Almost Never by Daniel Sada

74%

10 Critic Reviews

Sada writes lustily and with comic brio about Demetrio’s dilemma—but this is definitely not a book for the kiddies.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

“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.  
 

About Daniel Sada

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Daniel Sada was born in Mexicali, Mexico, in 1953, and died on November 18, 2011, in Mexico City. Considered by many as the boldest and most innovative writer in Spanish of his generation, he has published eight volumes of short stories, nine novels, and at least three volumes of poetry. His works have been translated into English, German, French, Dutch, Finnish, Bulgarian, and Portuguese. He has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Herralde Prize for his novel Almost Never. Just hours before he died, he was awarded Mexico's most prestigious literary award, the National Prize for Arts and Sciences for Literature.
 
Published April 10, 2012 by Graywolf Press. 345 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Almost Never
All: 10 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Excellent
Mar 01 2012

Sada writes lustily and with comic brio about Demetrio’s dilemma—but this is definitely not a book for the kiddies.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Rachel Nolan on Apr 20 2012

Still it’s impossible not to be swept along by Sada’s manic language, his Cervantean plot twists and his affection for the hero who shares his initials.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Feb 13 2012

Sada creates a fascinatingly eccentric cast of characters and manipulates them with skill.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Marie Arana on May 10 2012

In “Almost Never,” in other words, we see a writer in full maturity, a master in control of his craft.

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Dallas News

Below average
Reviewed by Steven Kellman on Apr 20 2012

Some will lose patience with the absurdly interminable literary buildup to the more-than-figurative climax in the book’s concluding words: “Sheer relief.”

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Portland Book Review

Below average
Reviewed by Emily Davis on Apr 17 2012

Ultimately, this sometimes humorous, sometimes frustrating plot, combined with Sada’s free-indirect discourse narration, is a candid portrayal of the machismo stereotype.

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The Rumpus

Excellent
Reviewed by Alicia Kennedy on May 14 2012

If this was not even his best, according to the Spanish-speaking world, we have much to look forward to.

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Full Stop

Excellent
Reviewed by Alli Carlisle on May 07 2012

Almost Never is like a comedy of manners cut with a pulpy erotic novel, a social satire impelled by a dripping lecherousness.

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The Boston Phoenix

Below average
Reviewed by Eugenia Williamson on Apr 26 2012

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.

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Seeing the World Through Books

Good
Reviewed by Mary Whipple on Apr 09 2012

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.

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Reader Rating for Almost Never
67%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 13 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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