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Hurricane Season

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  9,454 ratings  ·  2,036 reviews
A New York Times Notable Book (2020)
A Guardian and Best Book of 2020
A Literary Hub Favorite Book of 2020

The Witch is dead. And the discovery of her corpse—by a group of children playing near the irrigation canals—propels the whole village into an investigation of how and why this murder occurred. Rumors and suspicions spread. As the novel unfolds in a dazzling l
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 31st 2020 by New Directions (first published May 12th 2017)
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Ricardo Aguilar Martínez Pues no necesariamente deberías complementar, pero sí debes leer este libro con el estómago bien fuerte y listo para experimentar sensaciones encontra…morePues no necesariamente deberías complementar, pero sí debes leer este libro con el estómago bien fuerte y listo para experimentar sensaciones encontradas.(less)

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 ·  9,454 ratings  ·  2,036 reviews

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My Book of the year 2020

Shortlisted for 2020 International Booker Prize

4/6 read

It’s violent, it’s grim, the language is dirty, the prose is intense, there is rape, minor abuse, sex, drugs, murder, violence towards homosexuals, poverty, whores, lots of booze, too much of everything that should disgust me. However, I could not stop reading, I was in trance every time I opened my kindle, It was like I was the one on drugs not the characters. I had a heaviness in my chest while I was reading most o
4.5 stars

“They say the heat’s driven the locals crazy, that it’s not normal — May and not a single drop of rain — and that the hurricane season’s coming hard, that it must be bad vibes, jinxes, causing all that bleakness: decapitated bodies, maimed bodies, rolled-up, bagged-up bodies dumped on the roadside or in hastily dug graves on the outskirts of town.”

It is so often the children who suffer the consequences of poverty and a corrupt system. And these are the characters my heart bled for, beca
Jun 12, 2020 rated it liked it
That was so far removed from my comfort zone, I now need to watch the Disney channel for a month.
Barry Pierce
From my review in the Irish Times:

Fernanda Melchor’s first novel to appear in English is an insane wall of text, a phalanx of prose rallied between the margins with strict orders to destroy the reader. Hurricane Season is the story of the Witch and her power over the inhabitants of the Mexican village of La Matosa. Melchor’s extremely graphic prose throughout would have Georges Bataille himself reaching for a crucifix but it is a commendation of translator Sophie Hughes that the novel never
Eric Anderson
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the centre of “Hurricane Season” is a mysterious murder in a small Mexican village. The locals only referred to this notorious individual who is found floating dead in a body of water as “The Witch”. There are tales that she hoarded vast quantities of rare coins and valuable jewels in her home, that she had mystical powers to cast spells and that she regularly hosted depraved orgies. This makes her a figure of high intrigue as well as a target for violence. The novel gives a series of account ...more
Paul Fulcher
Now longlisted for the International Booker

Temporada de huracanes by Fernanda Melchor has been translated as Hurricane Season by Sophie Hughes, and published by the wonderful Fitzcarraldo Editions.

This is the fourth translation from Hughes I've read, the others being:
The allegorical but visceral The Boy Who Stole Attila's Horse by Iván Repila
The Booker International shortlisted The Remainder by Alia Trabucco Zerán
and An Orphan World by Giuseppe Caputo

and this maintains the excellent quality and
Hurricane Season is a portrait of a Mexican town crushed by violence, poverty, trauma, and degradation. It is an oppressive, suffocating, headlong rush of a novel.

The murder of the town ‘witch’ is at the eye of this maelstrom, written in dizzying, long, run-on sentences and whorls of revolving narrative. This style gives the novel its breathless, exhilarating pace: a ‘hurricane’ of words.

The crime is a pretext for examining the tangential lives of the townspeople. Each chapter begins in media re
Darryl Suite
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
FINAL REVIEW: AAAAH. The punchy prose and frenetic energy of Hurricane Season reminded me of three novels: 2666, A Brief History of Seven Killings, and Milkman. 2666: because of its panoramic depiction of the socio-economic violence in contemporary Mexico, especially the tendency towards femicide. Seven Killings: because of the unapologetic use of animated and arresting language, not giving a damn if the reader can catch up. You’re a prisoner, you can’t look away from the horrific imagery, and i ...more
Shortlisted for the Booker International Prize 2020
This is another very difficult book to rate and review - it is undoubtedly an impressive feat of writing and translation, but it is hard to derive pleasure from reading such an intense, brutal, savage book.

