This darkly funny literary detective novel is what it would be like if Philip Marlowe started a PhD program in Barcelona. It's a criminal conspiracy that's both allegorical and grittily realistic, hilarious and tense, exploring the limits of the self, the fluid boundaries of truth and fiction, and the permeable nature of belief. With virtuousic language and larger-than-life characters, this immersive tall tale will push your credulity to its limit.
A Staff Favorite!
"I don't expect anyone to believe me," warns the narrator of this novel, a Mexican student called Juan Pablo Villalobos. He is about to fly to Barcelona on a scholarship when he's kidnapped in a bookshop and whisked away by thugs to a basement. The gangsters are threatening his cousin--a wannabe entrepreneur known to some as "Projects" and to others as "dickhead"--who is gagged and tied to a chair. The thugs say Juan Pablo must work for them. His mission? To make Laia, the daughter of a corrupt politician, fall in love with him. He accepts. . . . though not before the crime boss has forced him at gunpoint into a discussion on the limits of humour in literature.
Part campus novel, part gangster thriller, I Don't Expect Anyone to Believe Me is Villalobos at his best. Exuberantly foul-mouthed and intellectually agile, this hugely entertaining novel finds the light side of difficult subjects--immigration, corruption, family loyalty and love--in a world where the difference between comedy and tragedy depends entirely on who's telling the joke.