By Juan Pablo Villalobos
Lengthy sooner than he was once the taco vendor whose Gringo puppy’ recipe made him well-known all through Mexico urban, our hero used to be an aspiring artist: an artist, that's, until eventually his would-be female friend was once stolen via Diego Rivera, and his desires snuffed out by way of his hypochondriac mom. Now our hero is resident in a retirement domestic, the place warding off boredom is much extra grueling than making tacos. stricken by the literary salon that bumps approximately his building’s foyer and haunted through the self-pitying ghost of a overlooked artist, Villalobos’s outdated guy can’t support yet misbehave: he antagonises his associates, tortures American missionaries with passages from Adorno, and flirts with the innovative greengrocer. A scrumptious take-down of pretensions to cultural posterity, I’ll promote You a Dog is a comic book novel whose absurd innovations, scurrilous antics and oddball characters are classic Villalobos.
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Extra resources for I’ll Sell You a Dog
The greengrocer would stretch out a chubby arm and hand me a roll of toilet paper with which to wipe the flecks of tomato from my face, hair, neck and arms, and give me a yellow T-shirt from the 2006 electoral campaign to change into. I would return the T-shirt to her later, only for her to lend it to me again after the next barrage of tomatoes. This happened so often that, in time, people in the street came to think I was a supporter of the Party of the Democratic Revolution. ’ ‘And to think how much they’re needed out here in—’ Our chats were interrupted by some trucks arriving to unload past-their-best vegetables: from the restaurants and hotels of Polanco, from the branch of Superama on Avenida Horacio, from the Las Américas racetrack; even from a greengrocers up in the fancy neighbourhood of Las Lomas.
And that my style needed more texture, as if she were buying fabric to make curtains. She spoke with astonishing clarity, articulating each syllable so carefully that no matter how outrageous the ideas she put forward they sounded like gospel. It was as if she reached the absolute truth via correct pronunciation and employed hypnosis techniques on top of that. And it worked! This was how she had come to be dictator of the salon, chair of the Residents’ Association, the ultimate authority on the subject of gossip and slander.
Which doesn’t mean that you and I can’t be friends,’ I continued. ’ she declared. ‘Perfect! ’ She left without responding to my invitation. When I investigated the interest concealed behind her insistence, as well as her political strategies for controlling the building, I discovered a slightly more trivial yet undoubtedly more decisive motive: the bookshop where she ordered the novels gave her a special discount for buying a dozen copies. Whenever there was an argument at home, my mother would win it by saying that Dad had an artistic temperament.
I’ll Sell You a Dog by Juan Pablo Villalobos