Thursday 1 February 2018

Review: No oyes ladrar los perros by Juan Rulfo

No oyes ladrar los perros No oyes ladrar los perros by Juan Rulfo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is available online in the original Spanish at and in English at

An almost one sided night time conversation between a father and son. The son is unwell, most likely injured, and, slipping in an out of consciousness, is being carried on the shoulders of his father. His father is unable to put his son down until they get to their destination for fear of being unable to lift him up again. He is seeking the village of Tonaya which he has been told lies just beyond the hill he has climbed over. He believes their is a doctor there.
***SPOILER ALERT***There does not appear to have been a good relationship between father and son prior to this time. The focus of the story is less on why the son has ended up in this position than about the father's determination. To keep going the father curses his son, his ill-spent time in bad company, the death of his own wife in childbirth. Bowed under his son's weight and walking at night the father is unable to see, he keeps asking his son if he can see the village, if he can hear the village dogs barking - anything to know how much further he must carry his burden, anything to keep his son from drifting into unconsciousness.

This is a story of parental love, parred back to its bones to capture the father's despair and struggle in just 2 pages.

ashramblings verdict 3*

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