Translated by Natasha Wimmer.
Sudden Death is the History of Tennis wound round a journey through Spain, Mexico, Italy, and a Tennis match between Caravaggio and Francisco de Quevedo. A Tennis match that would lead to Caravaggio’s exile, lasting to just before his death.
“Novels demolish monuments because all novels, even the most chaste, are a tiny bit pornographic.”
I’m not sure if this is non-fiction, fiction or a mix of both (I don’t want know, lest I spoil the illusion). It’s described as a novel, but it is as if Enrigue is talking to us. It is a gloriously intense translation, very rich in language. I found myself bored with most of the Tennis history, while very engaged in the manipulation of the history, and the form of the book. It’s presented through many different means of writing, Enrigue talks to the reader, he fictionalised historical events, inserts (fiction or non-fiction) email chains, and script-like dialogue.
Just as the book discusses the origins of Tennis, its forms and mentions, Enrigue is forming the book in a way that is just as experimental as a new sport. Presented to you in its rough form without the rules.
“I don’t know what this book is about. I know that I wrote it I was angry because the bad guys always win. Maybe all books are written simple because in every game the bad guys have the advantage and that is too much to bear.”
That sentence is exactly why this book was worth reading, it’s so open it bleeds.
How do you feel about Tennis?
I requested this copy from Netgally in exchange for an honest review.