An experimental, kaleidoscopic novel about the clash of empires and ideas, told through a tennis match in the sixteenth century between the radical Italian artist Caravaggio and the Spanish poet Francisco de Quevedo.
...[a] sublime novel ... dazzlingly vivid scenes, in a dazzlingly vivid translation ... Sudden Death does nothing less than deconstruct and reimagine the origin story of the modern world, and it does so in a way that allows history to breathe and shimmer and shift much like this mantle ... a work so beautiful that it might take your breath away.
What makes the novel so enthralling is the intimate humanity of its characters. Enrigue demystifies them using a rich, baroque naturalism, cut by flippancy and goofy jokes ... Throughout this mercurial novel, playing fast and loose with facts lets richer truths about the world emerge.
“Sudden Death is a splendid introduction to Mr. Enrigue’s varied body of work, but it also raises a question related to the themes of the novel: Why are English-language readers only now getting a glimpse of what this gifted writer has produced in a career that is already two decades old?