Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Because the books I'm reading now are 1300 and 500pages long, I thought I should inhale a quickie to keep on pace for 100.

I believe Aura is the first Carlos Fuentes I've read--it won't be the last, because this shit is tight. Writing in the 2nd person is impossibly hard--that kind of involvement of the reader in the plot requires diligence and immediacy of effect. I can think offhand of only one other horror story using the 2nd person--something by Ramsey Campbell in the 80s where a badly injured person tries to pull himself out of the basement after being attacked by a killer. Fuentes doesn't fall down on the job, and when the pay-off is achieved, the use of 2nd person proves essential, as the main character comes to realize he's not who or what he believed at all. Lots of gruesome secrets in a rat-infested mansion, a strange cat-torturing non-union Mexican equivalent to Mrs. Haversham, and an innocent third party drawn into a Satanic conspiracy--what's not to love? Fun, and short, and with the Spanish text on one side.

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