... a dream-like quality; the pre-waking weirdness of associations between what is apparently known and what is unattainable ... In this second part, the author appears to work through association and improvisation. Non-sequiturs abound, as unpredictable as they are compelling, building our ability to accept wild inventions and accepting as plausible a baker whose in-demand biscuits in the shape of a pregnant dog are made from human breast milk ... Mallo’s imagination never falters. To stay with him means loosening all limitations we might wish to impose on a text. The reward is an audacious adventure ... a dream of a book.
... fascinating ... The free-associations make this a lengthy, extremely self-indulgent book that will at some point try even the most generous reader’s patience, but the reward for perseverance is a unique work that captures an uncanny aspect of the lonely but bewilderingly overpopulated contemporary experience.
... sets the mind racing with blurs and glitches—periodic and perturbing reminders of just how malleable our reality, both past and present, can be in the hands of an expert ... Far be it from me to judge a book by its factuality, but in this case, it is as though the author is daring the reader to believe, to latch on to the recognizable markers of our shared world ... We are once again thrown between past and the present, and it is here perhaps that the novel reaches its most coherent stage, despite the soft-focus through which reality is presented—a style that translator Thomas Bunstead has clearly mastered. Although Bunstead must be intimately familiar with Fernández Mallo’s prose by now, his translation is nonetheless impressive. The writing is disorienting, almost aggressive in its cyclical litany of motifs, and the reading experience suggests an at times excruciating translation process.