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Fiesta en la madriguera
Fiesta en la madriguera
Fiesta en la madriguera
Audiobook2 hours

Fiesta en la madriguera

Written by Juan Pablo Villalobos

Narrated by Raul Arrieta

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

4/5

()

About this audiobook

“Basta el laconismo de esta novela para enamorarse de ella.”—Maren Keller, Der Spiegel

“Un ataque deliberado y salvaje a las convenciones de la literatura.”—Adam Thirlwell

“En medio de esta especie de boom de la llamada narcoliteratura, Villalobos ha logrado no caer en el moralismo con la voz de ese niño, extraña y cruel en su inocencia.”—Gabriela Wiener, El País

“El efecto paródico acumulativo de esta novela es escalofriantemente poderoso.”—Sunday Times

A Tochtli le gustan los sombreros, los diccionarios, los samuráis, las guillotinas y los franceses. Pero Tochtli es un niño, y ahora lo que quiere es un nuevo animal para su zoológico privado: un hipopótamo enano de Liberia. Su padre, Yolcaut, un narcotraficante en la cúspide del poder, está dispuesto a cumplir todos sus caprichos. No importa que se trate de un animal extinto o en peligro de extinción, porque Yolcaut siempre puede. Tochtli vive en un palacio. Una madriguera recubierta de oro en la que convive con trece o quizá catorce personas: matones, meretrices, dealers, sirvientes, algún político corrupto. Y además está Mazatzin, su profesor particular, para quien el mundo es un lugar lleno de  su profesor particular, para quien el mundo es un lugar lleno de injusticias donde los imperialistas tienen la culpa de todo.

Fiesta en la madriguera, una excelente y más que prometedora primera novela, es la crónica de un viaje delirante para cumplir un capricho. Cabezas cortadas, ríos de sangre, restos humanos, montañas de cadáveres. La madriguera está en México y ya se sabe: México a veces es un país magnífico y a veces es un país nefasto. Las cosas son así. La vida, al fin y al cabo, es un juego y una fiesta.

Editor's Note

El humor es una fuerza subversiva

La promesa se cumplió en el instante en que Juan Pablo Villalobos publicaba, o más bien se consagraba, con esta primera novela. Decir que su autor es un gran escritor mexicano sería quitarle terreno a lo que hace con las palabras. Sin duda resulta imposible quitarle inteligencia y brío a lo que hace con el humor. Y el dolor.

LanguageEspañol
PublisherScribd Audio
Release dateJun 29, 2021
ISBN9781094419138
Author

Juan Pablo Villalobos

Juan Pablo Villalobos was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1973. He studied marketing and Spanish literature. He has researched such diverse topics as the influence of the avant-garde on the work of César Aira and the flexibility of pipelines for electrical installations. He is the author of books including Down the Rabbit Hole and Quesadillas. He lives in Barcelona, Spain.

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Reviews for Fiesta en la madriguera

