Thursday, October 15, 2009

Guest Columnist: Jesse Tijerina

Every once and awhile I get lucky enough and stumble across an author of whom I have never heard, but should have; it was a pleasant surprise to discover Mexico’s very own, Guillermo Arriaga early last week at a used bookstore in South Denver.

The novel, “The Night Buffalo,” is the first of three to be published in the United States. Arriaga’s knack to craft such a multifarious plot into fluid and poetic narrative will come as no revelation to the fans of his Academy Award nominated films, “21 Grams and Amores Perros.”

So begins the story of a previously shy and presently disheveled Gregorio Valdez who succumbs to madness by placing a .38 Brazilian revolver to his head. In the wake of the tragic discovery of his blood drenched corpse, the lives of those most intimate unravel into a state beyond repair. His at once dear friend Manuel finds himself behind bars after viciously unloading a pistol into the flesh of an innocent jaguar at the local zoo. Valdez’s sometimes novia Tania magically disappears and reappears only to find there is no escaping the madness of Gregorio’s spell.
Ultimately, those dear to Valdez realize there is no freedom from the grasp of the once withdrawn boy who has gone mad by earwigs and pesadillas of a heavy huffing buffalo. “The last message I got from Gregorio consisted of an envelope with three earwigs and a white, bloodspattered card with the phrase: The night buffalo dreams of us,” reveals Manuel. “I never found out who send it.” Manuel knew exactly who had penned such a mad letter with added ephemera; he simply was refusing to acknowledge nightmare for reality.

Having since read Arriaga’s other two novels, it is safe to say he is worth the read.

Then Night Buffalo by Guillermo Arriaga published by Simon & Schuster, 2007


Anonymous said...

First of all I have to say that the book is really bad (Arriaga is one of the most overrated writers in Mexico). The characters are really lame, and they have nothing appealing, so after reading this crap I wasn't expecting nothing at all... But I went to see the film anyway and let me tell you that it's worse than the book, first of all, I think Diego Luna is overrated too, I have never liked him and after watching this film I think I hate him. I don't want to see him ever again, believe me that if you see him naked and having sex with all the cast you would feel the same way too... and another thing it looks that he's no good in bed...sorry!!!! For the rest of the characters they are no good, they just lay there naked, that's it.

I think this film just wanted to shock us, the way Asi del precipicio did, I don't know which one is worse, no story, no substance.......nothing!!! It's a shame that they still make this kind of films in Mexico -they look like the ficheras genre- I think that they are better writers than Arriaga and better actors than Luna - I can name a lot- Anyway don't spend your time and your money in this film or the book because you're going to regret it... as I did

Paul Pedroza said...

Trivia note: This project inspired Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's album, Se Dice Bisonte, No Bufalo.