collection by Santiago Eximeno,
translated from Spanish by Daniele Bonfanti
(2020, Independent Legions)
Santiago Eximeno’s first collection in English. The original Spanish book won the Nocte Award of the Asociación Española de Escritores de Terror.
Umbrìa is always there. You know it.
A surreal city, an underground maze dug in stone, with its hanging bridges and stairs twisting above the abyss. People, and things that aren’t people, live in the tunnels and lairs. They mate, they torment their victims, they watch, they laugh, they live strange lives far away from the light of the Sun.
It’s always behind the wrong corner – the wrong choice. There are many ways (too many) to reach it: a hole in the wall, a weird door, a mysterious shop. A closet.
Santiago Eximeno tells something he knows he shouldn’t about Umbrìa, creeping and crouching and lurking just behind the lives of ordinary people of today’s Spain, each struggling against their ordinary griefs and troubles, against themselves. He tells the stories of flawed, contradictory characters chasing each other from one terrible, heartbreaking story/chapter to the next, every time a little more seeping through about the bigger (hidden) picture. They’re linked by broken families, loss, dying relationships, mood disorders and addictions… and these very ordinary experiences are the perfect tickets to Umbrìa.
It just takes a wrong step.
You won’t find any way out in this book.
This is not a novel, this is not a collection.
This is an invitation.
You shouldn’t be here.
Translation by Daniele Bonfanti, Cover Art by Adrian Borda.