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Adam in Eden
Uniform Title:
Adán en Edén. English
1st ed.
Publication Information:
Champaign, IL : Dalkey Archive Press, 2012.
Physical Description:
201 pages ; 21 cm.
Series title(s):
General Note:
"Originally published in Spanish as Adán en Edén by Alfaguara, Mexico City, 2009"--Title page verso.
A respected Mexican businessman finds his idyllic life crumbling in the face of his wife's infidelity with a corrupt director of national security, his brother-in-law's worship of a child preacher, and his mistress' break with reality.


Call Number

On Order



In this comic novel of political intrigue, Adam Gorozpe, a respected businessman in Mexico, has a life so perfect that he might as well be his namesake in the Garden of Eden--but there are snakes in this Eden too. For one thing, Adam's wife Priscila has fallen in love with the brash director of national security--also named Adam--who uses violence against token victims to hide the fact that he's letting drug runners, murderers, and kidnappers go free. Another unlikely snake is the little Boy-God who's started preaching in the street wearing a white tunic and stick-on wings, inspiring Adam's brother-in-law to give up his job writing soap operas to follow this junior deity and implore Adam to do the same. Even Elle, Adam's mistress, thinks the boy is important to their salvation--especially now that it seems the other Adam has put out a contract on Adam Gorozpe. To save his relationship, his marriage, his life, and the soul of his country, perhaps Adam will indeed have to call upon the wrath of the angels to expel all these snakes from his Mexican Eden.

Author Notes

Carlos Fuentes was born in Panama on November 11, 1928. He studied law at the National University of Mexico and did graduate work at the Institute des Hautes Etudes in Switzerland. He entered Mexico's diplomatic service and wrote in his spare time. His first novel, Where the Air Is Clear, was published in 1958. His other works include The Death of Artemio Cruz, Destiny and Desire, and Vlad. The Old Gringo was later adapted as a film starring Gregory Peck and Jane Fonda in 1989. He won numerous awards including the Fuentes the Romulo Gallegos Prize in Venezuela for Terra Nostra, the National Order of Merit in France, the Cervantes Prize in 1987, and Spain's Prince of Asturias Award for literature in 1994.

He also wrote essays, short stories, screenplays, and political nonfiction. In addition to writing, he taught at numerous universities, including Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, and Brown. He served as the ambassador of Mexico to France. He died on May 15, 2012 at the age of 83.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

This satire of contemporary Mexican society by the celebrated late Mexican novelist and critic centers on Adam Gorozpe, a well-connected Mexico City lawyer and businessman. He is married to Priscila Holguin, the daughter of a wealthy bakery magnate with whom the couple resides. Adam also keeps a mistress named "L" and with her feels happy and relaxed, in complete opposition to how he feels with his wife. His brother-in-law, Abelardo, wants to be a writer, which angers Abelardo's father. However, Abelardo is granted an audience with the great poet Maximino Sol, who urges him to join Sol's camp if he wants his work noticed. Instead, Abelardo gets work writing soap operas. Elsewhere in the city, an 11-year-old named the Boy-God has started to preach at a busy intersection and, much to Adam's chagrin, the newly sprouted shantytowns have been dubbed "Gorozpevilles." Adam Gongora, a high-ranking official, has begun to abuse his power, drawing the ire of namesake Gorozpe. But Gongora's interest in Priscila sets in motion events that test Gorozpe to the limit. This is a minor work by a major author, but Fuentes's humor and keen eye make it quite rewarding. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

An interesting novel is one that escapes from the writer's hands, says title character Adam, directly referencing this novel, which he himself is also reading. While metagimmicks like this often fall flat and feel hack, late Mexican author Fuentes, a key trailblazer for the Latin American boom in literature several decades ago, schools the lesser novelist, masterfully injecting an airy tone into this brief but spirited read. Originally published in Spanish in 2010, this translated edition will indeed win over new English-speaking fans for Fuentes. The story here follows Adam, a happily married hotshot executive with a mistress on the side. All is well until the national security director, also named Adam, shows up, enchanting his wife and otherwise meddling in all the wrong things. Readers may have trouble finding something or someone relatable to latch onto, but sticking around until the final page will reward readers with a rather cute and satisfying conclusion. Also a delight is Fuentes' deft form, straddling the line between comedy and drama that line where things work extraordinarily well.--Bayer, Casey Copyright 2010 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Adam Gorozpe, a successful Mexico City lawyer who married into wealth, finds himself and his own life fascinating. His musings focus on himself, his wife, his in-laws, his mistress, and the nemesis-Mexico's chief of public security, also named Adam-who is cuckolding him. There's political intrigue as the other Adam attempts to dethrone our narrator; there's the gloom of drugs, violence, and corruption in his despoiled country; there are mysteriously significant comets; and there are hints of an anatomical anomaly on his own body. These tidbits, related via Adam's energetic running mental commentary, comprise the plot, encouraging listeners to stick with it by nudging them to wonder what's next, what it all can mean. Some reviewers have described the work as comic, but satire or fable are more apt characterizations. Published in Spanish in 2009, this was the last novel by Fuentes, one of Mexico's most highly regarded writers. American Audie Award winner Robert Fass uses vocal depth and texture to become Adam, making the listener forget the presence of an actor. VERDICT Translated by E. Shaskan Bumas and Alejandro Branger, this program is recommended for fans of literary writing who appreciate glimpses into contemporary Mexico's troubled culture.--Judith Robinson, Univ. at Buffalo (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.