Daniel Sada: Casi nunca (Almost Never)

The latest addition to my website is Daniel Sada‘s Casi nunca (Almost Never), one of two novels by this Mexican writer translated into English. Sada was highly praised by Roberto Bolaño but, on the basis of this book, I am not sure I share his view. The book is quite simply a sex comedy. Demetrio Sordo is a single agronomist, who is working in Oaxaca. He needs sex, so he goes to the local brothel, where he he uses the services of Mireya and becomes very attached to her. Sada explains in some detail why he does. When he takes his mother to a family wedding, he meets the far more respectable but untouchable Renata. The book recounts how he is torn by his need for regular sex and the respectability that Renata offers. He stumbles many times, changing and fleeing from jobs, upsetting Renata by daring to kiss her hand and maybe even getting Mireya pregnant. But Renata is a modern woman (the book is set shortly after World War II) and is happy to have Invasion-sex. Skilful-sex. Delirium-sex. Mania-sex. Formal sex, provided it is in marriage. It is a very amusing and enjoyable book but not, I think, great literature.

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