"Of my generation I most admire Daniel Sada, whose writing project seems to me the most daring." —Roberto Bolaño
This Rabelaisian tale of lust and longing in the drier precincts of postwar Mexico introduces one of Latin America's most admired writers to the English-speaking world.
Demetrio Sordo is an agronomist who passes his days in a dull but remunerative job at a ranch near Oaxaca. It is 1945, World War II has just ended, but those bloody events have had no impact on a country that is only on the cusp of industrializing. One day, more bored than usual, Demetrio visits a bordello in search of a libidinous solution to his malaise. There he begins an all-consuming and, all things considered, perfectly satisfying relationship with a prostitute named Mireya.
A letter from his mother interrupts Demetrio's debauched idyll: she asks him to return home to northern Mexico to accompany her to a wedding in a small town on the edge of the desert. Much to his mother's delight, he meets the beautiful and virginal Renata and quickly falls in love—a most proper kind of love.
Back in Oaxaca, Demetrio is torn, the poor cad. Naturally he tries to maintain both relationships, continuing to frolic with Mireya and beginning a chaste correspondence with Renata. But Mireya has problems of her own—boredom is not among them—and concocts a story that she hopes will help her escape from the bordello and compel Demetrio to marry her. Almost Never is a brilliant send-up of Latin American machismo that also evokes a Mexico on the verge of dramatic change.
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In “Almost Never,” in other words, we see a writer in full maturity, a master in control of his craft.Read Full Review of Almost Never
Some will lose patience with the absurdly interminable literary buildup to the more-than-figurative climax in the book’s concluding words: “Sheer relief.”Read Full Review of Almost Never
Ultimately, this sometimes humorous, sometimes frustrating plot, combined with Sada’s free-indirect discourse narration, is a candid portrayal of the machismo stereotype.Read Full Review of Almost Never
If this was not even his best, according to the Spanish-speaking world, we have much to look forward to.Read Full Review of Almost Never
Almost Never is like a comedy of manners cut with a pulpy erotic novel, a social satire impelled by a dripping lecherousness.Read Full Review of Almost Never
Almost Never perpetually failed to engage me to the point that I was forced, finally, after two hard-fought weeks, to abandon its scrambling jokes and brutalities.Read Full Review of Almost Never
Daniel Sada ... should become a major “new” Mexican author, receiving the praise he deserves here for works of which we have been ignorant until now.Read Full Review of Almost Never
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