The Supernatural Enhancements
by Edgar Cantero
368 pages / $12.58 Buy from Amazon
Judging from the strength of Edgar Cantero’s English-language debut, I’m hoping for news that translations from Catalan of his first two novels, Dormir amb Winona Ryder and Vallvi, are forthcoming. A weird, transgenre metaphysical horror mystery novel that embraces in equal measures mysticism, cryptology, and the 20-something narrator’s creepily endearing relationship with a mute 15-year-old Irish punk, The Supernatural Enhancements is the most refreshingly idiosyncratic genre book I’ve read all year.
Told in various documentary forms including epistles, transcriptions of audio and video recordings, and scraps of written conversation between European transplant “A.” and his protege Niamh, a young girl rendered mute by an unspecified trauma who communicates entirely via gesture, whistles of various pitches, and pen and paper, The Supernatural Enhancements is the story of A.’s unexpected inheritance from a distant, hitherto unknown American relative, Ambrose Wells, of a comfortable fortune and the entire contents of Axton House, an old Virginian manor known to be haunted both literally and figuratively. Protip: do some research into traditional Irish names before you start reading and save yourself the embarrassment of mispronouncing a major character’s name for 350 pages.
–Reviewed by Byron Campbell
There’s only a week left until Halloween! In addition to the #VERYSCARY series, we’ll be featuring some capsule reviews this week of some of the spookier books that have come out this year to get you prepped for the best day of the year.