The Islands by Carlos Gamerro

The Islands cover high res
It is the negative image of an autobiographical novel: the story of what did not happen to me but could have.
Carlos Gamerro

Carlos Gamerro

Ian Barnett

Jimmy Burns

Price: £10 / $15.95 (print), £5 / $8 (ebook)

Paperback with French flaps, 210 x 138 mm, 576 pp


eBook ISBN:

Original language:

Published by:
And Other Stories

Publication date:
1 June 2012 (UK); 1 Jan 2014 (N. America)

Buenos Aires, 1992. Hacker Felipe Félix is summoned to the vertiginous twin towers of magnate Fausto Tamerlán and charged with finding the witnesses to a very public crime. Rejecting the mission is not an option. After a decade spent immersed in drugs and virtual realities, trying to forget the freezing trench in which he passed the Falklands War, Félix is forced to confront the city around him – and realises to his shock that the war never really ended.

A detective novel, a cyber-thriller, an inner-city road trip and a war memoir, The Islands is a hilarious, devastating and dizzyingly surreal account of a history that remains all too raw.

More information

  • The Islands was published in English after it was discussed at the And Other Stories Spanish-language reading group in spring 2010. Readers loved its rambunctious energy and speculative sci-fi imaginings, as well as its depiction of the Falklands War.
  • Carlos Gamerro regularly visits the UK for readings. Sign up to our mailing list to find out more information.
  • This title was sent out to And Other Stories subscribers ahead of publication. Find out about subscribing to upcoming titles here.

Praise for The Islands

  • ‘Carlos Gamerro has written one of the most ambitious novels about the war.’ Jonathan Blitzer, The Nation
  • ‘Gamerro picks history’s what-the-fuck moments, which when found in fiction are so strange as to knock the reader momentarily out of the imaginary world.’ Ben Bollig, The Guardian
  • ‘Exhilarating, inventive and consistently absorbing.’ Stuart Evers, The Guardian
  • ‘A bravura piece of writing, with a cinematic sweep, sustained drama, and pitch-perfect dialogue.’ Martin Schifino, The Independent 
  • ‘The reader is dragged headlong by Barnett’s athletic translation … a highly addictive comic voice, its peaks of hectic farce underlaid by a delicate, deadpan absurdism.’ Lorna Scott Fox, Times Literary Supplement
  • ‘A weird and wonderful thriller … rife with surreal horror and rampant bad taste.’ Anthony Cummins, The Observer
  • ‘A genre-bending book’ Anne McElvoy, BBC Radio 3: Night Waves
  • ‘A generational, landmark novel’ Andrew Graham Yooll, BBC Radio 3:  Malvinas Madness
  • ‘A danger-laden, mind-bending and ultimately redemptive quest. […] There are more ideas here than most writers would fit in 10 novels.’ Tom Bunstead,  Independent on Sunday
  • ‘I urge you to find and read a copy of this important novel.’ Matthew Crockatt, Huffington Post UK
  • A complex and ambitious exploration of how history is memorialised’ Michael Sopp, The Literateur
  • ‘A dark and uproarious novel’ Untitled Books
  • ‘Gamerro displays great lyricism in his descriptions of the land of la pampa. He has a poet’s touch on the visions and themes he explores throughout the story. It’s a triumph.’  Ed Hart, Sounds and Colours
  • ‘Capacious in its scope; substantial in its themes; fluid in its movements; piercing in its wit; gripping in its horror, astringent in its social critique; and heartbreaking in its rendering of human frailties.  Were it originally published in English, it would be a Booker Prize contender.’ Rod Jackman, Philadelphia Review of Books
  • ‘Gamerro’s balls-out novel is a delirious mash-up … [His] gross, bleakly funny, violence-saturated satire of a psychologically damaged society hung up on impossible myth relies on epic hyperbole, masterfully translated by Ian Barnett. There is enough invention here for four novels, but this multilayered nightmare vision is deftly rendered and devastating in its intensity.’ Siobhan Murphy, Metro (UK) [20 June 2012, not online]
  • ‘Incredible powerful, keeping me alert and uncomfortable and deeply engaged on multiple levels from the intellectual to the dramatic.’ Steve Himmer, Necessary Fiction
  • “The Islands is a gripping portrayal of both the tragic and tragicomic ways in which the Falkland Islands (a.k.a. Islas Malvinas) have sculpted the personal and national identities of Argentinians for generations.” Christopher C. Guide, Alibi

Praise for An Open Secret (Pushkin Press, 2011) in UK press

  • ‘Haunting and disturbing’ Lucy Popescu, The Independent
  • ‘A literary thriller that has the makings of a classic’ The Economist

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