Quesadillas: A Novel

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This is not the best of all possible worlds in this haunting novel that surrealistically satirizes the political turbulence and economic chaos in Mexico. It is narrated by a fourteen year old named Orestes, second oldest of seven children which includes a pair of pretend twins, all of whom have Greek classical names. Quesadillas, the family’s staple diet, serve as the yardstick that reflects their financial plight. The thickness of the cheese filling parallels their monetary reserves; when there is no income, then the written word “cheese” becomes the filling. Orestes and his older brother Aristotle have many bizarre adventures as they search for the missing twins thought to have been abducted by aliens. Haunted by the constant poverty, Orestes tries to comprehend what it is like to not be poor. He mocks his middle-class neighbors who try to befriend him and has many zany encounters as he scams his way through the strange cities outside of his town. Expletives explode insistently from all members of the family reflecting their only weapon against the absurdity of their capricious circumstances. Our hero Orestes finds himself in bizarre situations, if not in jail, and then as an artificial inseminator for cows. Lots of chaotic, zany episodes in this story of a depressed family and confused adolescent will tickle the reader.


Reviewed By:

Author Juan Pablo Villalobos, Rosalind Harvey, translator
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 192 pages
Publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publish Date 2014-Feb-11
ISBN 9780374533953
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue May 2014
Category Modern Literature
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