One arrival for me this week for review:
DON’T LOOK UNDER THE BED by Juan Jose Millas
The Spanish best-seller Don’t Look Under The Bed is a novel quite unlike any that you’ve read before. Its impact will be felt by anyone who has ever, at any time in their life, felt afraid to reach out for the glass of water in the middle of the night, who has been unable to force himself to open the cupboard in the dark, or who has needed to leap into bed before something ghastly emerges from under the base to snuff them out.
With a motley collection of characters as varied as Vincente Holgado, the foot specialist, as well as his shoes, Elena Rincon, the coroner, together with the widower moccasin, and a younger sister whose dental braces are just adorable, Juan Jose Millas has put together a masterpiece of dark comedy that merges into horror. Beneath an amusing, surreal veneer, we are in a world where footwear can develop their own individual fetishes, and the workings of a toilet cistern take on the aspect of an infernal machine that is predestined to thwart and punish all endeavor. The boundaries of reality fade away in a land where phantom limbs cause more problems than real ones, and where becoming a cripple brings more satisfaction that reaching the pinnacle of a chosen profession.
Investigating the paradoxical desire of humanity to retain its own individuality at the same time as searching to fuse itself with a soul mate, Don’t Look Under The Bed never disappoints in its ability to capture our vulnerability and weaknesses from angles that have never been used before, but which immediately are felt to be as fitting and revealing as they are shockingly and amusingly fresh.