like many of the world's finest authors, mario benedetti is virtually unknown in the english-speaking world. he is, in spanish-speaking countries however, widely considered one of the most important & beloved latin american writers. born in uruguay in 1920, benedetti has penned over fifty volumes of fiction, poetry, drama, political journalism, and criticism. following the coup in 1973, his writing was banned and he was forced into exile for the next 12 years.save for a few slim books of poetry and two out-of-print novels, blood pact is, tragically (or criminally), the only of his works available in english translation. the 27 tales in this collection span some 40 years of his career, and comprise one of the most exquisitely well-written array of short stories i've ever read, by any author, anywhere. composed in a deft and stylish manner, benedetti's writing is full of elegance, honesty, compassion, insight, humor, humanity, and wisdom. his stories deal in the personal, yet reflect the world his characters live within. political repression and torture, the nuance of amorous relations, psychological exploration, the inevitability of aging and death, the frustrating inanity of bureaucracy; regardless of his subject, these stories are brilliantly composed. blood pact is the rarest of literary gems.Abdullah
لست من عشاق القصص القصيرة و أميل بشدة لقراءة الروايات و لكن الأمر يختلف تماماً مع الساحر بينيديتي. مجموعة قصصية عظيمة جداً بموضوعات مختلفة و أساليب سردية متنوعة. هذه توصية كبيرة لعشاق الأدب اللاتيني.Ben Winch
Mario Benedetti may be a great writer, but so far this collection offers no proof of it. Admittedly I've only read three stories, but the third was so bad it made me want to throw the book out the window. Seriously, this is how it went: Attractive 40-something woman has a satisfying sex life with husband and lover. Husband grows less interested; she worries. Lover grows less interested; she checks the mirror, grows depressed, loses her looks. One day she follows her lover, who is too young to have lost his libido and must surely have met someone else. The guy goes to a park where he meets... the husband, and they walk off together hand in hand. As if that isn't corny enough, I guessed the ending three-quarters of the way through! Add that to the first story I read, which wasn't unpleasant but led me to believe it was working towards a twist that never came, and the second one, in which I guessed the twist but at least it wasn't utterly facile and an insult to my intelligence, and first impressions are not good. Not that I'm saying a story needs a trick ending - far from it - but if you're going to set us up to expect it you have to deliver. In these three stories the style is smooth but the tricks are old, and any human element that might redeem them is muted. Imagine a third-rate Kafka with the kinks ironed out churning out filler for the weekend supplement and you're not far off. If Benedetti is a great writer then whoever's wasting their time and money printing this shit should turn their attention to the good stuff before they ruin his reputation. Apparently he's famous for his poetry. Quick, where is it, before anyone else reads this!I'll read at least one more story before I give up - make it the title story, which sounds as though it has some sort of reputation.... Nah, it's not for me. The last story was marginally better but still seemed trite and fairly obvious, despite its kick-in-the-tail structure. Not impressed.