Staggering, bleak page-turners that leave you wanting more—more stories, more Rulfo. Each story is complete—nothing left wanting and nothing extraneous.
Imagine stories told by a character from one of Cormac McCarthy’s southwestern novels. Imagine that character retelling a story by Flannery O’Connor (e.g., A Good Man Is Hard to Find). [I almost…almost…suggested: imagine a dictionary-less Cormac McCarthy doing Flannery O’Connor, but I knew what the perverse among you would make of that]. It doesn’t require much of a creative leap to imagine John Grady Cole or Billy Parham (the Border trilogy) or the kid (Blood Meridian) hearing these stories of gloom, ominously, on any of their excursions into Mexico. “No Dogs Bark”—the negative, reversed image of The Road.
I’m not one ordinarily attracted to short stories, but I’m so impressed by this collection that I’m even more anxious to pick up the compilations of Javier Marías—I suspect he won’t suffer, given my predisposition, but DAMN, Rulfo’s concision seems a direct challenge to my expectations for anything written by JM.
Bravo, Señor Rulfo! Gracias, Señor Bolaño, for bringing him to my attention. It sucks that the thanks and praise must be offered to the dead.
I almost can’t believe it—one friend and one reviewer I follow have rated this book—something’s wrong here, something’s terribly wrong!