Fiction  > Contemporary  > Love And Rockets & other Los Bros

Julio's Day h/c

Julio's Day h/c back

Gilbert Hernandez


Page 45 Review by Stephen

Long have I loved Beto, but this blew my brains out. On page after page after page, this is arresting.

“People who have secrets go to Hell.”

This is the story of Julio Reyes, from the moment he’s born screaming until the day he dies gasping for air. It begins and ends with a gaping black mouth. There: I’ve given it all away.

Actually, I have told you nothing, and I intend to keep it that way.

It is not the story of Julio who is but a witness to his family’s travails, for he emphatically does nothing at all. He keeps everything bottled up, right to the bitter end. He wastes his entire life. Instead he witnesses others going off to war and falling in love; dying, lying and crying. Some will cry over him but Julio is resolutely impassive. Or missing something – an emotional chip, maybe. I’ve known people like that.

So it is instead the story of several generations of his family – of his sister and her daughter and her daughter’s son and grandson – who do quite wonderful things and quite shocking things. There are a good five buzz words that would send you scurrying to this book, but I cannot deploy them or you would not then be shocked. Trust me: you will be shocked. And pleasantly surprised.

It is a book about love, about lust, about helping others and taking advantage of them. It is a book about family. It is a book about 99 pages long and about £15 unless you have a student card, a UB40 or an Old Age Pensioners’ bus pass.

The landscapes are astounding: great big rock formations and mudslides and torrential rain. The skies at night are the stuff of the Northern Lights.

There’s a certain formality to it, as there is to Julio and indeed this review. It begins in 1900 and ends in the year 2000.

“No secrets in the house!”

Don’t you believe it.
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