The Storm


Translated from by

Published: December 4th, 2018



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Book Description

Through glinting, lyrical prose, González reveals flashes of the “monstrousness of life.” Set in a Colombian seaside village, The Storm twists around one family and the bubbling hatred of twins Mario and Javier for their father. Lost in delusions of grandeur, the father forces his two sons on a fishing trip despite a roiling storm. The novel turns between the stunning sands bordering the Caribbean Sea and the washed-up debris – cans, tooth-brushes, and battered shoes – that corrode its shore.

Slipping in and out of the twins’ minds, González’s prose traps the reader in a spiral of scorn, compassion, and fear that belies an otherwise lush, calm landscape. Whether peering into the maw of the brutal storm or catching a glimpse of one’s reflection in glassy waters, this novel submerges us in its profound depths. From one of Colombia’s most acclaimed contemporary novelists, The Storm is “threaded with lightning.”

Tomás González’s The Storm depicts an older man and his two sons caught on a dangerous fishing expedition...The underlying absurdity hints at a particularly profound ennui that González, a seasoned if underappreciated writer, investigates in this and other works from his remarkable oeuvre.
Héctor Hoyos, Public Books

In Andrea Rosenberg’s translation, the author’s stylistic traits—short and pointed phrases, poetic descriptions and poetic monologues—shine and linger in the reader’s ear...​​The Storm​​ arrives as a welcome addition to the international recognition of one Colombia’s most prolific and poetic writers.
Nicolás Llano, Asymptote Journal

Resentment and family dysfunction intensifies between twin brothers Mario and Javier and their father (“the old bastard”) just as a storm builds at sea, where the men fish outside their Columbian seaside village under glowering skies. Self-delusion, hallucinations, anger, volatility chafe against the soothing waters and the stars above, and González, one of South America’s most acclaimed and pitch-perfect novelists, plunges you into the brutality of man and nature alike.

Kerri Arsenault, Lit Hub

There is humor in the frequent revelation of self-delusions. There is also suspense as the storm—more interpersonal than weather-related—builds and breaks. Fabulist elements, lyrical prose, and a chorus of narrative voices give this slim novel depth and breadth.

Kirkus Reviews

Tomás González has the potential to become a classic of Latin American literature.

Elfriede Jelinek, Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature

González invokes both Hemingway and Faulkner in his treatment of tortured family dynamics and laces the three-way banter in the boat with a fascinating, near-toxic atmosphere of machismo.

Publishers Weekly

González’s last two novels, Difficult Light and The Storm [were] both hailed as quiet masterpieces at the time of their publication in Colombia... Through all his work you find the peaceful writing that admirably traces the ugliness of the world; the confidence of the narrative voice, seemingly conventional while eschewing the straitjackets of realism... [he has a] mysterious ability to uplift the commonplace and turn it into unforgettable images through careful observation and sensuous detail.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez, The Guardian


In the Beginning Was the Sea [is] a book that simultaneously works as a political parable, a novel, and a mournful confessional... written in a fashion meant to hold up his own grief and disorientation as its own strange flower, an emotional germination meant both to stand on its own and be inseparable from all that surrounds it, an individual "you," straining to emerge from a ceaseless body of discovery, loss, memory, and their insatiable repetition.

Los Angeles Review of Books

The lyrical, haunting story has the feel of a fable--a young man and his beautiful wife abandon their hectic, intellectual, night-clubbing life in the city to buy a farm on an undeveloped stretch of coast--while the spare, disquieting prose suggests the start of an art-house horror film.

Daniel Levine, Words Without Borders

González poetically and comically captures the inevitable destruction of those who live in a world of fantasy and hubris, depicting beauty and despair by turns.

Publishers Weekly

Read Daniel Levine’s interview with Tomás González from Words Without Borders.

Read Mark Reynolds’ interview with González on Bookanista.

Watch González speak at the 2014 Hay Festival.

Read Adriana X. Jacobs’ interview with González’s translator, Andrea Rosenberg, on Medium.

Read an excerpt from The Storm on the EuropeNow journal website.

Tomás González’s interview with Juan Gabriel Vásquez in Brick.