The secret weapons by Julio Cortázar

book The secret weapons by Julio Cortázar


The Secret Weapons” is a collection of five short stories written by Argentine author Julio Cortázar, first published in 1959. This collection features stories that delve into reality and fantasy, love and alienation, art and absurdity. With a mix of magical realism and surrealism, each story presents characters who find themselves in everyday situations but soon get immersed in the unusual and at times strange world of Cortázar.


The Secret Weapons” is a showcase of JulioCortázar’s astounding ability to transform the ordinary into something extraordinary. Each story is an exploration unto itself, taking the reader through a series of surrealistic experiences and strange life encounters. By utilizing elements of the absurd and the magical, Cortázar immerses his characters and readers into a world where the unpredictable becomes the norm, and the everyday becomes something fascinating.

Synopsis of the stories

Letters from Mom:

Luis and Laura, an exiled Argentine couple in Paris, receive a letter from Luis’s mother that triggers a series of events leading to the breakdown of their relationship and loss of sanity.

The Devil’s Drivel:

A photographer accidentally captures a suspicious encounter between an older man and a young boy in Paris. When he attempts to uncover the truth behind the photograph, he finds himself ensnared in a distorted reality.

The Good Services:

The story follows two maids in a high society house in Buenos Aires and presents a satirical and biting view of class divisions.

The Secret Weapons:

This story tells the tale of an obsessive love that drives a man to take extreme measures to demonstrate his devotion, putting his life at risk.

End of the Game:

Three sisters play a game where one of them pretends to be a blind woman, but the game takes a more serious turn when a stranger gets involved in it.

Main Characters:

As “The Secret Weapons” is a collection of short stories, the main characters vary from one story to another. However, each story is filled with deeply human characters who find themselves in extraordinary situations.


The Secret Weapons” is a perfect example of Cortázar’s unique style and his ability to blend the real and the surreal. The stories challenge the perception of reality and take the reader on a journey through the absurd, the magical, and the unexpected. The work demonstrates Cortázar’s genius in language use and his ability to explore the depths of human experience.

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Opinions about the book

Isabella Clark, 2023-01-22: “The Secret Weapons is a truly captivating collection of short stories. Cortázar has a gift for taking the ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary. Each story immerses you in a unique and unforgettable world.”

James Anderson, 2023-02-28: “Cortázar is a true master of the short story. Each story in The Secret Weapons is a gem in itself, filled with vivid imagery and intriguing characters.”

Amelia Evans, 2023-03-15: “I loved how Cortázar blends the real and the surreal in these stories. Each one of them leaves you thinking and reflecting long after you have finished reading.”

Daniel Carter, 2023-04-07: “The Secret Weapons is a must-read for any lover of literature. Cortázar’s stories are like mazes, filled with unexpected twists and turns that keep you hooked until the last word.”