In her acknowledgments, Melchor mentions being inspired by The Autumn of the Patriarch, which I also found very hard work. This book echoes its chapter long paragraphs consisting mostly of very long sentences - there are only 8 chapters, and t
Prerna (on semi-hiatus)
Shortlisted for the Booker International Prize 2020!

I should really stop judging books by their titles. Because I picked this book and thought, "you know what? This is going to be about a hurricane that sweeps away a little town or a village and obviously I'm going to be subjected to the altered dynamics of a dysfunctional family" (groans in exasperation). Well, sue me. Of course a Booker shortlisted book wasn't going to be about a damn clothesline getting swept away by a hurricane, thereby for
Jun 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5, rounded down.

This is a difficult one for me to rate and talk about - it's one that I could 'appreciate' and admire, rather than enjoy - the closest equivalent I can compare it to is the films of Tarantino - while I can see the artistry involved, I just don't much LIKE them. The story is compelling and involving, but also relentlessly unpleasant, violent and ugly ... and at several points is downright nauseating.

What worked for me is the quick pace and how the story evolved elliptically - e
4.5 well that was a humdinger! I need some sort of therapy now...

( I believe my original intention was to write a proper review but I find that words fail me on this one, I liked it so much, and yet the experience of reading it is both intense and ghastly. I doubt I will read another book so electrifying this year. And yet I find it hard to say exactly why this appealed to me so much. I do intend to reread this at some point in the future but I can't go through that again right now! )

Proustitute (on hiatus)
Holy fuck.

Got to keep your wits about you in this world, she pontificated. You drop your guard for a second and they’ll crush you, Clarita, so you better just tell that fuckwit out there to buy you some clothes. Don’t you be anybody’s fool, that’s what men are like: a bunch of lazy spongers who you have to keep rounding up to squeeze any use out of them…
From 1993 to 2005, there were more than 370 female murders (femicides or feminicidios) in Juárez; in Mexico more broadly, between 1986 and
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Right into my top three for the year thus far with Suttree and Weather. Completely mesmerising: high art meets pulverising drama.
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.25🍌

When I was a young Monkey, I visited a cave system in the southern U.S. while on a family vacation. Accessible only through damp tunnels, we were at the mercy of the tour guide to lead us through the cave and back. Dank, dark places were already not my favorite, and when we reached the main cavern, the tour guide turned off the lights. The pitch darkness was total, pure and inescapable, a physical, oppressive force. What if the lights didn't turn back on? What if our guide abandoned
Apr 06, 2020 added it
Shelves: mexican
Run-on sentences and run-on vulgarity. If that's your thing.

Sixty-page paragraphs with plenty of colons and semi-colons, sometimes a couple of each in a pages-long sentence. The point, I think, was to appear inventive, or maybe grating.

Graphic in the detail. Menstruation and masturbation. Check and check. Homemade abortion. Check. Vaginal, oral and anal sex. Check, check, check. Homosexual sex down to (we are assured) the frenulum. Check. Incest with a minor. Check. Bestiality. Woof. Murder by s
Days under a scorching sun
Muggy nights of restless sleep
Blinding lights
Unbearable heat
Starry nights
A bad trip

Saints and premonitions
Diseases and new addictions
Syringes and freedom
In a falling kingdom

Words whispered in the night
Lives shattered long ago
Broken pieces and broken bones
Falling tears
Drops of blood
Hearts of stone

