Congratulations Brazil and Mexico. Since I didn’t get a chance to write about Cameroon I’ll make the suggestion for Mongo Beti’s Cruel City as I bid them and Croatia a fond farewell.
Machado de Assis
Bento Santiago explains his life in de Assis’ partly dark partly comic novel. As Bento explains his history he relates parts of his teenage years, his marriage, and his belief that his son is actually the product of a love affair between his wife and best friend, all in his own unique voice. The unreliability of Santiago story adds a richness and whimsy to this fictional memoir.
Guillermo Del Toro
The vampire threat gets a new take in The Strain, the start of Del Toro’s trilogy. A jet arrives in JFK with all but four passengers dead. The CDC tries to get a handle of the situation and Abraham Setrakian develops theories about a vampire’s arrival. By mixing the realism of a spreading epidemic and the fantastic nature of a supernatural enemy, the reader understands another features of the vampire mythos, how it feels to be infected.