Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
The Houseguest
The Houseguest: And Other Stories | Amparo Dvila
Like those of Kafka or Poe, Amparo Dvila's stories are masterful, terrifying, and mesmerizing--you'll finish reading each story gasping for air. With acute psychological insight, Dvila follows her characters to the limits of desire, paranoia, insomnia, loneliness, and fear. She is a writer obsessed with obsession, she makes nightmares come to life through the everyday: loneliness sinks in easily like a razor-sharp knife, some form of evil lurks in every shadow, delusion takes the form of strange and very real creatures. After reading The Houseguest, her debut collection in English, you'll wonder how this secret was kept for so long.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
review
bekakins
Pickpick

What a weird little book of short stories… enjoyed it very much!

And I made it to the end of #PromptMaze 🙌

review
Bookwomble
post image
Pickpick

There are some horror stories here, but more of psychological terror, as anxious people struggle, and fail, to overcome their fears and insecurities, all through a distorting, fantastical lens.
Awful animals inhabit several stories: malign cats, tortured snails & intimidating toads. Obviously, the humans are worse. There's an intriguing ambiguity, too, about whether the uncanny is happening or is a psychotic misapprehension.
There's a feminist 👇

Bookwomble ... strand in the depiction of women limited and abused by a casually misogynistic society, though the men definitely don't get it all their own way.
There are, I think, subliminal themes including the duality of the domestic abuser, presenting a respectable face to the outside world, and a monstrous one in the home. And is that threatening, charismatic presence in another story a vampire, a demon, or an incestuous relative, perhaps 👇
4mo
Bookwomble ... the never-mentioned father? There's a story which now could perhaps feel ablist, while also illustrating the historical, and sadly all too contemporary, prejudice towards neuro-divergent people.
Dávila's stories are unsettlingly wonderful, and I hesitantly wonder what experiences she might have had to draw from. I wish more of her work was available in translation.
4mo
AllDebooks Wow, fantastic review 👏 4mo
See All 8 Comments
Bookwomble @AllDebooks Thanks, Debbie. It helps that I was reviewing a fantastic book 😊 4mo
batsy What a fab review! It sounds like my kind of book... 4mo
Bookwomble @batsy Thanks, Suba 😊 I think it would be your kind of book 😁 4mo
DivineDiana Wonderful review! 4mo
Bookwomble @DivineDiana Thank you, Diana 😊 4mo
23 likes2 stack adds8 comments
quote
Bookwomble
post image

"The daily exercise of suffering gives one the gaze of an abandoned dog and the colour of a ghost."

- Fragment of a Diary [July to August]

quote
Bookwomble
post image

"We left the cemetery: Leonidas stayed behind, forever." ?

- Moses and Gaspar ?‍⬛

José inherits Moses and Gaspar, his brother's cats, when Leonidas dies. And they are the creepiest cats one would not wish to come across! Are they quiet? No, they are silently weeping in grief for their lost owner while they stare at you with their terrible gaze of hostility, mistrust and recrimination ??

Cathythoughts ♥️💔 4mo
26 likes1 comment
blurb
Bookwomble
post image

The blurb likens Dávila's stories to those of Kafka, Poe and Shirley Jackson - marketing hyperbole or meritorious critique? There's only one way to find out ... ?

(I bought this book on the basis of really enjoying her horror story "Haute Cuisine" in a different translation to this so, actually, I'm expecting it to be meritorious ?. However, I think this may be too slim a volume to allow me to "jump the pony' on my 2022 book stack ?)

26 likes1 stack add
quote
IselaKay
post image

“What I do in literature is come and go from reality to fantasy, from fantasy to reality, the way life itself is.”

Amparo Dávila

review
IselaKay
post image
Pickpick

This book includes 12 short stories by Mexican author Amparo Davila. Her style of writing was really interesting; each story is uncanny, ambiguous, creepy, and unsettling. They leave you with questions and goosebumps. Only a few feel like they‘re being forced into the aforementioned themes—most feel spot on, natural, and original. This work reminded me of “Her Body and Other Parties” by C.M. Machado. If you read and liked that book, read this one!

review
BekaReid
post image
Pickpick

The moment I heard Dávila described as Mexico's answer to Shirley Jackson, I was intrigued and wanted to read The Houseguest. And I enjoyed this slime volume of short stories. Domestic noir, quiet despair, real danger or imagined? Dávila masters the unseen menace and ambiguity, and we repeatedly see horror that is not described, only hinted at in her writing.

12 likes1 stack add
review
andioop
Panpan

Picked up slightly at the end but man, these stories don‘t go anywhere. Really surprised.

review
GatheringBooks
post image
Pickpick

#NewYearNewYou Day 13: What makes the stories in this collection work for me is that they are thoroughly absorbing, with a ring of familiarity to it. The descriptions of the characters, the infidelities, the sense of place - this is what makes noir at its finest: there is subtlety yet with a rawness to the insanity that makes one a part of the surreal #transformation, however brief. My full review: https://wp.me/pDlzr-l7A

Eggs Cover Love ❤️❤️ 3y
49 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
GatheringBooks
post image

#GratefulReads Day 9: #BookAndSnack - more like book and meal, really. 🤣😂 @Reggie I hope you find the stories in this collection as delightfully surreal with just the right dab of macabre as I did.

OriginalCyn620 Yummy! 😋 3y
54 likes1 comment
blurb
GatheringBooks
post image

See you soon, Albuquerque!
And you too, @Reggie !! 💕📚🧚🏼‍♀️

merelybookish Oh fun! A Litsy meet-up! 3y
ljuliel Take pics ! 3y
batsy How lovely! 3y
67 likes3 comments
blurb
GatheringBooks
post image

#Movember Day 6: So I #crave for some All-American goodness. Hence, Denny‘s it is while having a 22-hour layover in Seattle.

blurb
GatheringBooks
post image

Feeling comfy while waiting for a 14 hour flight and a 20-hour layover in Seattle enroute to New Mexico.

Cinfhen Safe travels 😘 3y
Reggie See you in a couple of days!! 3y
65 likes2 comments
blurb
GatheringBooks
post image

#GratefulReads Day 4: My current read is #Under250Pages as I am bringing it on my upcoming overseas trip to New Mexico in two days‘ time! Seems like a fitting collection by a female novelist for our #WomenReadWomen2019 theme.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 📚💗💚 3y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Have fun on your trip!!! 3y
OriginalCyn620 Have a great trip! 3y
GatheringBooks @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks thank you so much @OriginalCyn620 i think my travel time is longer than the time i will be staying for the conference. 😱 3y
48 likes4 comments
review
Angitron
post image
Pickpick

Perhaps it‘s due to my state of mind right now (feeling a lack of being seen and/or heard), but I related to a number of these stories. Many of them feature lead characters who are being stalked or tormented by something indescribable. What makes Davila‘s writing so haunting is her use of language - it‘s the language of concrete reality. So when the uncanny occurs, it feels all the more frightening and disorienting. Loved this collection!

blurb
MCYmermaid
post image

Shirley Jackson comparisons will almost always draw me to a new author or work.

47 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
Mafiacisco

Kafkaesuqe, but in a millennial sort of way.