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Aquarius Horse
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PostSubject: Book/ film/ music reviews   Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:51 am

tell us what we HAVE to buy and what to steer clear of!


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Aquarius Horse
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PostSubject: Re: Book/ film/ music reviews   Fri Dec 05, 2008 4:35 pm

Doña Bárbara. A book that is considered The Great National Novel here in Venezuela and has been made over 4 times has films and miniseries (I think one of those films is in English, though I am not sure)

The story is set on the Plains, the Venezuelan and Colombian equivalent of the Wild West and akin to the Argentinean Pampas and follows a plains-born man who grew up in the big city and became a lawyer after his father dies in a family feud and goes back to the family hacienda to take care of bussiness; but what is more catching in the story is the antagonist to this lawyer, Doña Barbara... the devour of men...

She was raised in a pirate ship, cooking meals for ruthless men who desired her but couldn't do anything since she was protected by the captain. One day a poor man arrives asking making choirs in the ship as a way to pay his voyage and the two fall in love... just to him to be murdered by the crew and she ending up repeatly raped by them. She became bitter and arised on a land of fierce men being more fierce than them. She became a myth, a bit of a witch, a bit of a vamp and the most fearful landlady of the region...

Sounds quite catching, doesn't? What's the problem with this? well... my problem is the protagonist, the lawyer from the big city, he is too perfect and boring; even his name shows his status as Marty Stu, Santos Luzardo (Santos: Saints. Luz: Light) he can ride a horse as good as he can present a litigation, all the women in the book fall in love with him and even when he does something wrong he notices two pages after and mend his mistakes... for Christ's sake, even Jesus was presented more flawed in the Bible. Doña Bárbara is far more interesting and complex, not being just evil just for evil's sake but just as the only way she knows to survive a land where being hit with a machete in the head is a natural way to die.

Doña Barbara is also, in my opinion, about the duality of the whole Nature Vs. Civilization conflict. Being Doña Barbara the bad side of nature and Santos Luzardo the good side of civilization (a bit too obvious which is the author's opinions) but instead of giving Luzardo human flaws we have Lorenzo Barquero, who is also more interesting than Luzardo (heck, even the flat villians are more memorable)

Barquero is pretty much all the bad things of civilization. He was also a lawyer from the big city who arrived trying to solve things but gave up, had a child with Doña Bárbara, she abandoned him and took his hacienda and fell into alcoholism while trying to raise a child, Marisela (who represents the virtues of nature). His family is the rival family of the Luzardos'. His father murdered Santos Luzardo's father and he became fed up with the phoniness of the big city (once he wrote an article to the college press made up entirely of a subject he didn't know and he was luaded even though everything he said was a lie) and when Santos find him he tries to attack him with a machete and Santos forgives him and his entire family... what the hell?

I would had prefered to read more about Lorenzo Barquero than Santos. His character is much more human and is more realistic than Santos, even though much of what we see him, he is drunk and speaking nonsense...

The background characters are quite memorable too. One character tells how his family farm was destroyed to the ground and had to spent all that time hiding in the swamp and when he returned he found his baby brother sucking from the breast of his mother's corpse... another character, Juan Primito, "sees" hellbirds called Rebullones whom he feeds according of what evil deeds Doña Bárbara is going to do (he feeds them with blood if a murder is going to happen, with a coin if legal matters are troublesome and with vinegar if some cattle will be stolen) what is described about his point of view suggest that either he pretends to be mentally challenged (something quite doubtful, since the author usually refers to him as "the moron" or "the cetrin") or he has some sort of autism (remember that the book was written in the 1920's and a lot of characters are based on real people)

Another thing that is interesting is a character that lacks of a good counterpart (he is the only character of the novel who has his own English Wikipedia page)... he is El Gringo: Mister Danger.


Mister Danger is the other main villain, but unlike Doña Bárbara he does his evil deeds, as he admitted, he is bored and playing with the people amuses him. He goes around drinking whiskey, giving whiskey to Lorenzo Barquero just trying to get his hands over Lorenzo's teenage daughter, hunts tigers and crocodiles and paraphrasing the novel, he doesn't like anyone there because they don't have fair skin nor blue eyes like him. He is pretty much Theodore Roosevelt or Ernest Hemingway simplified to be a stereotype that no one in the novel likes... but have to deal with since he is a gringo, he is loaded (specially with whiskey and bullets)

I heard that Canaima (another novel by Rómulo Gallegos) is far more interesting and complex and the protagonist is this time human. Though the plot (Young man who was born in the jungle returns from studying in the big city to fight barbarism) seems suspiciously familiar...
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velvet spider

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PostSubject: Re: Book/ film/ music reviews   Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:22 pm

One of my favorite You Tube series is Goth Lyfe.
Those folks are genius. devildance

Yet my real question is: What exactly is EMO...?

(The thing about 'tears'...) sosad

Not too serious here gang, simply your own light hearted perspective would be appreciated...!
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Scorpio Tiger
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PostSubject: Re: Book/ film/ music reviews   Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:02 pm

^^ Omg, I love Goth Lyfe. It makes my day. hail
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helen damnation

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PostSubject: Re: Book/ film/ music reviews   Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:29 pm

Hmm! "What is emo?"

Difficult question without sounding like an old snobby goth! Laughing

I would say infinitely better than SCENE KIDS and if one of my pair wants to turn emo I wont mind a bit.


Well, the Devil he taught us how to rock and then he turned us loose
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