Pascual Duarte grew up in a brutal world of poverty, hatred, and depravity, which turned his life into an unrelenting nightmare. This novel consists of Duarte's public confessions, written from his prison cell where he awaits execution for the series of murders he's committed. In depicting the horrors of his life - including details about his despicable mother, his unfaithful wife, and his savage crimes - Duarte writes with a childlike sense of the world, portraying himself as a man deformed by the cruel hand of fate that led him down a bloody path.
Pascual Duarte's existential outlook on his meaningless murders is often compared to that of the protagonist of Albert Camus's The Stranger (which was published in the same year), although Cela's writing is closer in tone to the ferocious works of Curzio Malaparte and Louis-Ferdinand Celine.
Most books have to wait to become classics; but everything about The Family of Pascual Duarte its conception, its starkness, its restraint, the enormity of its theme made it from the very beginning a classic. --Alastair Reid
Series: Spanish Literature Series
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
For Ages: 22+ years old
Number Of Pages: 166
Published: 1st March 2004
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 25.0 x 15.0 x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.204