Summary of Lazarillo de Tormes (Audiolibro)

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00:00:00 - 01:00:00

This audiobook is a narration by the protagonist, Lazarillo de Tormes, who tells Tormes river as the place of his birth, and the unfair imprisonment and eventual death of his father in the Moorish Wars. Lazarillo wishes to provide readers with entertainment and moral lessons. Lazarillo gets involved with a blind man who deceives people using his "gift" of prayers and medical knowledge to scam people out of their money. Despite receiving no reason for the blind man's cruel treatment, Lazarillo still takes him on the worst paths and intentionally causes him harm. The section also highlights the protagonist's mistreatment and the abuse of power and cunningness of the blind master. Later, we see Lazarillo's encounter with various masters, who offer little to no food to him. He reflects on his uncertain future while hoping for a better life.

  • 00:00:00 In this section of the audio book, the narrator introduces himself as Lazarillo de Tormes and explains that his birthplace and name are derived from the Tormes river where he was born. He also describes how his father was falsely accused of stealing from those who brought their grain to be ground at his mill, leading to his father's imprisonment and eventual death in the Moorish Wars. Despite these misfortunes, the narrator expresses his desire to share his life story to provide entertainment and perhaps even some moral lessons to those who read it.
  • 00:05:00 In this section, the narrator describes how his mother, a widow, began living in the city and getting to know certain students and stable workers for the Comendador de la Magdalena, leading to her relationship with a dark-skinned man named Zayde. Eventually, Zayde's thievery became known to the authorities and he left to serve at a local inn. Meanwhile, the narrator began serving a blind man who taught him lessons about life, as exemplified by a prank involving a stone bull. The narrator reflects on the necessity of sharpening his wits as he begins his journey with the blind man.
  • 00:10:00 In this section, the narrator describes his experiences with a cunning and sly blind man who used his "gift" of prayers and medical knowledge to scam people out of their money. Despite the blind man's wealth, he was extremely miserly and never gave the narrator enough to eat. To make up for this, the narrator had to use his cunning ways to steal food and wine from the blind man whenever he could. However, the blind man was too clever and soon caught on to the narrator's thievery, forcing him to come up with even more creative ways to get his hands on some food and wine.
  • 00:15:00 In this section, the protagonist describes how he was mistreated and abused by his cruel blind master. The blind man would intentionally spill the water that the protagonist drank, and also one day hit him in the face with a jug, causing him to lose consciousness and break his teeth. Despite receiving no cause or reason for this treatment, the protagonist still took the blind man on the worst paths and intentionally caused him harm. Additionally, the blind man would regularly trick and deceive the protagonist, showing his great cunning, as seen in the case of sharing a raceme of grapes with him. Overall, this section highlights the abuse of power and cunningness of the blind master towards the protagonist.
  • 00:20:00 In this section, the narrator, Lazarillo, and his "maestro", a blind man, stop at a tavern after receiving a piece of sausage. The blind man gives him a coin to buy wine while he roasts a piece of a root vegetable known as nabo. Lazarillo takes the opportunity to eat the sausage, but the hot smell tempts him to put it on the roasting nabo. When the blind man later feels the nabo, he realizes the trick and demands that Lazarillo returns his sausage. The blind man is so angry that he tries to choke Lazarillo, who starts to vomit, and the nose of the blind man, as he had put his nose into Lazarillo's mouth. The debacle ends with the blind man telling everyone around them about Lazarillo's misdeeds.
