A darkly entertaining tale, Recital of the Dark Verses takes notes from Cervantes and Dumas and the absurdity of Shakespeare’s comedic mishaps, and never ceases to surprise in gruesome, cadaverous humor. With naive thieves, a perfume-scented corpse, and the many forms of the devil/trickster at play, we traverse the Spanish landscape on the backs of donkeys while debating whether verses written by St. John of the Cross were ecstatically written for God or for an illicit lover. Delight yourself in this playful but wise comedy of errors.— Tyler
A road novel, a coming-of-age tale, and a raunchy slapstick comedy that tells-in careening, charismatic prose--the (true) story of the theft of the body of Saint John of the Cross.
In August 1592, a bailiff and his two assistants arrive at the monastery of beda, with the secret task of transferring the remains of Saint John of the Cross, the great Carmelite poet and mystic, to his final abode. When they exhume him, they find the saint's body as incorrupt and fresh as when he died.
Thus commences a series of adventures and misfortunes populated by characters that seem to be drawn from mythology. Luis Felipe Fabre masterfully incorporates Saint John's verses into his prose, as if the saint had prophesied the delirium that would surround his own posthumous transfer. This funny, highly entertaining novel manages to honor the mystical poetry of the Carmelite while inviting the reader to reflect on issues such as the sacred and the profane, the body and the soul, and spiritual (as well as carnal) ecstasy.