurtling toward their climaxes. Like all of Cortazar, you come out of the experience feeling enriched and seeing the world as if through a more powerful prescription. YOU SHOULD READ THIS.

Martin Hernandez

Hay libros buenos, que uno los lee con atención y al terminarlos, listo, ya estuvo, te quedas con un buen sabor de boca y pasas al siguiente libro sin mayor trámite. Y hay otros libros que son más que buenos, que te atrapan, que necesitas leer con calma, y al final de cada párrafo necesitas detenerte a reflexionar, a contrastar lo que dice el libro con tu propia experiencia, y casi deseas que el libro no acabe. "62/Modelo para Armar" es de estos últimos. Maravilloso, magistral, inolvidable. Con mucho, a obra más experimental de CORTÁZAR, más que "Rayuela", más que cualquier otra cosa que haya escrito.

Annaleely Leely

one day i will pick this book up again and all the words will make sense.today has not been that day.the trick is to build up momentum.as in the neverending case of moby dick...i keep rereading the same chapter over and over again.stuck in this infinite loopunable to progress.someone said there were vampires.


Having already read this through a half dozen times, I read bits and reread chapters and dabble about every so often. It's always always worth spending some time with the most astonishing, slippery, shivery, fantastic book of all time ever. This book is magic, magic, magic; on every page, in every line, shot through every twistedly long and nearly un-parse-able sentence. If I could only read one book ever again, over and over, for the rest of my life, it would be this one. Oh Cortazar, I will love you forever.

Matt Leibel

Cortazar is one of the most fearless, innovative and wide-ranging of the group of "experimental" writers who came to prominence largely in the 1960s. And there's certainly something hippie-faux-intellectual-bohemian about the crew of Argentian ex-pats in London, Paris and Vienna throughout this baffling-but-addictive book, which was grown out of one of the "disposable" chapters in Cortazar's earlier more famous masterpiece "Hopscotch". The characters drink every kind of alcohol you can think of, philosophize, smoke, take aimless train rides, send each other mysterious dolls, and wager on snail races (the snail is named Oswaldo…). Honestly, I didn't understand this book the first time I read it. There were themes, for sure, resonances, but nothing approaching actual full comprehension. So I immediately read it again. I think I understood it even less the second time. But then I started reading it a third time. And I could keep going. Maybe it's because of sentences like the one that follows, maybe my favorite-ever sentence, and probably a good barometer of whether Cortazar's polarizing style would work for you (picture the scene: a woman standing on the platform in the Paris Metro, waiting for her train, looking up at the ad billboards:"That's how, almost without seeing them, you start to look at the enormous posters one after the other, the ones that violate distraction and seek their path in your memory--first a soup, then some eyeglasses, then a make of television, gigantic photographs where every tooth of the child who likes Knorr soups has the size of a matchbox and the fingernails on the man watching television look like spoons (to drink the soup in the neighboring poster, for example), but the only thing that completely attracts me is the left eye of the girl who loves Babybel cheese, an eye like the eye to a tunnel, a series of concentric galleries and, in the middle, the cone of the tunnel which disappears into the depths like that other tunnel where I would have to have entered by going down the forbidden stairs, and which starts to vibrate, to moan, to fill with lights and squeals until the doors of the train open and I get in and sit on the bench reserved for invalids or old people or pregnant women, across from the seats where undefinable pygmies with microscopic teeth and imperceptible nails travel along with the fixed and mistrustful expression of Parisians tied to salaries of hunger and bitterness that are mass produced like Knorr soups."

Haydee Pineda

mi favorito de todos los tiempos

Bethany Lang

This is definitely not the kind of book that you can see down for a leisurely read with, but as almost all of the other reviewers have stated, the investment that it requires is definitely worth it. Yes, it's confusing - narrators often change in the middle of sentences, characters seem almost interchangeable at times, and locales change at the drop of a hat - but there are some absolutely beautiful passages here. Despite the fact that at times the book and the plot can seem cold and distant, there are passages that really vividly capture some very human moments, especially grief and the desperate aching for an ex-lover. I devoured the last thirty or so pages.

r. miyada

O final do livro se adensa ou condensa e toma tal forma e fica tão difícil de respirar que acabei arfando e tirei minha gravata e enfiei no meu bolso do paletó, poiso livro é tão.


Very interesting and unusual novel. It's a bit slow to start with and not an easy read by any means but well worth the effort. It's too bad more people haven't read Cortazar.

Omar Alfaro

"62 Modelo para armar" es muy entretenida, y posiblemente la novela mas graciosa de Julio Cortázar. No pretende revolucionar algún genero literario, y el autor tiene libros mejores, pero aun así vale la pena leerse.


Increiblemente esta semi-secuela de la Rayuela que me fue imposible leer, la encontré un poquito más digerible, y hasta pude disfrutar de algunos pasajes. No es que la recomiende, pues no pude conectar con la mayor parte, pero de todos modos es interesante hacer esfuerzos literarios de vez en cuando.

Gabriel Kingsom

Uno de los libros que más me han gustado en mucho tiempo. Me fue difícil, al inicio (las primeras 50 páginas no supe ni qué leía), entender las piezas que el autor va soltando como si fueran enchiladas (como señora en un tianguis haciendo, una tras otra incansablemente, cientos de tortillas de masa cruda, con alguna mezcla de salsa y requesón). Es una lectura en la que no todo está claro, llena de "transgresiones literarias", cuyos personajes y figuras están tan vivos que casi puedes tocarlos. No tiene un verdadero principio ni un verdadero final, la estructura temporal de la narrativa es un completo caos (un caos bello, si se quiere). Poco a poco todo va encajando, no como un rompecabezas sino algo más parecido a estructura abstracta y de muchas dimensiones; en fin, que Cortázar me enamora cada vez más.


A Beautiful even if at times challenging story...

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