Rafael Courtoisie, Santo Remedio


The book starts with this sentence: “I just killed my mother.” It goes on to describe where the body lies, its position, how son Pablo Green opens the window to air the room. He then has to close it because it is raining and the floor is getting wet.

Pabro goes for a walk and is pursued for a walk and his pursued by rottweilers. He sprains his ankle and a woman who opens her door to him supposedly to help him locks him up in her basement. He manages to escape… And returns home, behaving as if he had not kills his mother and she was still alive. He reaches his mother’s door, rings the bell, waits, calls out to her, eventually finds his own key to unlock the door.

Pablo is a troubled man. He may mean well, wishing to avoid his mother any further suffering, but the choice that he makes sets off a cascade of events that lead to a series of deaths. The fortune-teller.  The annoying neighbor who plays the trumpet. The janitor. His mother’s oncologist.

His mother’s spirit, talking to him through a medium, makes suggestions on how to dispose of some of the bodies.

Pablo sleeps with the janitor’s wife.

Pablo gets the oncologist’s daughter pregnant.

They move to Switzerland and get their happy ending.

This book is an ode to absurdity, to the meaninglessness of causes and consequences, to the power of the idiot to the change the course of so many people’s lives.


Courtoisie, Rafael. Santo Remedio. Lengua de trapo, Madrid, 2006.

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