'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 gangsters are threatening his cousin-a wannabe entrepreneur known to some as 'Projects' and to others as 'dickhead' - who is gagged and tied to a chair. The thugs say Juan Pablo must work for them. His mission? To make Laia, the daughter of a corrupt politician, fall in love with him. He accepts . . . though not before the crime boss has forced him at gunpoint into a discussion on the limits of humour in literature.
Part campus novel, part gangster thriller, I Don't Expect Anyone to Believe Me is Villalobos at his best. Exuberantly foul-mouthed and intellectually agile, this hugely entertaining novel finds the light side of difficult subjects - immigration, corruption, family loyalty and love - in a world where the difference between comedy and tragedy depends entirely on who's telling the joke.
Publisher: And Other Stories
Number of pages: 288
Dimensions: 198 x 128 mm
'A funny, moving account of status, power and immigration, which also dips into comic literary theory and author hang-ups. Highly entertaining, with a magnificent sucker-punch finish.' Paul Ewen----'An eccentric hybrid, combining pulpy crime fiction . . . with avant-garde archness. Villalobos's take is refreshingly exuberant.'Houman Barekat, The Guardian----'A testament to the vibrancy of the Latin American novel.' Nick Burns, Literary Review----'Villalobos's chaotic, feverish narrative works - it is a challenging, but rewarding read.' Lucy Popescu, Financial Times----'A wild-eyed, motor-powered, hilarious blast about kidnapping, gangsters and political corruption.' Jane Graham, Big Issue----'So propulsive it's nearly impossible to stop reading. . . This is a hilarious novel, and it's brilliant and bittersweet, too, in surprising ways. Pitch-perfect from start to finish.' Kirkus starred review----'A postmodern thriller and intellectual satire that fizzes with verbal gusto and black humour' Max Liu, The i----'A fast-paced, irreverent tale. . . intellectually nimble, wildly entertaining, and undeniably filthy.' Publishers Weekly----'A fantastical world so powerful and mesmerising that it's almost impossible to leave it.' Morning Star----'I Don't Expect Anyone to Believe Me does for The Savage Detectives what The Big Lebowski does for The Big Sleep. . . . This is a comic novel with something for everyone-humor, both high and low, with plenty of jokes to go around. Then again, humor described is humor denied, so when I say I laughed my ass off, I don't expect anyone to believe me.' Southwest Review