Almost Never by Daniel Sada

Almost Never, publishing tomorrow from Graywolf. I’m about 100 pages in and it’s as good as I have been led to believe.

Here’s Francisco Goldman’s fulsome praise for Sada:

Roberto Bolaño considered Daniel Sada to be without rival among Mexican writers of their generation. Both were born in 1953. Bolaño spent his adolescence in Mexico, and even though some of his greatest novels and stories have Mexican settings, he never set foot there again after moving to Spain in his early twenties. I imagine that Bolaño must have relied, at least to some extent, on Sada’s novels—Sada’s perfect ear and exuberant re-creation of Mexican voices, the voices of the Mexican desert north especially—while writing his own Mexican masterpieces. Sada’s works were a polyphonic parade of voices, a Mexican cacophony: shouts, laughter, violent, lewd curses, sweet whispers, song.

Publishers Weekly dutifully summarizes the plot (saying nothing about the eccentric style) before concluding:

Sada creates a fascinatingly eccentric cast of characters and manipulates them with skill.

Kirkus is equally dumbfounded:

Sada writes lustily and with comic brio about Demetrio’s dilemma—but this is definitely not a book for the kiddies.

If the bafflement of these two organs is not at least enough to whet your curiosity, then I cannot imagine what else I can say.

Except, perhaps, the highly estimable Katherine Silver has translated this book and says great things about it.

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