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

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.


This book confirmed my unconditional love for Cortazar as it took nearly half the book for me to realize what might be going on in the plot as well as who the narrator(s) are; but in spite of this, I never lost enthusiasm.

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.


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.


Once you get past the first 20 pages it really takes off. Hang in there, it's worth it.

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.


we should all read this book.. its complicated but beautifully writen!


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.


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.

Claudio Saavedra

This is a wonderful novel, hard to follow at times, but once you break through, it can only be captivating. It's fair to say that anyone who enjoyed 'Rayuela' will probably be delighted by this book as well. I can now say that this is will certainly be one of my favorite works by Cortázar.


It took me a good 70 or so pages to really get into this, but the remaining pages made me extraordinarily glad that I was so patient.

Haydee Pineda

mi favorito de todos los tiempos

David Katzman

A tale of two cities. One is Madrid the other imaginary. A tale of two novels written by itinerant, international authors both of whom had Spanish as their first language. A tale of two experimental novels. One I loved; one I did not. Can you guess which is which?Cortazar published 62: A Model Kit in Spanish in 1968; the edition I read was translated in 1972. Alfau published Locos: a Comedy of Gestures in 1936 in English. Cortazar had Argentinean parents but was born in Europe then moved back to Buenos Aires when he was very young and later, back to Europe. Alfau was born in Barcelona but moved to the United States when he was 14. Locos was published when he was 34.Call me crazy, but I loved Locos. Pun intended. It is charming and cruel, tragic and hilarious, ambiguous yet direct, and written with clear, poetic prose. The experimental style on display never overwhelmed the narrative. Despite the fact that Alfau directly declares the fictive nature of his characters, he made me care about them. Unfortunately, I found 62: a Model Kit to be nearly the opposite despite significant similarities. Cortazar seems to be peopling an imaginary city with characters and scenarios imagined by the very characters in the story, but unfortunately they never seemed real. The characters seemed undeveloped, Cortazar would reveal a quirky trait here or there, but they came across as highly abstract intellectual exercises. Where as Alfau acknowledges the characters are abstract, but he made them seem real! I found the prose in 62 to be opaque and unwelcoming. The sentences zigzagged in ways that didn't complement my brain. I felt like I was constantly trying to trace the thoughts of an intellectual squirrel on crystal meth. (Have you ever done crystal meth? It's like being on a mega-dose of caffeine but it sucks out all your wit. You are basically an idiot who thinks he's not.) At any rate, every phrase that Cortazar wrote took the sentence in a different direction, and I became tired of trying to figure out what he was trying to say. I found the writing tedious. I couldn't get the meaning out of it. I don't know if I should put some blame on the translation or not, but after 60 pages I threw in the towel. I skimmed forward just to pick out sentences here and there and could see that it was essentially the same book throughout. This experience was severely disappointing after I quite enjoyed reading Autonauts of the CosmorouteWith Locos , Alfau seems to be following in the footsteps of fellow Spaniard Luigi Pirandello who wrote a play in 1921 entitled Six Characters In Search of an Author. I actually performed in this show in college! But Alfau goes to a place that blends great humor with the tragedy. The story begins (roughly) with Alfau, playing himself, at a cafe with a "friend" who becomes a character in the book. This cafe is where bad authors go to discover characters for their stories. In that cafe, we meet many of the characters who will populate the book. Note the irony. What follows is a series of interconnected short stories about many of them. Most characters reappear throughout and even when they are not featured, a brief mention may act as a dramatic revelation that changes significantly what you read before. And further, some of the characters seem to metamorphosize and despite having the same names, serve different roles or have different relationships in subsequent stories. The entirety manages to hold together as more of a novel than a collection partly thanks to the overlapping characters, partly through the consistent tone and style, and partly because Alfau is always in the background or making appearances as "the author." He has several charming asides regarding how his characters have "gotten away from him," and he can't quite control them. Trust me, it just works. Some of the stories are quite hilarious. Some are devastating and yet often absurd. In one case, a man is obsessed with fingerprints because he believes his father invented the...science of fingerprints? And didn't receive the recognition he deserves. In another scenario, the police are having a convention in Madrid at the same time as a blackout citywide occurs, which leads to a crimewave of everyone mugging just about everyone. And the police are so busy with their convention that they are too tired to even arrest anyone. It's so ridiculous, Lucy. The theme of the absurdity of life is never far from the surface.I devoured Locos; I dropped 62 like a hot potato. If you want to dip your toe into some literature that is experimental without being alienating, then I highly recommend Locos. It's just flat out brilliant, feels modern (post) in content and style, and it's a book that can be read multiple times. Love, love, loved it.

Anton Daneyko

I think it was oddly structured and it was amusing to read.

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.

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