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Blood on the Saddle [Paperback]

Rafael Reig

List Price: CDN$ 19.50
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Book Description

April 1 2006

“Hilarious, a literary Hellzapoppin.”—Matt Thorne

Dickens & Clot Investigations Ltd, a detective agency in a waterlogged Madrid, has a couple of unusual specialities: helping distraught authors in search of characters who’ve quit the page and assumed a life of their own, and taking on Manex Chopeitia, legendary Big Brother of a mighty genetic-engineering company. Carlos Clot—a paunchy, alcoholic private eye –gumshoes his way around a drug- and drink-sodden metropolis in a personal quest to put both ‘real’ and ‘fictional’ people in their place.

Born in Northern Spain in 1963, Rafael Reig studied philosophy and humanities in Madrid and later in New York. He lives in Madrid.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (April 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852428708
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852428709
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 12.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,892,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"'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"

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
To BRING HIS many sufferings to an end I didn't know whether to hug him or plug him, to put a bullet in his brains like with a horse that's gone lame. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars great - surrealistic - quixotic July 26 2013
By Boris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The story of the talented Spanish writer is situated in a dystopian Spain of the present, where the petrol crisis of the 70s was final. The communists took over what made the United States occupy Spain and incorporate it into the territory of the USA. Anglo became official language, Madrid has been flooded to facilitate traffic in lack of petrol, Spain - a big slum - is controlled by pharmaceutical industry.
In this scenery a drunken private eye tries to solve several cases in a complex mixture of mystery novel, SF and fantastic literature where characters of fiction get alive or missing. All in all the story has original ideas in spades, although sometimes you get the impression that this and the following novel (A Pretty Face) are only studies for a big novel not yet written. But what you get is a lot of fun, queer but with depth too. Recommended!

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