Bodies of Summer by Martin Felipe Castagnet
Bodies of Summer
Martin Felipe Castagnet Trans. Frances Riddle
Dalkey Archive Press
In the future reincarnation is made possible by the internet. Souls are uploaded to the web and can be brought back to reality via a body of one’s choosing.
Bodies of Summer follows Rami’s return to reality to settle old scores inside the only corpse he can afford, that of a middle-aged overweight woman.
Author Martin Felipe Castagnet’s speculative idea is funny, absurd and intelligent. A mirror that attempts to capture our changing obsessions with both the internet and our bodies.
Both humour and horror are used to describe the weird and impersonal forces that govern a world in which the dead return at their own will and the living prepare for a virtual afterlife.
At times, Castagnet’s short novel is so brimming with ideas that it runs the risk of not allowing the story to breathe. However, Castagnet shows enough conviction in his experiment to ensure we run with the idea rather than the story.
Bodies of Summer is a worthwhile and considerate take on the failure of technology to liberate us. A relevant and thoughtful debut from the up-and-coming Latin American author.