Set in a Mexican prison in the late 1960s, The Hole follows three inmates as they plot to sneak in drugs under the noses of their ape-like guards. The inmates desperately need to secure their next fix, and hatch a plan that involves convincing one of their mothers to bring the drugs into the prison, inside her person. But everything about their plan is doomed from the beginning, doomed to end in violence...
Unfolding in a single paragraph, The Hole is a verbal torrent, a prison inside a prison, and an ominous parable about how deformed and wretched institutions create even more deformed and wretched individuals.
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About the Author
José Revueltas is the synthesis of the Mexican soul: contradictory, unkempt, inventive, despairing, and shrewd. We love him dearly.--Pablo Neruda
This dark, disturbing, and powerful novel from Revueltas--who wrote it while imprisoned as a political dissident in Mexico's infamous Lecumberri prison--tells the story of three prisoners trying to smuggle heroin into their prison...everything goes wrong, the dissolution of the doomed plan comprising the book's nightmarish and unforgettable ending.-- (10/22/2018)
With the government's dehumanizing maneuvers so recently scored into memory, he devised a story in which dehumanization and reality are fastened together. A miasma pervades everything from the novella's prison setting to its guards, inmates, and visitors. His characters' humanity narrows toward nothingness here, surviving only in the fugitive kindnesses, the passing visions, the vestigial maternal instincts. These undulations of gloom and hope are now available to English readers. This translation is the result of a careful, yearlong effort by Amanda Hopkinson and Sophie Hughes. What they have prepared is less like a fusty literary relic than a shout, hoarse with fury and anxiety, that crackles into earshot.-- (10/31/2018)
The Hole, with its singular combination of oneiric horror and documentary realism, helped to galvanize a new cultural sensibility.
His legendary seventh novel, now in English for the first time, eschewed redemptive pieties. Its single, fevered paragraph is the darkest tale I've ever read....[a] black jewel of a novel.
Revueltas's febrile sentences are as concentrated and intense as anything by Thomas Bernhard or Hermann Broch.