Wednesday, 26 October 2011

sixty-four.

Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos (2010)

"Some people say I'm precocious. They say it mainly because they think I know difficult words for a little boy. Some of the difficult words I know are: sordid, disastrous, immaculate, pathetic and devastating. There aren't really many people who say I'm precocious. The problem is I don't know that many people. I know maybe thirteen or fourteen people and four of them say I'm precocious."
  Tochtli is an only child, living with his father and some helpers in an enormous house far away from everyone. He has a private teacher that teaches him about the world. He collects hats and animals. His biggest wish is to get a Liberian pygmy hippopotamus.
Tochtli is starting to realise that something odd is going around in their house. Why are the four empty rooms in the house locked? And why is his father worried about the news showing corpses and body parts? And when he discovers that his father has been lying to him, he decides to go mute.

I laughed half-way through this book and then suddenly everything got very serious and I was close to tearing up. I spent a week getting through the 70-page long story, but it was because I wanted it to last. It is filled with humour and great sentences.
"When we run out of body parts we look up new ones in a book that has pictures of all of them, even the prostate and the medulla oblongata. Speaking of the brain, it's important to take off your hat before you put bullets in somebody's brain, so it doesn't get stained. Blood is really hard to get out. This is what Itzpapalotl, the maid who does the cleaning in our palace, always says".
This book is published by And Other Stories, which allows subscriptions for either 2 or 4 books a year. And after reading this book and having taken a look at the other books they have published, I will subscribe.

1 comment:

  1. Nå er jeg glad for at jeg tok med denne på 200-land listen min =) Tror nok jeg må kikke på "And Other Stories" også. Håper de har interessante bøker.

    Jeg har forresten blitt inspirert av deg, og kommer til å arrangere bokhyllene mine på bokelskere etter land. Det gjør jeg fordi det da blir mye enklere å holde oversikt over hvilke land jeg har lest og ikke, og det er i tillegg interessant å se hvilke land jeg leser mye fra (England topper nok min liste).

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