Locos: A Comedy of Gestures (paperback)

Locos: A Comedy of Gestures (paperback)

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By Felipe Alfau

ISBN: 9781564781710

Publication Date: 12/18/1997

The interconnected stories that form this novel take place in a Madrid as exotic as the Baghdad of the 1001 Arabian Nights and feature unforgettable characters in revolt against their young author. "For them," he complains, "reality is what fiction is to real people; they simply love it and make for it against my almost heroic opposition."

First published in 1936 and long neglected, this elegantly inventive novel anticipates works like Pale Fire and One Hundred Years of Solitude. In Locos, Felipe Alfau creates a mercurial dreamscape in which the characters—the eccentric, sometimes criminal, habitues of Toledo's Cafe of the Crazy—wrench free of authorial control, invade one another's stories, and even turn into one another.


"You keep reading this hypnotic novel the way a sleeping person wants to keep dreaming." Publisher's Weekly

"Alfau's inventive 'comedy of gestures' is, like any hall of mirrors fun house, disorienting, maddening, and greatly entertaining. It has everything any modern best-seller needs: murder, incest, fallen priests, Iascivious nuns, a couple of suicides, several mysteries, the living dead, pimps and whores and poets, locales that shift from China to the Philippines to the Caribbean to Europe." Washington Post

Biographical Information

Spanish novelist and poet Felipe Alfau (1902-1999) was born in Barcelona. He made his living as a translator and wrote two novels in English, Chromos and Locos. His work was largely ignored during his lifetime: he made $250 for Locos, and Chromos sat in a desk drawer from 1948 to 1990. On publication, it was nominated for the 1990 National Book Award