The Houseguest


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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a masterful novel; Kim Brooks is a fantastic writer and this is a necessary and important book.

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The Houseguest: And Other Stories

It resonates powerfully with our complicated and troubling modern age, and Brooks tells not only the sweeping tale of a country grappling with a global crisis but also an intimate story of individuals: what they long for and fear, and what brings them hope and peace, however fleeting. The Houseguest takes the familiar facts of the Second World War and transmutes them into a story that is exquisite, necessary, luminous, and wholly new. This is a book of marvels. Her fluency in the language of complex relationships and dark psychology brings to mind the work of Ann Beattie, Mary Gaitskill, and Alice Munro, and her sense of the story the work of Tobias Wolff and F.

Scott Fitzgerald. Such combinations are difficult to beat. She explores her difficult subject with grace and ease and not a single emotional misstep. At the end, I cried. To save you and us!

The Houseguest and Other Stories by Amparo Dávila | World Literature Today

We know the title characters are animals, probably dogs, but the author never tells us this directly. Moses and Gaspar make their feelings known by refusing to eat, moping, crying, and even violently tossing furniture around in the apartment in which they are locked up during the day. But they also put furniture and household items back where they belong before their guardian comes home from work. This detail is given in the same matter-of-fact prose as the previous details. Her childhood was marked by fear, and that fear is palpable in everything she writes.


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Insanity, danger, and death appear as living characters in her stories. Violence, quiet or explosive, inhabits them.


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Audrey Harris and Matthew Gleeson have done a superb job, rendering to perfection not only the voice but its disconcerting mysteries. New Directions has given us a beautifully put together volume that leaves us wanting more. Perhaps their idea is that the stories stand alone.

Ellen Season 1 Episode 8 The Houseguest

And they do. Skip to main content. Sometimes, when I came home from work, they ran jubilantly to greet me, but as soon as they saw it was me, they put on such disappointed, suffering faces that I broke down and wept along with them. This was the only thing we shared.


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He comes on a bit strong, but he does nothing physically untoward. Later, upon returning home, she sees the man again, and again he pursues her, wanting just to talk, to introduce himself more thoughtfully, to ask for a little of her time, to get to know her better. Tina sinks deeper and deeper into paranoia, convinced that the man intends to rape or kill her, that he undoubtedly has an accomplice in a nearby taxi ready to drive them both away.

The Houseguest: And Other Stories

He, too, is lonesome. He suffers from heartbreak. He actually starts to seem like a sweet guy. The story crescendos with one of the few strokes of stylistically experimental writing in The Houseguest :.

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She had crossed the threshold of her destiny had passed through the door of a sordid hotel room and went running down the street in a frantic desperate race crashing into people running into them all like bodies alone in the dark that meet intertwine join together separate join together again panting voracious insatiable possessing and possessed rising and falling riding in a blind race to the end with a collapse a sudden fall into nothingness outside of time and space.

They are structurally tame accounts of wildly untamed events. Also unforgettable is the brutality of the title story. The screams, the pounding at the door, the clawing and scratching as a character starves to death — these things will somehow feel partly your doing, too.

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