I was alone when someone pounded on my door. Who could it be?
So begins Toño the Infallible, Evelio Rosero’s gripping novel about an intense relationship between a writer and a sociopath. Visited by his friend (a kind of Colombian Rasputin) seemingly at the verge of death, the writer, Eri, looks back on the arc of both of their lives. Unique in both its tone and its structure, the novel takes us from their student days (school fights, playground revelations, and an unforgettable trip to the seaside) into their adult years, involving rumors of a hippie cult and a bizarre raucous theater exhibit of history’s most violent crimes. Toño uses his charm and wealth—as well as reputed magical powers—to manipulate others, but it isn’t until the end of the book that the devastating truth is revealed—and how true is it? Reminiscent of the fiction of Roberto Bolaño and the films of Alfonso Cuarón, this brilliant novel takes us into the heart of his country’s darkness, creating an unforgettable portrait of a society where humanity still endures, despite its brutality.