From Publishers Weekly
The first of Reig's acclaimed-in-Spain titles to be translated into English (and shortlisted for the Booker-like Premio Fundación Lara in 2003) is at its core a witty, thrill-a-minute detective story, but it ranges exhilaratingly across genres. The book opens with private eye Carlos Clot, hard-boiled but softhearted, being hired to sleuth out what's going on with three women: a teenage runaway; a wife whose husband suspects her of cuckolding him; and, most quirkily, a voluptuous bombshell character missing from the pages of a western novel-in-progress by an alcoholic bestselling author; without her, he has massive writer's block. SF elements creep in: the hyperkinetic novel is set in a vaguely futuristic Madrid, where mysteriously venal Manex Chopeitia heads a genetic-engineering firm that rules the city and, in some vague way, a U.S.-Iberian federation. Next, flashes of the classic western: Carlos's sidekick is laconic cowpoke Spunk McCain, another escapee from that novel-in-progress. Add romance: Carlos remains wistfully but hopelessly hung up on his ex-wife, but by story's end has fallen in love "like a schoolgirl. And with a schoolgirl." There really aren't enough elements of any one genre to satisfy purists, but readers of stylish metafiction should lock right in. (Apr.)
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"'Hilarious, a literary Hellzapoppln' Matt Thorne 'A wonderful confection of humour, surrealism and mystery' The Times 'A refreshingly unconventional little book which takes the crime novel into a new dimension... a gloriously absurd spoof, amusing, provocative and occasionally touching' Sunday Telegraph 'Eccentric, dizzying and wonderful' Peter Guttridge, Observer 'A cult classic... he has subverted language, shuffled genres and generally had mucho fun... Blood on the Saddle is your basic science-fiction-detective-western-literary romance, peppered with comic detail like a lowlife informant with a sideline in purloined X-rays' Time Magazine"