Cult filmmaker Jodorowsky’s (El Topo; The Holy Mountain) novel may be the ultimate piece of Jodorowsky arcana, a mind-bending adventure story on par with his wildest cinematic visions. In a South American mining town, a hard-bitten dentist/criminal called Crabby becomes the guardian of Albina, an enormous amnesiac prophetess who inspires extreme devotion in all she encounters. These include Crabby’s enemy—the lusty Drumfoot—and an enterprising hat maker named Amado Dellarosa, who takes Crabby and Albina under his wing in their ghost town, Camiña. There, the three companions commandeer a concert hall with Albina as the star attraction, performing a lascivious dance that excites bees and men alike, the latter to the point that they begin transforming into ravenous dogs. With the indefatigable Drumfoot in pursuit, Albina, Crabby, and Amado embark on a quest for a sacred cactus that can cure the encroaching canine fever and reveal Albina’s true nature. The ensuing adventure features (among other oddities) a jungle inhabited by humanoid parrots, bandits who ride atop giant hares, Himalayan monks, an Incan mummy, and plenty of highly profane sex. A surrealist novel par excellence, Albina and the Dog-Men is a dream, a prophecy, a hallucination, and a transfiguration such as only Jodorowsky could induce. (May)
"Deeply psychological and mysterious, the book will stimulate the imagination of the reader's mind to the extreme.”
“In his latest novel, Jodorowsky builds on his multi-decade long assault of the public imagination.... a fantastical and genre-defying parable of love and friendship.... Throughout this dark dream of a novel, Jodorowsky's writing is comic and occasionally mesmerizing. It is also ripe with horror and philosophical questions about what it means to belong, everywhere and nowhere. And while some of the subject matter is disturbing, it often carries the air of something ancient that you read children by a fire. For years Jodorowsky has proven the intensity of his imagination, and how far he is willing to go to present his singular vision to the world. He is a fully realized artist whose tales demand attention. At its core, Albina and the Dog-Men is a love story about two people committed to one another's survival and to discovering their potential. And, as with life, it is sometimes only through the weathering of a storm that our true capacities are made clear.”
—Juan Vidal, NPR Books
“[Albina and the Dog-Men] may be the ultimate piece of Jodorowsky arcana, a mind-bending adventure story on par with his wildest cinematic visions.... A surrealist novel par excellence, Albina and the Dog-Men is a dream, a prophecy, a hallucination, and a transfiguration such as only Jodorowsky could induce.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Composed like a feverish fairytale, Albina and the Dog-Men is a South American parable of self-acceptance and belonging that is fueled by prurience and colored with vivid, hallucinogenic details.... No moment of Jodorowsky’s book is at all predictable or familiar, and those who have a taste for the uncanny will be in awe over its undulations into strange, even godly, territory. The sensuality of the prose thickens as Albina’s situation becomes more tenuous, resulting in heady and appealing constructions.... As Albina and her followers traipse over barren lands and into forests protected by ancient Incans, the novel winds toward territory both magical and needfully human. The surreal methods of redemption in the novel’s final pages prove both glorious and moving. Jodorowsky’s is a work of unforgettable weirdness, a work whose movements are directed by sometimes violent mysticism and whose final lessons may speak to all who have ever dreamed of transformation.”
—Michelle Anne Schingler, Foreword Reviews, Five-Star Review
“An imaginative mythology from the incomparable Alejandro Jodorowsky... Like Alejandro Jodorowsky himself, Albina and the Dog-Men seems to be all imaginable things at once.... The language is instantly visual, and Alfred MacAdam’s deft translation is whimsical and fantastic without drifting into adolescence. Albina and the Dog-Men is the product of an unfathomable, affecting imagination.”
—Benjamin Russell, Americas Quarterly
“To read Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Albina and the Dogmen is to careen through a surreal landscape on a mythic roller coaster.... [Jodorowsky] deftly pairs the beautiful and the strange, the ugly and the lovely, the bodily hideous and the purified holy. His prose is poetic.... His precision is captivating. A translated work can sometimes suffer from dryness, but Alfred MacAdam has done a masterful job preserving Jodorowsky’s insane clip.... It’s fantastic.... Crude and clever, beautiful and weird, read Jodorowsky if you want to feel like you’ve run a marathon through a fever dream."
