Fiction quesadillas omnivore review

Published on October 20th, 2013


Quesadillas by Juan Pablo Villalobos

| Press reviews | Buy the book | Have your say |

Blurb: While his father preaches Hellenic virtues and practises the art of the insult, Orestes’ mother prepares hundreds of quesadillas for Orestes and the rest of their brood: Aristotle, Archilocus, Callimachus, Electra, Castor and Pollux. She insists they are middle class, but Orestes is not convinced. And after another fraudulent election and the disappearance of his younger brothers, he heads off on an adventure. Orestes meets a procession of pilgrims, a stoner uncle called Pink Floyd and a beguiling politician who teaches him how to lie, and he learns some valuable lessons about families, truth and bovine artificial insemination. With Quesadillas, Juan Pablo Villalobos serves up a wild banquet. Anything goes in this madcap Mexican satire of politics, big families, and what it means to be middle class. (And Other Stories, 2013)

Other books by the author

Alfred Hickling, The Guardian

“He [Orestes] is in many respects an even more impressive creation than the bookishly unworldly preteen persona Villalobos sustained throughoutDown the Rabbit Hole. The 1980s setting of Quesadillas is as retro as a Rubik’s cube, but it draws attention to the fact that Salinas’s Institutional Revolutionary party actually returned to power in 2012. And though it is always dangerous to hunt for autobiographical reasons for a novel’s success, it cannot be wholly coincidental that the town in which Orestes lives, Lagos de Moreno, happens to be where Villalobos was himself brought up.”

Read full review

Lucy Popescu, The Independent

“Villalobos manages to pack in various political references. The twins’ apparent abduction and the ineffectual police investigation recall the disappearances that occur with impunity in Mexico. When the tragedy is reported on television, it is treated like a telenovela soap opera before the presenter returns “to other news without a solution, such as the national economy”. Quesadillas is gloriously absurd, celebrates the fantastical, and plays with notions of magic realism. But it is Villalobos’s quirky, laconic style that most impresses and marks him out as a writer of distinction.”

Read full review

Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“Mr. Villalobos’s novels are short, dark, comic, ribald and surreal. They aren’t so much manic-depressive as they are, to borrow Delmore Schwartz’s phrasing, manic-impressive. This writer stares down serious issues — poverty, class, systemic violence — and doesn’t analyze them so much as sneeze all over them.”

Read full review

Buy the book

Amazon | Foyles | Hive | Waterstones

Share Button
Quesadillas by Juan Pablo Villalobos The Omnivore



Tags: , , , ,

Back to Top ↑