Complete summary of Alejo Carpentier’s The Lost Steps. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Lost Steps. The Lost Steps was first published as Los pasos perdidos in Mexico in It was written whilst Alejo Carpentier was living in Caracas. The Lost Steps, by Alejo Carpentier. I discovered this book on the office charity table and picked it up for a dollar. I had only heard of Carpentier.

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An unnamed character narrator sgeps his story retrospectively. I enjoyed the protagonist’s journey and the story of his love life, but it was so crowded with superfluous descriptions of the land, the animals, the plant life, and other less-important details that it disrupted the true message of the novel. Is it possible to have an authentic experience of a foreign culture?

Now, I don’t want lodt completely discount this book. At the beginning this book is a little bit confusing. Related Publications The Chase Three works of fiction by the inventor of magic realism-now back in print! Feb 22, Virginia Young rated it it was ok. I’m embarrassed to admit that I once believed Bloom’s notion that, with adequate sensitivity, one could establish clear hierarchies of literary value — and that the writers that were objectively the “best” would obviously be the most valuable for me because naturally I would have that rare sensitivity.

But these aren’t crazy illusions, they are common ones, about civilization, nature, carpentie vs.

Alejo Carpentier, The Lost Steps, Reading Guide #3, FL

Reminded of it today seeing the film Embrace of the Serpent, set in that same mysterious inhospitable all engulfing world – the Amazon jungle. On a platform covered with old, mildewed velvets stood the coffin, still ringing with hammer blows, studded with heavy, silver-headed nails, just come from the Carpenter, who never erred in his measurements of a corpse, for his photographic memory preserved the dimensions of all the town’s living inhabitants.


It was too late when I rooted for him; thereafter let down by a story dangling bleakly. Extreme verbosity of every sentence; that I could not take. Grandiose concepts can be built into enjoyable presentations but in storytelling, he failed.

Just thought I’d let you know. If you are interested in religion or music, then you will enjoy this book more than I did.

The Lost Steps

The upriver journey reminded me of Joseph Conrad at times, though Carpentier has a different agenda. Notify me of new comments via email. I know, these are cliches, but they are handled beautifully. Lots of introspective musings about the modern and primitive life, carpentire the narrator seeing more beauty and honesty in the latter.

Except for one scene where mosquitoes sort of formed a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors, and his mistress being stricken with malaria, no mention is made of the horrors of mosquito bites. Nevertheless I enjoyed it. I loved the book.

The Lost Steps by Alejo Carpentier

carpemtier I actually think that the unreliability of the allejo is one of the strengths of the novel. Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. The narrator is never named. See 1 question about The Lost Steps…. It’s unlikely I’ll try another book by Carpentier at this point. However, from a college student learning about Latin American literature during the boom, it was an overly drawn-out, tedious read. The foremost of these is its unabashed machismo: Print Email Facebook Twitter.


Dec 24, Kristel rated it really liked it Shelves: The protagonist progresses from the contemporary metropolital city to what are essentially farmlands, then to a primitive village, and finally to encampments where people live in an almost stone-age elementalism. However, the most fleeting thoughts I have ever seen were accepted as a novel!

It feels a bit like you’re in a jungle and the words are vines climbing up your leg.

The book is very artistic and well-written. There os an excursion to an abandoned mission on an island, where they meet a crazy herbalist and there are tales of El Dorado and ancient mythologies. Want to Read saving….

But on arriving in Latin America he feels re-united with his native language, which is Spanish. The legal wife for Rosario is a woman who can send for guards, when he leaves the house where the husband has enthroned deceit, cruelty or alcohol disorders.

He gives a reasonably persuasive account of being enthusiastic about this travelling backwards into native primitivism. The lost steps is a very good book. It is written in the style of a diary. For this reason, so he justifies to himself, he has a mistress.