  • 00:25:00 In this section, Lazarillo describes a practical joke he played on the blind man who he served as a guide. Lazarillo and the blind man were caught in the rain, and the blind man suggested they stay at an inn for the night. However, to exact revenge on the blind man for his cruel treatment, Lazarillo suggested they cross a narrow bridge over a swollen river. When the blind man jumped, he hit his head on a post and nearly died. After recovering, Lazarillo left the blind man and later found employment with a priest who had a reputation for being incredibly stingy.
  • 00:30:00 In this section, the narration describes the poor living conditions of Lazaro with his second master, who offered him very little food despite having enough for himself. The master would also trick Lazaro into believing he would get more food by giving him the key to a room with only onions hanging on the walls. Lazaro's health deteriorated quickly due to malnutrition and he spent six months living in a constant state of hunger, wishing for death instead of enduring his current state. However, he was too weak to leave his master in search of a better life. Despite this, Lazaro expressed that he did not have any hatred towards his fellow humans, except for his current master.
  • 00:35:00 In this section, we learn about an encounter with a calderero who offers to help the protagonist repair a lock in exchange for payment. Despite having no money, the protagonist agrees and the calderero takes a vo digo as payment. Later, when the protagonist's master checks their bread supply and suspects mice are eating it, the protagonist secretly eats some of the bread himself, fearing punishment for the missing bread. The master assumes the culprit is mice due to holes in the storage chest and the protagonist is relieved but also realizes that he cannot continue to rely on luck to survive.
  • 00:40:00 In this section, the narrator reflects on his misfortune and the transience of pleasure in life. He resorts to desperate measures such as using a knife to create a hole in the old chest in order to get some bread to stave off his hunger. His master discovers the damage and blames it on rats, and hence they embark on a mission to catch the supposed rats with a borrowed trap and cheese. The narrator is relieved by the cheese that the trap brings as he uses the crumbs to supplement his diet. The desperate search for food continues as the narrator reflects on how hunger can sharpen one's ingenuity.
  • 00:45:00 In this section, the narrator describes how his master believed that there was a snake in the food chest and became obsessed with catching it, hitting it with a stick every night. The narrator, who was pretending to sleep, was once hit on the head and left unconscious. The narrator was also tasked with keeping the key in his mouth while he slept to prevent the chest from being robbed. One night, the key accidentally whistled, causing the master to think it was the snake and hitting the narrator with the stick again. The narrator was badly hurt and remained unconscious for three days. When he regained consciousness, he was covered in ointments and his head hurt badly. The master believed that he had saved his food from the rats and snakes, though the narrator knew what really happened.
  • 00:50:00 In this section, the narrator describes how after being left on the street by his former master, Lazarillo had to rely on the charity of kind people in Toledo to survive. Eventually, Lazarillo met an escudero who offered him a job as his servant. The escudero took him on a long walk through the city before they arrived at the escudero's house, which seemed quiet and mysterious. The escudero interrogated Lazarillo about his life before finally asking if he had eaten, to which Lazarillo replied he had not yet eaten. The escudero promised they would eat later and Lazarillo hoped he would finally have a good meal.
  • 00:55:00 In this section, the protagonist, Lázaro, reflects on his hardships and his uncertain future. He is currently serving a poor man who is generous with him, even offering him some good bread. They spend the night together, and although the man warns him of thieves outside, Lázaro sleeps poorly on a hard bed made of little more than a straw mat. The next morning, Lázaro helps his master clean himself up and dress, wishing for a better future.

