Beset by a series of hearing problems, a man suffers a strange pathological experience, switching between the everyday and the hallucinatory, the routine and the absurd. The protagonist’s intersections between cold reality and apparent dementia lend the tale a constant psychological tension that is held together by strange connections with everyday life.
“When I began to realise that I could hear sounds before they occurred, I didn’t even think it was strange.” This opening phrase sets in motion a train of extraordinary but nonetheless convincing experiences and events; a series of characters who hover on the cusp of the absurd appear and disappear, and yet form an unsettling complicity with the protagonist.
The extreme narrative skill that runs through Campo de Agramante keeps the reader entranced between two fictional spaces; hallucinatory contraventions of logic and a recognisable Adalucian city, in a kind of social parody in which the concept of fiction itself takes on the greatest imaginative relevance. With this extraordinary novel, Caballero Bonald consolidates his place as one of Spain’s best contemporary writers.