Briefly: A weighty novella with images that will linger of a transvestite beautician whose beauty parlor transitions from its intended function of the enhancement of appearance to that of the Terminal (the only proper noun used in the novel)—a place where those who suffer from an incurable, fatal, unnamed disease come to die. The operator’s attempt to make his parlor more beautiful, more interesting by incorporating numerous aquariums full of colorful fish, foreshadows the inevitable in a tale that feels as if Saramago met Pedro Lemebel. No city is ever named, no disease identified, no people called by name—a vast, tragic wasteland of isolation, compassion, dismal inevitability. Not for everyone, but it should be.
This title came to my attention through an article: Top 100 Novels of The Spanish Language in the Last 25 Years, which must have been printed around 1982 or so. (HTTP://WWW.SEMANA.COM/CULTURA/ARTICULO/LAS-MEJORES-100-NOVELAS-LENGUA-ESPANOLA-ULTIMOS-25-ANOS/84192-3)