Open Door

Iosi Havilio, Author, Beth Fowler, Translator, Oscar Guardiola-Rivera, Afterword by
Iosi Havilio, trans. from the Spanish by Beth Fowler. And Other Stories, $15.95 trade paper (213p) ISBN 9781908276032
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
Open Ebook - 109 pages - 978-1-908276-07-0
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Argentine author Havilio impresses with this flawed but fascinating first novel. The unnamed narrator, a young veterinary assistant based in Buenos Aires, arrives in the eponymous town for a routine to checkup on a horse and quickly finds herself laying down roots, enjoying drugs, and engaging in erotic encounters with locals of all sexes and ages. When one of her lovers disappears, she is targeted as a suspect and seeks lodging at the horse owner's ranch. When she is targeted as the suspect in the disappearance of her lover back in Buenos Aires, the narrator seeks refuge at the horse owner's ranch and slowly begins to discover secrets surrounding the town's origin and people. The descriptions of village and its surrounding country are rich with the type of detail that alone is not particularly remarkable, but when taken together create a palpable sense that something is off, making the revelations much more rewarding when they happen. Though dragged down by long stretches in the second half in which little occurs, this surreal novel is both dense enough and short enough to warrant re-readings and will especially appeal to fans of the TV series Twin Peaks. (Sept.)
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