An expatriate professor, Vega, returns from exile in Canada to El Salvador for his mother’s funeral. A sensitive idealist and an aggrieved motor mouth, he sits at a bar with the author, Castellanos Moya, from five to seven in the evening, telling his tale and ranting against everything his country has to offer. Written in a single paragraph and alive with a fury as astringent as the wrath of Thomas Bernhard, Revulsion was first published in 1997 and earned its author death threats. Roberto Bolaño called Revulsion Castellanos Moya’s darkest book and perhaps his best: “A parody of certain works by Bernhard and the kind of book that makes you laugh out loud.”
Moya’s books rank among the strangest and most incisive contemporary Latin American works brought into our language.
—Michael LaPointe, Los Angeles Review of Books
Readers who appreciate literature that ridicules intolerance and brutality will celebrate the appearance of Lee Klein’s translation of Revulsion: Thomas Bernhard in San Salvador—an essential text in the oeuvre of Honduran-born Salvadoran author Horacio Castellanos Moya—nineteen years after its first publication.
An intense writer, whose short novels take fierce satiric hold of a fictional concept and squeeze and squeeze.
—James Wood, The New Yorker
Through imitation, a hybrid gem of fiction is born.
—Mark Haber, LitHub
A blistering novella that satisfies the darkness clouding the cynical side of our souls.
Revulsion has a lot to teach us… It may be a gift, and it is very comforting, but lonely anger won’t help you in the end.
—The New Inquiry
[Revulsion] hums with frenetic energy; a foreboding din both jarring and ruthless.
A scathing, electric, brief novel, an unrelenting diatribe taking aim at everything.
The book’s atmosphere of exasperated rage feels itchy, jagged, and real.
—The Paris Review
A tribute and a parody as well as an original voice.
Moya is as whip smart as any of them, and as pissed off; and the reader would do well to read carefully, lest they feel the lash of his well-earned condescension.
Acid humor, like a Buster Keaton movie or a time bomb
Humor amid the madness and evil. Don’t let the breezy, often funny and frequently irreverent tone fool you.
—John Greenya, Washington Times
A welcome eye-opening addition to this new literature of the Latin American nightmare.
—Anderson Tepper, Timer Out New York
Castellanos Moya has turned anxiety into an art form and an act of rebellion, and redeemed paranoia as a positive indicator of rot.