Heaven and hell
Sinners and jesus
Love and a spell
Malignant and vicious

Read By RodKelly
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Antonomasia by: 2020 International Booker Longlist
I read Hurricane Season only about a month after it was published in English, but I'd already heard plenty about it. Many of those opinions didn't chime with my own experience of the book, but one which resoundingly did was that reading it feels like running downhill. (Thanks to Barbara from the Shadow Panel). It was strangely effortless to read: a sense of being pulled half-involuntarily onwards, regardless of the characters' stories becoming increasingly grim, more gravitational than the energ ...more
Nancy Oakes
Really, it's tough to give this book a rating. Frankly it's the toughest book I think I've ever read but
god help me, I loved it. On the other hand, this is the first time I think I've ever read a book where despite how much I liked it, I was happy for it to be over.

full post here:

The discovery of a corpse floating in an irrigation canal near a small rural village opens this most harrowing novel. The person known as "the Witch" has been killed; the questi
Gumble's Yard
I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselve
Jul 08, 2020 marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenna by: Candi
2 page long sentences..... no thank you. It might be a brilliant story but I don't want to spend the next couple days gasping for breath after holding it for a page or two. ...more
Feb 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You have to steel yourself to read this book. It is filled with graphic sexual violence, its characters harangue and insult one another in the foulest language. To be honest, I am quite surprised at myself for getting to the end of it as I would normally put down a book like this after just a few pages when it became clear the tenor of those first pages wasn’t going to change in the rest of the book.

But, I didn’t put this one down and I did keep reading until the end. There is something about th
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deeply disturbing but technically impressive. It should come with every imaginable trigger warning attached, to alert those at risk of being traumatized by literature that is saturated with violence and dark, dark, dark. If such things do not upset you, this one is definitely worth considering.
Katia N
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now this is long-listed for 2020 International Booker prize. I want to add only one thing to my original short review below. When I was reading it last September I did not pay sufficient attention to the author name and I've only realised that it is a woman when I've finished the book. I would never guessed based upon the style of writing. Not sure it is a good or bad fact, but it just shows never to judge gender of the author by the style of writing:-)

This has not been released yet. I've read
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
A gritty look at the reality of life among the poor in a town in Mexico. This is a murder mystery on the surface, but it’s really about the struggles the characters face to survive in a hard environment. Filled with hefty, robust sentences and often difficult subject matter, this was not an easy read for me, but it was a rewarding one.
A powerful, upsetting, gripping read. The prose is extremely violent, but never feels uncontrolled. The subject matter horrific, but never gratuitous. Feels connected to the work of writers like António Lobo Antunes, Jean-Baptiste Del Amo and others, but still very much its own thing. Highly recommend.
Marc Nash
Entirely told in one tone (shrill) in long run-on sentences and no paragraph breaks. There is absolutely no light and shade, husbands hate their wives, wives hate their husbands, parents resent their children and vice versa, everyone's a puta or a son of a whore. A murder has taken place and we get the back story of the murderers, but it's not exactly the fine touch of a writer like Karin Fossum. I think it's a meditation on how poverty degrades, but then you need some light to contrast the shad ...more
Ieva Andriuskeviciene
Man Booker 2020 International shortlist.

Brutal. Extremely brutal. Sex, blood, filth vomit, crashed skulls and running brains.
Masterly written magic realism without even a small drop of magic.
I changed my mind and I think this is a five. Hurricane Season isn’t for the faint hearted (trigger warnings: basically everything). It’s a relentless, graphic, violent narrative about life in a Mexican village. It’s demanding of its reader both in style and content. The nature of the prose, and the almost magically real framing of the narrative won’t be for everyone. But even though I was often overwhelmed by the content, I feel that Melchor tells a necessary story about the pervasive violence ...more
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2021 Reading Chal...: Hurricane Season 16 35 Feb 04, 2021 08:56PM  
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Play Book Tag: Hurricane Season/Melchor - 4 stars 3 17 Aug 11, 2020 10:56AM  

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Nací en el puerto de Veracruz. Escribí el libro de crónicas Aquí no es Miami y las novelas Falsa liebre (Almadía, 2013) y Temporada de huracanes (Literatura Random House, 2017).

I was born in Veracruz, Mexico. I wrote the non-fiction book Aquí no es Miami and the novels Falsa liebre (Almadía, 2013) and Temporada de huracanes (Literatura Random House, 1917).

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