Rating: 4.207792207792208 out of 5 stars
4/5

77 ratings10 reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    There's no way I could believe that the narrator of this book was a 7 year old boy, even a precocious one. He could be a genius, which could as well be born to a Mexican drug lord as to anyone else, but still, beyond credulity. However the way Villalobos talks about morality through this boy's eyes is genius. Since his father is so very rich the boy lives in a secluded palace where he knows only about 14 people - not counting corpses, which he doesn't think he should count. Little Tochtli (Rabbit) knows lots about corpses since they seem to be one of his father's most important products. In fact he and his father play a little verbal game about how many bullets and where should they be placed in order to make a corpse. Being macho is the number one value of Tochtli and his father's little gang, the opposite of which is to be a faggot who cries when he is made into a corpse. Tochtli tries very hard not to be a faggot and usually succeeds. Tochtli's father, the king, doesn't discipline him but rather buys him presents to persuade correct behavior. The next present Tochtli wants is a Liberian pygmy hippopotamus, and he absolutely thinks he can acquire this prize. The essence of Down the Rabbit Hole is the learning of morality, and this is expressed both lightly and with gut wrenching force. I've always said that you should teach your children about sex from the earliest age possible because their minds are open and they can accept all ideas without horror, shame or disgust if presented properly. Tochtli accepts his lessons in macho consciously, but, the book wonders, is there a part of humanity that has empathy - that rejects the idea of casual murder or than cannot accept such ideas without harm to the person? This book is a very quick read with very deep impact.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    I usually don't rate short novellas 4 stars, but this is so cleverly done and the language so matter of fact yet poignant all the same. A young boy whose father is a drug lord is the narrator of this book, and the way he accepts all facets of his strange life is at time humorous and at time appalling. He talks of corpses, guns, bullets, gangs, cocaine and all the things he sees living with his father. It is rather fascinating, a mix of precociousness and naivete. Yet the boy has stomach troubles which the doctor thinks is psychosomatic so obviously the boy does feel stress from his strange existence, though I am not sure that he considers it strange since he has known no other life. Anyway this is the first short novel that I actually consider rather complete.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Life with a South American drug baron through the all seeing but not all comprehending eyes of his 10 year-old son.I think I myself am too naive to be able to join the dots properly - in the end the truth of the events described remained obscure.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    A new Holden Caulfield at 7 years, son of a small-time Mexican drug lord, living in the lightly populated (14 gunsels) hideaway. Getting tutored about the life and learning big dictionary words: orifice-like the kind bullets make, pathetic-like his life.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I loved this novella so, so much, and fought the urge to re-read it as soon as I finished (because I had too many other books to complete). The narrative, as channeled through the young son of a drug baron who’s cooped up in a large mansion in Mexico, is playful and chuckle-inducing. I’m pretty amazed that this voice—childish, precocious, inadvertently funny—came through so well in the translation from Spanish, so kudos to the translator. This young boy loves to collect hats, uses big words he gets from the dictionary (endearingly and incorrectly), and longs for a Liberian pygmy hippopotamus to add to his collection of animals--in a world that's feels quirky, surreal,and menacing. On the edges of his matter-of-fact narration on things like whether, among his handful of acquaintances, he can count the ones that died; the macabre game he plays with his dad in guessing how many bullets it takes to kill people; and news accounts of severed heads and body parts, we see glimpses of the Mexican drug war playing out in a landscape that’s corrupt and violent. While it seems like this is the only world that the isolated boy knows, he seems also to sense that something is not quite right, and this makes the story all the more heartbreaking.