01:00:00 - 01:40:00

The audiobook of Lazarillo de Tormes tells the story of a poor servant and his various masters. The protagonist experiences hunger and poverty under each master, including one who cannot afford to buy breakfast for two women he flirts with and another who has high expectations but little ability to provide. Lazarillo also becomes a companion to a cunning friar who sells indulgences through elaborate schemes, and serves as an assistant to a comisario who exposes an alcalde's fraudulent practices. Later, Lazarillo tricks a group of people into buying indulgences, leading him to pursue a career as a town crier, and eventually, he marries a maid who brings him favorable status, receiving gifts and help from the Arcipreste of San Salvador. Despite rumors and challenges, his fortunes rise and he is prosperous when the Emperor enters Toledo.

  • 01:00:00 In this section, the narrator describes his master's show of sword, which he claims is the sharpest one in the world. The master, dressed in a fashionable cape and sayo, leaves the house looking like a gentleman with no hint of his true poverty. He meets two women by the river and begins to flirt with them until they ask him to buy them breakfast, but he cannot afford it. Meanwhile, the narrator, who is left behind in the house, and feeling hungry, goes out to beg for food. Using the begging skills that he learned from his previous master, a blind man, he manages to acquire several pounds of bread and some cooked tripe. When he returns, he finds his master waiting for him, but he is relieved to discover that his master did not want to scold him for his tardiness.
  • 01:05:00 In this section, the protagonist speaks about his experience with a man who he begged for food from. The man ended up inviting him to his home and feeding him, and the protagonist felt guilty about his initial plan to take advantage of the man. However, he also felt frustrated at the man's inability to provide for him, and even discovered that the man had hidden wealth. Despite this, the protagonist still had pity for the man and even expressed sympathy for him when he encountered other people who treated him with disdain.
  • 01:10:00 In this section, the narrator describes his difficult life as a poor and hungry servant to a master who has high expectations but little ability to provide. When a decree is passed requiring all poor, foreign residents to leave the city, the narrator is forced to find shelter elsewhere. He becomes acquainted with some cotton-spinning hat-makers who give him some meager sustenance. Eventually, his master acquires a small amount of money and sends the narrator to the market to buy some food. On the way, he is confronted with a funeral procession, causing him to fear that his own master has died. When he returns home, he discovers that the unexpected visitor is actually a dead man being brought to their house for reasons unknown.
  • 01:15:00 In this section, Lazarillo de Tormes continues to describe his experiences with his third master, a poor and lowly gentleman. The master confides in Lazarillo, revealing that he is from Castilla la Vieja and left his homeland simply to avoid tipping his neighbor's hat. He holds great importance to the concept of honor, believing it to be the most valuable thing a man can possess. Despite this, he struggles to find work with men of higher standing, and instead ends up working for lower-ranking knights and clergymen, which requires he act as a messenger and flatterer while receiving little payment or respect for his service. Lazarillo observes that, despite his master's strong sense of honor, he is willing to compromise his principles in order to secure a higher position by lying to and flattering his superiors.
  • 01:20:00 In this section, Lazarillo's master tells him about the behavior of the king's courtiers and how they act towards their servants. He advises Lazarillo on how to behave to avoid being scolded by other courtiers. Later, a man and an old woman come to their house to collect rent, and when Lazarillo's master cannot pay them, they leave and come back with officials to take his possessions. They accuse Lazarillo of knowing where his master hid his valuables and arrest him. The neighbors speak up for Lazarillo's innocence, and the officials end up taking the old woman's donkey instead, while Lazarillo's master continues to take odd jobs to get by.
  • 01:25:00 In this section, the protagonist, Lázaro, finds himself living with a Mercedarian friar who is known for being an enemy of the choir and for spending a lot of time with laypeople. The friar is cunning and uses elaborate schemes to sell indulgences and gain favor with his congregation, even going so far as to stage a fight with an alguacil to create a situation where he can preach about the benefits of buying indulgences. Despite his success in selling indulgences, Lázaro eventually leaves the friar due to his many questionable actions.
  • 01:30:00 In this section, the main character of Lazarillo de Tormes recounts a scene in which his master, a comisario, exposes an alcalde who tried to trick him into partaking in a fraudulent scheme involving fake mules. Despite the alcalde's vehement protests, the comisario exposes his fraud and denounces it to the church congregation. The alcalde eventually succumbs to the comisario's accusations and is beaten and restrained by the gathered crowd. The comisario, however, forgives the fraudster, saying that God has shown him mercy, and the congregation prays for the man's recovery from the possession of the devil.
  • 01:35:00 In this section, Lazarillo describes how he and his fifth master tricked a group of people into believing that they could receive forgiveness of their sins by purchasing a bula or indulgence. After deceiving the people, they quickly sold thousands of them without preaching a sermon. His master's ploy motivated Lazarillo to pursue a better future, and he eventually ended up settling down with a chaplain and then with a painter to grind colors. He experienced many hardships but eventually landed a job as a town crier, where he declares wines for sale, proclaims lost items, and speaks out on behalf of those unfairly accused. He considers himself fortunate to have found this job because it is the only way a person can thrive in society.
  • 01:40:00 In this section, the narrator Lazarillo de Tormes, discusses how he has become skilled in the wine-making industry, an industry that he has become knowledgeable of to the point that many believe they cannot succeed without his help. With his reputation growing and people wanting to be associated with him, he catches the attention of the Arcipreste of San Salvador, who convinces his maid to marry Lazarillo. Despite the story of previous marriages, Lazarillo marries the maid, and his favorable status continues to rise as he gains the Arcipreste's favor and support, receiving gifts and help. However, rumors spread, forcing Lazarillo to defend his wife's honor and prove her loyalty. Eventually, the Emperor enters Toledo, he is prosperous and at the zenith of his good fortunes.

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