—Christina Kloess, Chicago Review of Books
“Is there a more thrillingly warped visionary artist working today than Alejandro Jodorowsky? ....Featuring a dwarf, an irascible woman, Incan iconography, and a search for a magical elixir hundreds of years in the making, the plot is pure Jodorowsky. It is psychedelic and weird in the best possible way — where else could you find a werewolf-type plot that manages to be a deep examination of desire and spirituality?... Jodorowsky’s madcap fantasy novel ... [shows] that despite featuring talking parrots, albino strippers, and giant hares, Albina and the Dog-Men actually has a lot to say about things like hope, depression, and the power of love.”
—Manuel Betancourt, Remezcla
“Alejandro Jodorowsky needs no introduction.... [Albina and the Dog-Men is] characteristically indescribable.... Freedom from limitations is something I really appreciate in [Jodorowsky’s] work. Most writers distinguish between genres, moods, and tones, but [he] puts it all together and pushes it out there.... Albina contains thousands of ideas, or at least hundreds of ideas. On every page, there’s a new idea, and then another.”
—Daniel Kalder, Los Angeles Review of Books
The man of his time, which is to say, our time… A shaman and apprentice, always polemical, often wild, ubiquitous and cosmopolitan… A wild story with eroticism, nasty insults, nudity, sexuality, lyricism, and a magical-scatological aura… A pilgrimage in circles that leads its exhausted characters through forty years of mutations before arriving at its destination, the same, happy place in a novel (and in what an author!), which allows the reader to pass without transitions, even with frequent shocks from the scatological surreal of the mundane and magical in the search for that mystery made of eroticism, pain, and oblivion.
“One of the most important Latin American writers… An almost cinematic story, a novel that becomes more magical and mysterious each time a new page is turned… What awaits is a detailed story of the metamorphosis each one of the characters goes through… An impassioned and carnal novel like few that have been as well received by the general public.
Lucid as few members of his generation are, Alejandro Jodorowsky has published Albina and the Dog-Men… Again, the aesthetic of which he already made a show in Where the Bird Sings Best: extreme magical realism to the limits of sexuality and spirituality… In the classic format of adventure novels, Jodorowsky proposes a search for the philosophy of sex through a literature that aims more for healing than for aesthetics. As Antonio Escohotado showed, the road toward beatitude starts with well-prepared genitals. And Jodorowsky knows it. Ideal for readers who aren’t as asexual as Tolkien, if that’s something that even exists.
With the symbolism always utilized with mastery by Alejandro Jodorowsky in a transcendent purpose, Albina and the Dog-Men is a fantastical novel that goes far beyond the reader’s mere entertainment… With Albina and the Dog-Men, Jodorowsky looks to break mental and psychological taboos that prevent many people from being themselves… This book should be taken as a work destined to provoke the reflection of its readers… Only the life experience of a psychological maestro like Alejandro Jodorowsky could give birth to this excellent novel. Enjoy it!
From avant-garde filmmaker and novelist Jodorowsky (Where the Bird Sings Best, 2015, etc.), a picaresque tale driven by metamorphosis and travels between space-time dimensions.After Crabby, a prickly, hunchbacked, acid-voiced teenager, loses her father and is kicked out by her mother, she embarks on a "tour of Chile, a country as long, thin, and foreign as her [Lithuanian Jewish] father." She makes a living selling adulterated cocaine until a storm of biblical proportions washes up Albina, a beautiful albino giantess being chased by Himalayan monks. Crabby saves Albina, feeling maternal toward her. Yet they establish a club in which Albina dances naked before miners stricken with sexual desire and religious ecstasy. Unfortunately, Albina suffers from an illness that, during moonlight, transforms her into a dog in heat. When she is threatened by men and bites them, they too are infected, and all become overcome with animalistic desire. Drumfoot, a corrupt cop who tries to take advantage of Albina using Crabby's criminal past as blackmail, falls victim to her bite. Across enormous rocky deserts, he pursues the duo, who are joined by a helpful hat-making dwarf torn in his love between the two women. Bizarre similes add to the carnivalesque atmosphere throughout. The whites of oglers' eyes are "like unconscious pelicans," and passing clouds are "like seagulls with rickets." In their quest for an antidote to Albina's canine disease, they encounter an Edenic hidden jungle where ancient Incan warriors and a witch doctor live. Each character mutates in some regard, between dog and human, ugliness and beauty, mortal and deity. Albina's transformation is the most cosmic, and her origin story and subsequent quest whirl off into mysterious if occasionally repetitive territory, a mélange of Zen Buddhism, Inca origin myths, and Christianity.A violent, raunchy story in which the sacred and profane manifest with supremely absurd humor.