    I always find it harder to write a review of the books that I’m so enamored with—it just feels like I’d never be able to truly capture how tremendous the book is and why it struck a chord. And this is the case with Down the Rabbit Hole. I’m eagerly awaiting Villalobos’ next work.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    This novella, which was longlisted for this year's Guardian First Book Award, is narrated by Tochtli, an 8 year old boy whose father Yolcaut is a ruthless Mexican drug lord who resides in a heavily guarded mountain hideout. The boy is similarly isolated, as he does not know his mother and has only met a dozen or so people, nearly all of whom work for or with his father. Other than his father, his closest companions are his teacher, Mazatzin, who provides an alternative view of manhood and morality to his paranoid and ruthless father, and the books that keep him occupied and supplement his advanced vocabulary.The hideout is filled with exotic animals, but Tochtli wants a pygmy hippopotamus from Liberia more than anything else in the world. Yolcaut eventually gives in to his son's demands, and he takes Tochtli to Monrovia, along with his teacher, where they assume false identities and employ a local guide to hunt down the elusive and rare animal.Down the Rabbit Hole was a mildly interesting read, which held my interest for its 70 pages, but would have been overly tiresome and repetitive had it been much longer, primarily due to Tochtli's repeated use of vocabulary words such as sordid, disastrous and pathetic. This book isn't worth anything close to the £10 I spent on it, so I'd recommend borrowing it if you want to read it.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Rating: 4* of fiveThe Book Description: “A brief and majestic debut.” —Matías Néspolo,  El MundoTochtli lives in a palace. He loves hats, samurai, guillotines, and dictionaries, and what he wants more than anything right now is a new pet for his private zoo: a pygmy hippopotamus from Liberia. But Tochtli is a child whose father is a drug baron on the verge of taking over a powerful cartel, and Tochtli is growing up in a luxury hideout that he shares with hit men, prostitutes, dealers, servants, and the odd corrupt politician or two. Long-listed for The Guardian First Book Award, Down the Rabbit Hole, a masterful and darkly comic first novel, is the chronicle of a delirious journey to grant a child’s wish. My Review: First, I must get this off my chest: THIS IS NOT A NOVEL. At ~35,000 words, it could be called a novella, a work of 15,000 to 40,000 words (definitions vary on this point, but ALL definitions include 30,000-40,000 words in them and this is that length) that features fewer conflicts than a full novel and more complex ones than a short story. I don't think it's a novella because it's a first-person story and features only one fully developed character, Tochtli (“Rabbit” in Nahuatl, relax we'll get there). It's a récit , a form of narrative that has a simple through line, is told from one PoV and quite often in first-person present and past, and offers little in the way of contextualization, of “world-building,” as it's all in the narrator's PoV. I hate the publisher and the trade folk yip-yapping NOVELNOVELNOVEL about a 70-page (generous margins, several blank pages in the text) so as to get over the reading public's aversion to “lesser” forms. How about we review the piece as it is, and urge the reading public to read it without misleading them? Someone buying a novel expects that it will do what novels do, really explore one or two conflicts with results and resultant changes in characters' lives. Not happenin' here.Well, okay, I'm all shouted out now.Terrific story, this one of a drug king's kid and the many oddities paranoia and isolation have allowed to blossom in him. The names, all taken from Mexico's major native tongue of Nahuatl (the Aztecs spoke it), are all of animals...the narrator's name means Rabbit, his father's name means Rattlesnake, his tutor's name means Deer, and on. They're all like gang nicknames, playing on the culture of nicknames that describe some major thing about a person. Rattlesnake? How can you not perceive a drug lord as a cold-blooded, dangerous, venomous critter? Rabbit? Scared, small, needs to be hidden away—suits our narrator's life to a T.Translator Rosalind Harvey has done a marvelous, if British, job of rendering a precocious kid's usages and crotchets into spottily adult language. I haven't read the original Spanish, so I don't know how faithfully she's reproduced Villalobos's original, but I suspect quite well. The language has that certain “feel” that good translations do, a kind of smoothness and polished gleam that speak of quality made from quality. That Tochtli is an odd kid is to be expected, that he uses (frequently!) words he's just learning is to be expected, and since those words...sordid, pathetic, devastating...are a little above his actual grasp, the author's use of them in the kid's mouth makes several very trenchant points.Yolcaut (Rattlesnake) watched the news with me and when it was over he said some enigmatic things to me, First he said:“Ah, they suicided her.”And then, when he'd stopped laughing:“Think the worst and you'll be right.”Sometimes Yolcaut speaks in enigmatic and mysterious sentences. When he does that it's pointless to ask him what he means, because he never tells me. He wants me to solve the enigma.Before I went to sleep I looked up the word prestige in the dictionary. I learned that prestige is about people having a good idea about you, and thinking you're the best. In that case you have prestige. Pathetic.(p21, American softcover edition)It's all part of building the reader's awareness of the twisted, strange, uncomfortably exaggerated natural parental protection of our kids. Other details include Tochtli's always painful stomach cramps that the doctor can't find a cause for, Tochtli's obsessive passions for things like being a Japanese samurai who's mute and therefore enigmatic (!), his endless list-making. The kid would've been strange no matter what, but Yolcaut (Nahuatl has no dipthongs, so say each letter as if it were a Spanish vowel or a Basque consonant) being what and who he is has made the problems giant-sized.It's a disquieting little thing, and it's quite darkly amusing, and it's—Praise the Muses!—it's original. It's balm for a weary-of-~meh~ reader's soul. You'll love it, or you'll hate it, but you won't walk away wondering what it was that you just read.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Que manera tan brutalmente entretenida y extraordinaria de narrar el presente doloroso del narcotráfico en México
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Aparentemente es una historia inocente pero conforme te vas adentrando en la trama descubres su lado más visceral y pavoroso. Nos muestra que la realidad no es como la pintan, simplemente la disfrazan.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Me parece muy entretenida la narración desde el punto de vista del niño, porque es muy ocurrente.