Last night of carnival
Kara Kellar Bell, Laurahird.com, 2006
Last Night of Carnival, a collection of stories by turns erotic, surreal, and provocative, comprises an exile aesthetic, where the speaker is not only an exile from his homeland, but also from the stale middleclass values of his parents, and from dead pieties of previous generations that have become ossified and codified in the culture. You will find in the pages of Last Night of Carnival a collection ofcharacters you will not soon forget: the professional mourner, who weeps forthose who die without family or friends to grieve for them, the man fromsubterranean culture that hoards jewels dropped from above while hiding from rats below, the list could go on and on. Norberto Luis Romero is an Argentine, now a citizen of Spain. He writes a wide range of fiction – from realistic to extreme fantasy. His stories have been published in Canada and the United States. This is his first book-length collection to appear in English.
Deian Vincent,C. Crenshaw, Fearless review, 9-11- 04
If there is one thing the writing world could do more of it’s short story collections. The short form can be varied, weird and always interesting. That can go for most short stories in general but for LAST NIGHT OF CARNIVAL it certainly rings true.
The author has a nice turn of phrase and can certainly set the mood in his story, painting his scenes with just the right amount of words. The only downfall for me is the way some of the stories suddenly turn dark after setting up a nice introduction. But that’s a personal thing. On the whole Norberto can hold a storyline and keep it going with subtle plot twists that are very evocative and erotic without being too exploitative or explicit.
An enjoyable and different book and certainly one to curl up in bed with!
Matthew Ward, Skive Magazine, Australia, 1- 9- 04
There are times when I truly wish I had learned another language when I was younger —spanish for instance— and as I commenced to read Norberto Luis Romero’s Last Night Of Carnival that feeling of regret again crept over me. H.E. Francis’ translation of Romero’s short stories is simply marvellous. I asked myself: how good must it be in Norberto’s original spanish tongue?
Romero’s stories are many things: dangerous, seductive, poignant, voyeuristic, sadistic, righteous, even pious. Sometimes these aspects manifest within the one story. In a doco I saw several years ago, Terry Jones of Monty Python fame paraphrased the poet Browning when he said that one artistic idea added to another artistic idea does not make a third artistic idea —it creates something magical, a star: Romero often blends two or more often opposing concepts to produce something quite heavenly and beautiful (even beautifully tragic, if that makes any sense). Whether or not the author intends to do this as part of a technique, I don’t know, but it works all the same. Examples