The Old Gringo


The Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes

I heard about this book by listening to the podcast, Book Riot. In an earlier episode, Jeff and Rebecca were talking about the mystery of Ambrose Bierce’s walking tour of his old battlegrounds and how he disappeared somewhere around Mexico. and wished there was a book about the disappearance. Soon after, a listener provided a title. This one. Of course, I had to read it and bought the English translation. Maybe the original Spanish version would have been a better read, so if you can, read it in Spanish. Here is the summary for the back:

“One of Carlos Fuentes’s greatest works, The Old Gringo tells the story of Ambrose Bierce, the American author, soldier, and journalist, and of his last mysterious days in Mexico living among Pancho Villa’s soldiers — particularly his encounter with one of Villa’s generals, Tomás Arroyo, as well as with a spirited young American woman named Harriet Winslow. In the end, the incompatibility between Mexico and the United States (or, paradoxically, their intimacy) claims both Bierce and Arroyo, in a novel that is, most of all, about the tragic history of these two cultures in conflict.”

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