Fiction Down the rabbit hole Omnivore reviews

Published on September 1st, 2011


Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos

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Blurb: Tochtli lives in a palace. He loves hats, samurai, guillotines and dictionaries, and what he wants more than anything right now is a new pet for his private zoo: a pygmy hippopotamus from Liberia. But Tochtli is a child whose father is a drug baron on the verge of taking over a cartel, and Tochtli is growing up in a luxury hideout that he shares with hit men, dealers, and the odd corrupt politician or two. Down the Rabbit Hole, a masterful and darkly-comic first novel, is the chronicle of a delirious journey to grant a child’s wish. (And Other Stories)

Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian

A story told by the young son of a Mexican drug lord, it, like Room, is a study in isolation, and full of the pathos of the child’s incomplete understanding … It is not, thankfully, a world bereft of humour, although much of it is dark and the laughter has a tendency to die on your lips..

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Lucy Popescu, The Independent

Through carefully constructed, satirical prose, deftly translated by Rosalind Harvey, Villalobos illustrates how prolonged exposure to violence desensitises people and the ease with which the grotesque can be normalised … an astonishing debut …

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Edward King, The Sunday Times

The cumulative parodic effect of the novella is chillingly powerful.

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Ángel Gurría-Quintana, The Financial Times

Down the Rabbit Hole, the debut novel by Mexican writer Juan Pablo Villalobos, performs an unexpected trick. By dramatically shifting the perspective from which we view the “narco-wars”, it manages to cut through the collective numbness and renew our sense of shock.

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Jane Shilling, The Daily Mail

… a brief, disturbing, but very readable novella, well translated by Rosalind Harvey. 

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