Original language: Español

Year of publication: 2023

Valuation: Lets you read < It's okay

In Like every day, a man witnesses two thieves robbing his neighbors’ apartment. This fact will disrupt the next week of his life, and will make him rethink, at least apparently, his love and work relationships.

Thus, an extraordinary event causes the existence of a nondescript character to take a 180 degree turn in Álex Oviedo’s novel. Such a premise is similar to that of works such as Wilt, Dove, Mustache o Belle’s death. Although Oviedo’s fiction may be more reminiscent of the first than the remaining three, not only because its tone is casual and humor permeates the story, but because here there is a turning point that disrupts the protagonist’s routine, but not as much as this one would like it.

Let’s start by highlighting the positive aspects of Like every day:

  • Its 150 pages can be read in one sitting.
  • The first-person narration is direct and full of Spanish expressions.
  • The prose has flashes of great quality. For example, this brushstroke of characterization of a secondary character called Batarrita: “The bovine gaze of someone observing a train without knowing which direction to take.” Or this other one, focused on Naia, for whom the narrator feels great attraction: «She has very thin lips, and when she speaks I begin to focus not on her eyes but on her mouth, wondering if her kisses will be absent-minded and elusive, wild and passionate. .»
  • Some passages are very well written; I especially liked the one in which Naia and the protagonist go to his house, because of the tremulous emotion it transmits, or the action scene at the climax, because of its fluidity and tension.
  • The naturalness of his dialogues.
  • Paula, a friend of the protagonist, is superbly outlined, as are the oblique interactions that both have.

Next, let’s list the least successful sections of Like every day:

  • The literary and cinematographic references seem excessive.
  • His sense of humor doesn’t always work, although he is generally quite endearing and even witty from time to time.
  • His argument is somewhat schematic; certain subplots are not credible (I think, for example, of the one that forms the relationship between the protagonist and Naia), they fail to cohere with the whole or they lack the development that their potential promised.
  • I like that Oviedo leaves things unexplained; for example, how it is possible that the thieves have fled from the police on different occasions, or what they were looking for in the apartment of the protagonist’s neighbors. Unfortunately, the author places too much emphasis on both questions and, therefore, the lack of answers from him is more frustrating than suggestive.

Summarizing: Like every day It is a short, entertaining and competent read. However, it leaves the impression that it could have been substantially improved, either by polishing those elements that creak, or by taking it in more evocative directions (unreliable narrator, psychological emphasis…). In any case, his modest intentions help us admire his virtues and ignore his defects.

Source: https://unlibroaldia.blogspot.com/2024/01/alex-oviedo-como-todos-los-dias.html

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