Opening with its narrator on his deathbed acquainting the reader with graphic details of various medical instrumentations invading his body is quite a jolting start. Flashbacks provide the story of his life from 1889 to 1959 interspersing past and present to keep the reader aware of his impending death.
Surrounded by his family who hope to extract details of his will, his confidante who hopes to conceal incriminating business deals and a priest who hopes to procure a deathbed confession, this dying man is at the center of a veritable three-ring circus.
Artemio Cruz, the novel’s namesake recounts his life as he lies dying and does so without whitewashing the events. Whether recalling his part in the Mexican revolution, his role as a congressman or his many love affairs, he does so without apology for the man he was and the man he became.
This is a man who would undoubtably fascinate me. Love that he wrote the old-fashioned way; with pen and paper san typewriter (surely no fan of the latest technological advances). Perhaps we could sail to Cuba where he’d share tales of his life.
My rating for The Death of Artemio Cruz is a 7 out of 10.
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Next up, Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas…