La vida ausente (The Absent Life) by Ángel Zapata – A Brief Review

La vida ausente
Ángel Zapata
Paginas de Espuma, 2006, pg 98

Again, I can’t say too much about the book, as it is the last of the four I’m reading for an article on Spanish short story writers. That said, this is one crazy book, filled with surrealistic stories that veer from one contrasting image to another and leaves you on first read wondering what just happened. In one story for example, there are fish headed people, dancing corkscrews and tops, flying egg plants, and great belly button in the sky that every one mistakes as God. If my favorite passage in the book, the belly button appears in the sky and the people say, it’s God. Instead, God drives up in his Porsche and says, that’s not God, word. And the people say, the word of God. At times his story takes on the touch of Fellini, at others it is a touching sentimental piece with father and son that twists strangely. Interspersed between are little fragments of juxtapositions that read like something out of Tender Buttons. And yet, the first 30 pages are the most nostalgic piece about late 70s early 80s Madrid I have ever read. La vida ausente is an intreging book.  I can’t wait to read the interview with him at El sindrome Chejov to see what he has to say about this work.  I can’t wait to write more about him for the article. It should be a lot of fun.

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