Crime Fiction Alphabet 2011: A is for Arriaga

Guillermo Arriaga Jordán is a Mexican writer, screenwriter, director and producer. Born in 1958, he is the award-winning screenwriter of Amores Perros (1999), 21 Grams (2003) and Babel (2006) in collaboration with director Alejandro González Iñárritu. In 2005 he won the Best Screenplay Award for The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, directed by Tommy Lee Jones, at the Cannes Film Festival. Arriaga made his directorial debut in 2008 with The Burning Plain.

As a writer Guillermo Arriaga has published Escuadrón Guillotina, 1991 (The Guillotine Squad, 2007), Un Dulce Olor a Muerte, 1994 (A Sweet Scent of Death, 2007) and El Búfalo de la Noche, 1999 (The Night Buffalo, 2007 ).

A Sweet Scent of Death – Publisher’s Synopsis:  ‘The killing of a young girl in a small Mexican village ignites a powder-trail of gossip that erupts in further violence, in this suspenseful tale from the writer of the acclaimed movie Amores Perros. Early one morning in a deserted field, Ramon Castaños is confronted with the dead body of Adela, a lovely young girl whom he had only admired from afar. But his concern for her fate is so evident that within an hour of the bloody discovery, rumour of the death of Ramon Castaños’ girlfriend has spread to every corner of Loma Grande. The villagers, thirsty for revenge, cast about for a suspect or scapegoat, and hit upon the nomadic Jose Echeverri-Berriozabal, known as ‘The Gypsy’. Honour then demands that Ramon prove his manhood and avenge the unhappy Adela; Ramon realises that he must now live out his imaginary past as a brutal reality. Here as in Amores Perros, Guillermo Arriaga spins a tale of deception, passion, and violence, expertly interweaving story-lines and characters, and fusing tragedy with dark humour. The result is a compulsive work from one of the finest writers to emerge from Mexico in recent years.

Translated by John Page. Faber and Faber 2003. 176 pages. ISBN: 9780571214174.

You can see my review of A Sweet Scent of Death, HERE.

Guillermo Arriaga’s books have been reviewed by Jean-Marc Laherrère (in French) HERE, HERE and HERE.

For additional information you can check Guillermo Arriaga’s books HERE and Guillermo Arriaga entry at Wikipedia.

The Crime Fiction Alphabet 2011 Meme is hosted by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise.

5 thoughts on “Crime Fiction Alphabet 2011: A is for Arriaga”

  1. >I will put aside the fact he is responsible for one of my least favourite films of all time (Babel) and seek out his written fiction for the global challenge this year. Thanks.

  2. >José Ignacio – Yes, I was going to mention Babel, too, but that's not to say his books are not good. You've reminded me that I need to give this author a go. Thanks.

  3. >You are welcome Margot. Just bear in mind that the first two books (The Guillotine Squad and A Sweet Scent of Death) have received much better reviews that the third one (The Night Buffalo). See also Jean-Marc Laherrère opinion.

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