This book was interesting but somewhat disheartening. I enjoyed Azuela’s composition of many unspectacular episodes that, taken together, depict how the Mexican Revolution, like many other violent conflicts, began with noble purposes but descended into senseless suffering over time.

Los de abajo was the second book I’ve read in Spanish this year. (I read El coronel no tiene quien le escriba back in January.) I took a different approach this time, stopping less frequently to look up words and accepting the fact that I wouldn’t understand every little detail. I’m not sure which method is more effective for expanding my Spanish vocabulary, but I certainly found the faster pace more enjoyable. I want to start reading in Spanish more frequently, hopefully increasing both the pace and the level of understanding.