I'll Sell You a Dog

Current Stock: 2
UPC: 9781908276742
Author: Juan Pablo Villalobos
Translator: Rosalind Harvey
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: And Other Stories; Translation edition (August 9, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908276746
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908276742
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches

Long before he was the taco seller whose ‘Gringo Dog’ recipe made him famous throughout Mexico City, our hero was an aspiring artist: an artist, that is, till his would-be girlfriend was stolen by Diego Rivera, and his dreams snuffed out by his hypochondriac mother. Now our hero is resident in a retirement home, where fending off boredom is far more grueling than making tacos. Plagued by the literary salon that bumps about his building’s lobby and haunted by the self-pitying ghost of a neglected artist, Villalobos’s old man can’t help but misbehave: he antagonises his neighbors, tortures American missionaries with passages from Adorno, and flirts with the revolutionary greengrocer. A delicious take-down of pretensions to cultural posterity, I’ll Sell You a Dog is a comic novel whose absurd inventions, scurrilous antics and oddball characters are vintage Villalobos.


"I'll Sell You A Dog is a reminder of how effortless literature should be to love. This unexpected ride through a character's second childhood, his building, neighbourhood and history is so magically twisted that it could be real. As ever Villalobos writes a peephole through politics and time, to simply watch us dance in all our lurid whimsy." 
―DBC Pierre

"Villalobos subjects the colourful and at times very funny plot to a rigorously, gracefully applied style, which never projects reality but rather, sentence by sentence, constructs a parallel reality upon it . . . Nothing is real and yet at the same time, everything is recognizable . . . Villalobos has found a tone and a rhythm all his own, unlike anything else in Mexican fiction today. He makes the reader laugh at the absurd and as he does so, he reveals the senselessness of the world." 
―Fernando García Ramírez, Letras Libras

"With this, his third novel, Villalobos is confirmed as the definition of new Mexican literature." 
―Matías Néspolo, El Mundo

"Villalobos’s farce spares no one. And with the laughter there emerges a compassion for people living marginal lives which positions the novel on the side of the unexpected and unknown, as the novel demands the imagination’s autonomy over reality, thus rebuking the conventions of fiction in a way that is as stimulating as the novel’s humor." 
―Francisco Solano, El País

Praise for Juan Pablo Villalobos and his other works:

"Short, dark, comic, ribald and surreal . . . manic-impressive." 
―Dwight Garner, New York Times

"Pure fantastical rapture." 
―Julie Morse, The Rumpus

"A vibrant, comic novel." 
―Leigh Newman, Oprah.com

"Riotous . . . Villalobos has inaugurated a new kind of avant-garde novel, one whose grasp of certain dehumanizing political realities never erodes the power to dream something better."
Kirkus, starred review

"It's a trick to use the f-word three times in a novel's first sentence and still be as charming and disarming as Juan Pablo Villalobos manages to be . . . frequently laugh-out-loud funny." 
―Nick DiMartino, Shelf Awareness

"If you haven't expanded your horizons by reading literature from around the globe in 2014, Juan Pablo Villalobos might be your best place to start." 
―Jason Diamond, Flavorwire

"Fast-paced and colloquial; it is troubling and funny all at once . . . an unusual and important novel that deserves to be read." 
―Arthur Dixon, World Literature Today


Juan Pablo Villalobos was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1973. He's the author of Down the Rabbit Hole (2011) and Quesadillas (2013), both published by And Other Stories. His novels have been translated into fifteen languages. He writes for several publications including Letras LibresGatopardoGranta and the English Pen blog, and translates Brazilian literature into Spanish. He lived in Barcelona for several years, then moved to Brazil, and is now back in Spain. He is married with two Mexican-Brazilian-Italian-Catalan children.

Rosalind Harvey was born in Bristol in 1982. Her translation of Juan Pablo Villalobos’s novel Down the Rabbit Hole was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize. She runs regular translation-related public events in the UK and is a founding member and chair of the Emerging Translators Network, an advice and support network for early-career literary translators.