The new novel by Maximiliano Barrientos, Thousands of eyes, draws on body horror and surrealism to tell a story that unfolds over three time periods and whose common thread is the presence of a sect adoring speed, making cars a fetish and chasing a 1970 Plymouth Road Runner considered the instrument for a summoning.
It starts in the ’70s, when a man (dissident of the sect) and his son run away. They head for the forest to hide the pistons of the mentioned car. The second part is set in the ’90s, when a metalhead teenager, whose brother died racing the Road Runner, experiences visions and body transformations after a beating. The third part takes place a hundred years later, when a girl, whose father has just been murdered, sets out on a journey to a made-into-shrine tree where the Plymouth’s remains lie.
The novel uses so-called weird fiction to explore the theme of the body. It breaks the rigid line between dreams and being awake and approaches the cyberpunk universe, as it explores the merging of body and machine. The influences and echoes resonating across the pages come from novels like Ice Trilogy by Vladimir Sorokin, Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer, Crash and The Atrocity Exhibition by JG Ballard, David Cronenberg’s early movies and Japanese designer Hidetaka Miyasaki’s video games: Bloodborne and the Dark Souls saga.
“This strange and fascinating novel by Maximiliano Barrientos brings together his usual elegant writing with pious references and obsessions: the fusion is extravagant and intense. The cult of cars and speed raised to the status of religion, black metal, rituals, Ballard and Mad Max in Bolivia. I don’t know if there are such bold writers in Latin America.” Mariana Enríquez
“A baroque wonder.” Babelia, El País
“Risky, atypical, a true rare bird of Latin American literature and an essential book of the weird in Spanish.” Marcelo Acevedo
“This novel […] is pure vertigo.” Agustina Larrea – El Diario AR
235 pages – Original Language: Spanish/Bolivia (Editorial El Cuervo, 2022); Spanish/World excl. Bolivia (Caja Negra, 2022); Spanis/Audio (Storytel, 2023).