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I Don't Expect Anyone to Believe Me

By (author) Juan Pablo Villalobos
Translated by Rosalind Harvey
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: And Other Stories, High Wycombe, United Kingdom
Published: 20th Aug 2019
Dimensions: w 128mm h 198mm
ISBN-10: 1911508482
ISBN-13: 9781911508489
Barcode No: 9781911508489
Synopsis
`I don't expect anyone to believe me,' warns the narrator of this novel, a Mexican student called Juan Pablo Villalobos. He is about to fly to Barcelona on a scholarship, when he's kidnapped in a bookshop and whisked away by thugs to a basement. The pistol-toting gangsters are threatening his cousin, who is gagged and tied to a chair. They say Juan Pablo must work for them. His mission? To bring Laia, a Mexican student in Barcelona and the daughter of a corrupt politician, to fall in love with him-so he can spy on her. However, this being a Villalobos novel, naturally Juan Pablo and the crime boss first have a discussion about the role of humour in twentieth century literature. In this novel the bad guys are not going to be who you expect. No one is.A mash-up combining elements of the campus novel with the gangster thriller, Villalobos takes a satirical, sidelong look at immigration in Europe with inimitable wit. Winner of Spain's prestigious Herralde Prize, I Don't Expect Anyone to Believe Me is Villalobos at his clever, comic best.

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`Hilariously cutting, furnished with highly stylized coarse humour, Juan Pablo Villalobos' novels do not follow any rules, other than the logic of the absurd . . . The author's intelligence steers us through the jokes and disasters, and especially the nonsense, which he redeems with a leavening sarcasm that turns reading the book into a highly valuable act of literary renewal.' Francisco Solano, El Pais`I Don't Expect Anyone to Believe Me is, among many other things, a playful and perverse game with the tradition of the Latin American perspective on Barcelona. And yet, the humour Villalobos employs is like that found in some of the most innovative recent Catalan literature. He is, clearly, a Barcelonan.' El Cultural

`By means of parody and the absurd, Villalobos' latest novel I Don't Expect Anyone to Believe Me plunges the reader into a merry game of confusion. The various narrators present us with a world in which the lives of the characters become so tangled up that fiction and reality fuse into one, creating a work brimming with irony, nonsense and a humour so sharp it allows the reader to glimpse, just behind it, a reality that is hilarious in itself.' Zyanya Doniz, Criticismo

`His novels are hilarious because they are about serious subjects. He expresses himself with the lucidity of someone who knows we are being cheated. Villalobos - a bit like a Spanish-language Kurt Vonnegut - manages to escape the cliches that his country endures.' Miqui Otero, El Confidencial

`Villalobos has found his own style and rhythm, distinct from all other writers on the Mexican narrative scene. He makes the reader laugh at the absurdity of life, showing us the essential meaninglessness of the world.' Fernando Garcia Ramirez, Letras Libres