Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos

Down the Rabbit Hole

Juan Pablo Villalobos

Poor little rich boy, Tochtli, son of a Mexican drug baron, lives a lonely life in a palace in Mexico. Tochtli is obsessed with TV violence and has a love for using complex (if not always appropriate) words in daily conversations. A desire to obtain a Liberian Pygmy Hippopotamus for his private zoo is indulged by his father with disastrous results. A short, sad but funny tale narrated by an unreliable 5 year old makes for an unusual first novel.


Today there was an enigmatic corpse on the TV: they cut off his head and he wasn't even a king. It didn't look like it was the work of the French either, who like cutting off heads so much. The French put the heads in a basket after cutting them off. I saw it in a film. They put the basket just under the king's head in the guillotine. Then the French let the blade fall and the king's head is cut off and lands in the basket. That's why I like the French so much, they're so refined.

  • Loving Sabotage by Amelie Nothomb
  • Queen of the South by Arturo Perez-Reverte
  • What Maisie Knew by Henry James

Books with similar mood


Andrew Waterhouse

The Scream

Laurent Graff

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

Yiyun Li

Men in the Off Hours

Anne Carson

The Old Child

Jenny Erpenbeck

Alpha Male

William Brandt

The Atmospheric Railway

Shena Mackay

Empty Words

Mario Levrero

Bar Balto

Faiza Guene

Portrait of My Lover as a Horse

Selima Hill

Something for the Ghosts

David Constantine

The Pale King

David Foster Wallace

The Book of Proper Names

Amelie Nothomb

The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptimist

Emile Habiby

How the Dead Live

Will Self

Pobby and Dingan

Ben Rice

The Smiling School for Calvinists

Bill Duncan

Zero History

William Gibson

Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures

Vincent Lam

Looking Through Letterboxes

Caroline Bird

Learning to Talk

Hilary Mantel

Naw Much of a Talker

Pedro Lenz

English Slacker

Chris Morton

Another Gulmohar Tree

Aamer Hussein

Wolfy and the Strudelbakers

Zvi Jagendorf

Bang Crunch

Neil Smith

East of the West: A Country in Stories

Miroslav Penkov

Pereira Maintains

Antonio Tabucchi

The Legend of Liz and Joe

John Murray


Matthew Francis

View with a Grain of Sand

Wislawa Szymborska

You & I

Padgett Powell


Jackie Kay

Seventh Heaven: Supernatural Stories

Naguib Mafouz

Worlds From The Word's End

Joanna Walsh

Hieroglyphics and Other Stories

Anne Donovan

Blue Self-Portrait

Noémi Lefebvre

This Farewell Symphony

Edmund Bealby-Wright

The Loft

Marlen Haushofer

No Word from Gurb

Eduardo Mendoza

Our Father Who Art in a Tree

Judy Pascoe

Devil's Island

Einar Karason


Stig Saeterbakken

Best European Fiction 2011

Aleksandar Hemon (ed)

The Velocity Gospel

Steve Aylett

The Interrogative Mood

Padgett Powell

Perfect Tense

Michael Bracewell