Pedro Páramo

By Juan Rulfo, Margaret Sayers Peden (translator),

Book cover of Pedro Páramo

Book description

Winner, Fred Whitehead Award for the Best Design of a Trade Book from Texas Institute of Letters Western Books Exhibition Selection, Rounce & Coffin Club, 2003 Deserted villages of rural Mexico, where images and memories of the past linger like unquiet ghosts, haunted the imaginations of two artists-writer Juan Rulfo…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

3 authors picked Pedro Páramo as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

My book club rescued this classic Mexican novel from my TBR pile, where it had languished far too long.

I am grateful because when I finally read it, I found Pedro Páramo bewitching. On her deathbed, a mother commands her son to return to their original village to find his father. Everyone he meets there is dead, and the dead have stories to tell. 

When Pedro Páramo was first published in 1955, readers didn’t know what to think of this precursor to magical realism, but then it caught on in a big way. Gabriel García Márquez claimed he could recite…

This short novel is by a Mexican writer and takes place underground. At first, we cannot tell who is living and who is dead, but we eventually accept the fact that the characters are ghosts. 

The ghosts come and go, remembering their past lives together. They remind each other of the events of the Mexican Revolution that they lived through, and they especially remember the strongman in the village. Pedro Páramo runs things with an iron hand, and he also pines for a woman who is beyond his control—the only thing he wants that he can’t have.

The voices in…

Garcia Marquez famously claimed to have memorized Pedro Páramo, making it in some ways the actual cornerstone of Latin American magical realism. A strange, haunting novel about a man in search of his father, Pedro Páramo, who finds himself in a ghost town and listening to the memories of phantasms, this book is a spectral, beautiful story with mystifying power. It was probably the chief influence for my own novel which similarly follows a young man into a ghost world of the past.

From Daniel's list on Latin American magical realism.

Want books like Pedro Páramo?

Our community of 10,000+ authors has personally recommended 100 books like Pedro Páramo.

Browse books like Pedro Páramo

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Mexico, magical realism, and the Mexican Revolution?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Mexico, magical realism, and the Mexican Revolution.

Mexico Explore 205 books about Mexico
Magical Realism Explore 415 books about magical realism
The Mexican Revolution Explore 15 books about the Mexican Revolution