Category Archives: Book Review

José Donoso’s The Lizard’s Tale

The inclination for escapism, so poignantly symbolized by the novel’s principal metaphor—the lizard’s tail, which is hastily shed when the animal finds itself in danger—is ultimately Muñoz-Roa’s undoing.  Reflecting upon his break from the Informalist movement, he cannot determine what, or whom, has been left behind. And this uncertainty is what eventually confounds him, leaving him unable to complete even his most quotidian tasks.  It is no surprise when he finally surrenders to the artificial light of his dingy apartment to avoid the shadows that threaten to consume him.

Read the full review here.

Fabio Genovesi’s Live Bait

Days go by, but Fiorenzo doesn’t budge. His town, Muglione, seems to be rotting. He is caught in the swell of familial and social backwash and, feeling the routine ennui that accompanies small-town life, sets about to become famous—it’s what he deserves of course, having spent years as a social outcast—along with his band mates. This includes one chubby guy who, as Fiorenzo relays, believes that “t-shirts are the cages of the system.” Their debut at a local festival is on the horizon. But things don’t go as planned. No one is listening. In fact, they’re booed off stage. He isn’t ready. The world is shit. He is ready. Ready for something. He’s angry. Maybe he has the right to be. There is some really rich teenage angst to be mined here, and Genovesi accomplishes it better than Salinger, in my humble opinion. Fiorenzo may sense that things are “phony,” but at least he knows how to take a cosmic joke.

Read the full review here