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The Things We've Seen by Agustín Fernández Mallo, translated by Thomas Bunstead

The Things We've Seen by Agustín Fernández Mallo, translated by Thomas Bunstead

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From the publisher:

In The Things We’ve Seen, his most ambitious and accomplished novel to date, Agustín Fernández Mallo captures the strangeness and interconnectedness of human existence in the twenty-first century. A writer travels to the small uninhabited island of San Simón, used as a Franquist concentration camp during the Spanish Civil War, and witnesses events which impel him on a wild goose chase across several continents. In Miami, an ageing Kurt Montana, the fourth astronaut who secretly accompanied Neil Armstrong and co. to the moon, revisits the important chapters in his life, from serving in the Vietnam War to his memory of seeing earth from space. In Normandy, a woman embarks on a walking tour of the D-Day beaches with the goal of re-enacting, step by step, another trip taken years before. Described as the novel David Lynch and W. G. Sebald might have written had they joined forces to explore the B-side of reality, The Things We’ve Seen is a mind-bending novel for our disjointed times.

‘Fernández Mallo, the de facto leading light of an avant-garde literary movement known in Spain as the Nocilla Generation (so-called for the author’s own Nocilla Trilogy, 2015–19), writes here in a manner that variously recalls, references, evokes and invokes the writings, aesthetics and thinking of W. G. Sebald, Carl Hiaasen, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Georges Perec, Octavio Paz, Ben Lerner, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jorge Luis Borges, Edward Hopper, Giorgio De Chirico and many others, and yet that remains entirely his own in its final assembly and presentation.’ 
— David Terrien, ArtReview

‘[An] unconventional work ... a writer fascinated by the present state of the human condition, beset by the rapid onset of the internet, social media ... a novel of breadth, variety, and texture.
— Daniel Baksi, The Arts Desk

‘There are certain writers whose work you turn to knowing you’ll find extraordinary things there. Borges is one of them, Bolaño another. Agustín Fernández Mallo has become one, too. This novel, which ranges across the world and beyond it, is hugely ambitious in scope. It’s a weird, recursive, paranoiac, funny, menacing and thrilling book.’  
— Chris Power, author of A Lonely Man

‘Charmingly voracious and guided by fanatical precision and wit, Mallo ties the loose threads of the world together into intricate, charismatic knots. This is the expansive, omnivorous sort of novel that threatens to show you every thought you’ve ever had in a new and effervescent light, along with so many others you couldn’t have dreamed.’ 
— Alexandra Kleeman, author of Intimations

‘Some great works create worlds from which to look back at ourselves and recalibrate; The Things We’ve Seen takes the world as it is and plays it back through renewed laws of physics. Rarely has a novel left me with such new eyes, an X-ray view of the present.’ 
— DBC Pierre, author of Meanwhile in Dopamine City

‘The most original and powerful author of his generation in Spain.’ 
— Mathias Enard, author of Compass

The Things We’ve Seen confirms Fernández Mallo as one of the best writers in Spanish, with an absolutely unique style and fictional world.’ 
— Jorge Carrión, New York Times in Spanish

‘A strange and original sensibility at work – one that combines a deep commitment to the possibilities of art with a gonzo spirit and a complete absence of pretention.’
— Christopher Beha, Harper’s