Javier Pedro Zabala: The Mad Patagonian

The latest addition to my website is Javier Pedro Zabala‘s The Mad Patagonian. This novel was not published in the author’s lifetime and, indeed though it was written in Spanish, it has never been published in Spanish, as the Venezuelan publisher who was to publish it went bankrupt so it only exists in English. It is over 1200 pages long and divided into nine novellas, each one telling a separate story, though some of the stories do link up. It covers a host of topics from the value of love (particularly when passionate sex is part of that love), the supernatural, aliens (both kinds), the Mafia, German spies, the history of Cuba, the pornographic film industry, the Spanish Civil War, Miami and its secrets, good Cuban music, a few unpleasant deaths and much more, with the usual mix of unreliable narrators, characters appearing and disappearing and plots that go all over the place or simply disappear. Zabala wrote it as something of an anti-Bolaño and, while it is not of the same calibre as Bolaño, it is still a highly enjoyable work, particularly, if like me, you enjoy a very long novel.

Latest news: in this video, at 1:25, it is clearly stated that the author is Peter Damian Bellis, publisher of River Boat Books.

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