“Por si las voces vuelven” by Ángel Martín

Ok this might be a bit weird, because I am not even sure it will ever be translated into English, but hey book people in aglophone countries, this one is worth a shot!

What is it about?

This is a non-fiction book written by this guy who is a Spanish comedian who I used to see on TV on a programme called “I know what you did last week”. With one thing and another (me moving to another country, etc.), I lost him and I found him again towards the end of last year, doing a 2-minute news video every day, posted on different platforms. I also discovered that he wrote a book… About a psychotic break he had three years ago approximately. I thought that was going to be insteresting, and I was right!

What makes it good?

The subject matter is extremely fascinating. What basically happened to him was that he slowly started losing touch with reality or, to say it better, he started living several different stories his mind was making up for him. It sounds simple, but it was not, he explains it much better (which I suppose is kind of the point of him writing a book about going cuckoo and not me). When his break was discovered, he had to be admitted to a mental hospital.
What is extremely nice and comforting about this read is that it is in no way a tragic affair: that allows its author to talk about something that is taboo and approach it in a very healthy and even serene way. His humor helps him talk about this directly and even with some nostalgic feelings. This does not mean that he misses being crazy, but that he took out of that experience also good things, not only the painful and hard ones (of which of course there were, don’t get him wrong).

The style

It is written almost like a stand-up monologue, so it keeps jumping here and there mixing up past, present, etc. You can’t help reading it in his voice, and that adds to the stand-up factor, which is no bad thing in my modest opinion. You can find some screenshots off social media and, interestingly, some emojis. Some might turn their nose up to this but hey, I think what he’s going for is something informal and so, he succeeds. You have the feeling of reading a very long email your friend is sending you (a very funny and gifted friend, of which I don’t think anyone has many around).

Final Mark

It was quite the surprise. I mean this is a comedian known for his dry, deadpan comedy and he is clearly an intelligent person, so I was expecting not to hate it, but I really enjoyed it. The only negative for me is that it does not go super deep but hey, considering this is a story told by a comedian, it is probably not to be expected. And yet you can also find a lot of heart and pain, and so all in all and considering it is a very short book, it is to be admired and appreciated. 

7.5/10

On Goodreads.

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