cover image Albina and the Dog-Men

Albina and the Dog-Men

Alejandro Jodorowsky, trans. from the Spanish by Alfred MacAdam. Restless, $14.9

Cult filmmaker Jodorowsky’s (El Topo; The Holy Mountain) novel may be the ultimate piece of Jodorowsky arcana, a mind-bending adventure story on par with his wildest cinematic visions. In a South American mining town, a hard-bitten dentist/criminal called Crabby becomes the guardian of Albina, an enormous amnesiac prophetess who inspires extreme devotion in all she encounters. These include Crabby’s enemy—the lusty Drumfoot—and an enterprising hat maker named Amado Dellarosa, who takes Crabby and Albina under his wing in their ghost town, Camiña. There, the three companions commandeer a concert hall with Albina as the star attraction, performing a lascivious dance that excites bees and men alike, the latter to the point that they begin transforming into ravenous dogs. With the indefatigable Drumfoot in pursuit, Albina, Crabby, and Amado embark on a quest for a sacred cactus that can cure the encroaching canine fever and reveal Albina’s true nature. The ensuing adventure features (among other oddities) a jungle inhabited by humanoid parrots, bandits who ride atop giant hares, Himalayan monks, an Incan mummy, and plenty of highly profane sex. A surrealist novel par excellence, Albina and the Dog-Men is a dream, a prophecy, a hallucination, and a transfiguration such as only Jodorowsky could induce. (May)