Marcos is a student of fine arts. When Jacobo Montes, the social artist of the hour, arrives in Murcia, he becomes his assistant and helps him set up his transgressive piece of art for the city. But Montes’s methods border on the unacceptable, and when theory turns to practice, things run the risk of getting out of hand.
Written with a sharp approach that brings to mind Philip Roth and Don DeLillo, and a meta-literary touch that recalls the work of Paul Auster or Enrique Vila-Matas, Escape Attempt reflects on some of the big topics of our contemporary world: modern art, immigration, globalization, and more—all in relation to justice, ethics, and life.A powerful plot with an intense psychological focus that brings forth a profound and venomous critique of radical contemporary art.
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"This novel is an acerbic commentary on the ridiculousness of modern art and also an ironic look at the shifting tides of the refugee problems of the twenty-first century. . . Is this a pleasant novel? No. Is it an interesting novel? Yes, in that it highlights the extremes to which human beings will go in order to fulfill personal desire."
—World Literature Today
"Escape Attempt is consistently engaging . . . the novel largely succeeds at what it means to be, and succeeds in entertaining and provoking, too."
—Michael Orthofer, The Complete Review
"Escape Attempt is chilling and very good . . . an intelligent, cerebral and well-paced study of the nastier side of human nature."
—Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times
"An imaginative, suspenseful, instructive, ethically thoughtful piece, written in beautiful prose with a richness of ideas, images and words rare in contemporary fiction. . . A jewel of evidence that the novel is alive and kicking."
"A painfully current and ruthlessly polemic novel. The brave choice of subject matter takes the reader on a journey that revolts, angers, and excites: Escape Attempt is an experience that does not leave the reader untouched, and locks them in a page-turner that cannot be escaped . . . a rollercoaster for all the senses, and definite food for thought."
"Beyond its appearance of being a novel of apprenticeship and a complaint about the mercantilising sophistication of contemporary art, Escape Attempt in fact presents the limits and inconsistencies of the European beliefs and policies on race. Miguel Ángel Hernández's proposal is one of the most intelligent ones to be found in literature now, because far from the testimonial plea and the essay-like lament his novel imagines a world in which art is the evil and macabre alibi to do, by other means, that which society doesn't dare do itself."
“Miguel Ángel Hernández has brought a breath of fresh air with this highbrow, intelligent, and entertaining novel.”
—J. M. Pozuelo Yvancos, ABC
“Miguel Ángel Hernández has written a flawless novel. He concocts a moral intrigue on two contemporary topics that are seemingly detached from one another: art and immigration.”
—J. Ernesto Ayala Dip, Babelia, El País
“This story of complex human relationships underpinned by power, humiliation, dignity, and sex has the makings of an interesting, slightly Dostoevskian, psychological exploration."
—Santos Sanz Villanueva, El Mundo
“A book that reads like a thriller and is packed with beautiful reflections on art, life, and death and, above all, brims with narrative fiction.”
—Massimiliano Parente, Il Giornale
“A thrilling novel that subtly reflects on the dangers that lurk behind the transgressive drive in art, on the business of art, and on the limits of morality.”
—Mathilde Nivollet, Aujourd’hui
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