Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Review: DINNER, by César Aira

Dinner, by César Aira. Published 2015 by New Directions. Translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver. Literary Fiction.

So, as regular readers of this blog may know, César Aira is one of my favorite contemporary writers, but he's definitely not for everyone. One way or another, reading him will change your life; if you love his books, he will change your life for the better. Either way, buckle up.

Dinner is going to go down as one of my favorites of his, and certainly one of my favorite reads of 2017. It's short, as per usual- short and sweet. It's about zombies.

Specifically, it's about a zombie invasion of Pringles, Argentina, where all (?) of Aira's novels takes place. The narrator, who is not explicitly named, has dinner with his mother and then after dinner turns on the television to see the zombie invasion take place. Then he has a conversation with a friend about it. That's it.

Dinner is certainly one of Aira's more plot-centric books; after an opening digression on the importance of names to creating a community, he launches into a virtual blow-by-blow of the zombie invasion, from the moment the dead of Pringles rise from their graves to the moment they go back. It's very suspenseful; Aira does a masterful job building tension and leaving you wondering how it will be resolved.

Ultimately the solution is silly, sweet and makes perfect sense. But then there is a wrinkle at the very end which may keep you up at night after all.

Rating: BUY

FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.