Believe me, it does make sense.
I knew that something irreparable happened at the moment that a man oppened the door in that hotel room and I saw my wife sitted at the back of it, looking through the window in a strange way.
—Laura Restrepo, first sentence of Delirio
, or Delirium
if you speak english, is a 2004 novel from the Colombian writer and journalist Laura Resrtrepo. Mainly about Agustna, her madness, and her common, high-standard, water-obsessed family. Also drugs, The Cartel
of Medellin and sex. The structure is divided into 4 storylines that are told in fragments:
- Agustina and her husband, Aguilar, and her mental breakdown.
- Which Aguilar has to investigate, because the Police Are Useless
- Actually, they are rarely mentioned in the novel, and most of the times is just patrols passing by
- Minos, the conection between Escobar and the rich guys of Colombia. Also pretty much the Screw the Rules, I Have Money! main example of the bunch.
- Nicolás Portulinus, the mad German musician that always has to recite all the rivers in Germany.
- Which is being telled by Aguilar and Sofia, Agustina's sister, with the letters of Portulinus and the entries on Blanca's, Portulinus wife and Agustina's grandmother, diary
- Agustina's childhood and early teenage years.
On a side note, Saramago apparently loved it, or so they said here
Not to be confused with the American Young Adult book series
Contains example of the following tropes:
- Incest Subtext: Portulinus and her sister, but you never really know since he is not narrating the story.
- Technical Virgin: I have to quote Restrepo on this one:
- In Spanish ...y Agustina le pidió que le dejara tocar la Gran Vela, Él me dejó y esta vez ardía, ya no tenía la textura de la cera sino que ardía y me quemaba la palma,...
- In English ...and Agustina asked him to let her touch the Big Cangle, He let me and this time it burned, it no longer had the texture of the wax but it burned the palm,...
- For the record, yes, you just read the foreplay for a handjob.
- Do I have to add that she ends upp asking that to everyone she dates?
- Ends in Fate Worse Than Death, or so they say, when Minos took her the whole nine yards and did not marry her.
- The Don: Pablo Escobar.
- Dirty Cop: Ronald "Silver" Silverstein, borderline with Double Agent, but not due to the fact that EVERYONE knows he is fron the DEA
- He only "snitch" someone when Pablo Escobar tells him, Joao and Araña that Midas has his money.
- Big Screwed-Up Family: The whole novel is an example on this trope and its variations:
- Black Sheep
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Midas, Joaco, Araña and Ronald are some of the guys that break a lot of them. It ends up bitting only Midas' ass, but with only his life as main money washer 'death'.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Araña's accident that ends up making hip dysfunctional and Agustina's sex before marriage
- Villainous Breakdown: You do not want to anger Escobar, seriously, the rich guys ended up knowing that in the worst possible way.
- It also has a lot of God Tropes, to a point that the image of water and the father figure is a major aspect of the novel.
- It may also be why everything is so fucked up.
- And also explains Nicolás obsession with repeating the names of all the rivers of Germany.
- Awful Truth: Midas' confessions to Agustina, though it overlaps with Forbidden Fruit.
- Cassandra Truth: When Bichi's reveals her father infidelity to her mother, with pictures the father takes himself. But Brainwashing takes all credibility to the pictures.
- Meaningful Name: Eugenia's, who is Agustina's mother, philosophy and German ancestry, and Midas, well, he actually calls himself King Midas.
- Supervillain Lair: Escobar's humble home.
- Oh, Crap: The moment Midas discovers that he insulted and negated part of the family of Escobar to enter to his gym.
- Also when he learns the whole ruse Escobar made so his firends do the job for him.
- Not So Great Escape: Midas' escape plan.
- Surprisingly Happy Ending: Which is bizarre, after all the drugs, Car Bomb, Back Stab, Cassandra Truth, Incest Subtext and other not-happy stuff. Which it is also relative, since Midas is out of the business, living with his mom and watching telenovelas all day long, Bichi and Sophia auto-exiled in Mexico, Agustina now has to be on (medical) drugs, and Portulinus died like his sister