Author(s): Ivan Repila
A brave, original allegory of our modern world 'It looks impossible to get out,' he says. And also: 'But we'll get out.' Two brothers, Big and Small, are trapped at the bottom of a well. They have no food and little chance of rescue. Only the tempting spectre of insanity offers a way out. As Small's wits fail, Big formulates a desperate plan. With the authority of the darkest fables, and the horrifying inevitability of all-too-real life, Repila's unique allegory explores the depths of human desperation and, ultimately, our almost unending capacity for hope.
Ambitious and relentless... The Boy Who Stole Attila's Horse is high art, an imaginative allegorical work of breathtaking yet restrained lyric power... magnificently rendered into English... [soars] like an epic poem... This exquisite, terrifying novella is daunting and magnificent, a book that celebrates storytelling as the truest way towards understanding existence Irish Times Ivan Repila is one of Spain's intriguing young literary talents... strange and haunting South China Morning Post Its depiction of madness is as affecting as any I've read in modern fiction... Seek out this treasure; prepare for a knock-out Big Issue An allegory... of economic inequality, and revolutionary rage... a book which packs huge weight for its size -- John Self Asylum A stark allegory about the experience of being arbitrarily imprisoned... Repila gives us ground for optimism in this climate of austerity... the ending of this bitter-sweet fable of our times is both tragic and a call to arms TLS Has the unfailing grimness of a fairytale... A dark allegory for modern capitalist society... explores the limits of the human mind and our enduring capacity for hope Booktrust The language supports the story's imaginative breadth...Repila's style is witty and refreshing New Statesman Beyond brilliance... may well in time emerge as one of the most widely celebrated books of the decade -- Eileen Battersby Irish Times Utterly fascinating... a novel with a message that cannot be ignored The Bay A deeply unsettling but compelling novella with all the visceral, elemental force of myth and folktale Lady A powerful book, with a fine twist at the end Literary Review Beguiling -- Scott Esposito BOMB Magazine! Hughes's vibrant translation aids Repila's lyrical descriptions of anguish and hope, and the narrative's intelligence and depth make it a gripping read Publishers Weekly Beautifully-crafted and effective... It is beautifully written. Much of what is presented is also very dark and raw, but it is also a hopeful novel - angrily, almost furiously hopeful, but nevertheless. A very fine small work - and one very much of and for our times. Complete Review The project of the always brilliant Pushkin Press via the translation of the very best in modern European Literature for an Anglo-audience. My pick of their bunch from 2015 is the Spanish writer Ivan Repila's allegorical novel The Boy Who Stole Attila's Horse. Human desperation vs the necessity of hope, told via fairytale, this is big-picture writing at its most imaginative and unpredictable Huffington Post
Ivan Repila (b. Bilbao, 1978) is a Spanish writer celebrated for the originality and depth of his prose. He worked in cultural management and as an editor, before turning to writing with his highly acclaimed debut novel, Despicable Comedy. The Boy Who Stole Attila's Horse, his second novel, is his first book to appear in English.