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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"'The melancholic private-eye Carlos Clot is the new Spanish anti-hero... one of the funniest and most provocative novels of recent years. A crazy novel... short and very sweet' Rosa Mora, El Pais 'Blood in the Saddle is a delirious surprise... a tour-de-force of intelligence that confirms a brilliant, uncommon sense of humour' Pilar Castro, El Mundo 'One of the most pleasant surprises of the year and, I might say, of our times' Luis Garcia, Literaturas.com 'The parameters of genre literature were invented to be transgressed and Reig breaks with the lot: detective novels, science-fiction, Westerns, schmaltzy love stories, and meta-literature itself' Saul Fernandez"