Quesadillas by Juan Pablo Villalobos

Quesadillas

Juan Pablo Villalobos

An entertaining satire on political corruption in 1980’s Mexico, where rampant inflation has stricken even middle-class families with extreme poverty. Narrated from the offbeat perspective of the adolescent Orestes, one of seven siblings fighting for his share of the meagre food rations, this picaresque coming-of-age story goes from the absurdist to the totally surreal, engaging the reader without sentimentality. Be prepared for strong language.

Extract

There would be elections the following year and all that mattered now was speculating as to who was going to orchestrate our cataclysms for us when the new administration came in .... My father expended just two words on the best-positioned man in the presidential race: dwarf and baldy. Over the next six years, and forever more, he tried out all possible variations of the two. Lousy dwarf. Bald piece of shit. Bastard dwarf. Chicken-shit dwarf. Bald arsehole. Thieving dwarf. Cocky little dwarf. Lousy bald crook. Bald son-of-a-bitch. Dwarf son-of-a-bitch. Lousy bald bastard arsehole son-of-a-bitch. Without pausing for breath.

Parallels
  • War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts by Louis de Bernieres
  • Seeing by Jose Saramago