Jon Arretxe publishes the ninth feature of the character created nine years ago, ‘The look of the turtle’
Things have changed a lot for the Tour since leaving Burkina Faso and arriving in the San Francisco district of Bilbao. Toure himself, the protagonist of Jon Arretxe’s nine novels (Basauri, 1963), has changed a lot. The ninth, ‘The Tortoise’s Look’, was presented this Thursday by the author in San Sebastián, in a conversation with Erein publisher Uxue Razkin.
It has been almost ten years since Arretxe launched the saga, with the novel ’19 camera ‘published in 2012. Toure is no longer a poor man at first, “a skunk who was willing to do anything he was promised in exchange for a little money.” He continues to be a good person in the “deep-bottomed depths”, he still respects some of the red lines, but the blows he has inflicted on his life have gone on to nullify Toure’s scruples, lighten the boundaries. “It’s all over the place.”
From a material point of view, however, things are not going well for him, he discovered at one point that he was a fine thief, and that his ability to fill his pockets is full of money. It can be said, who would say, that Toure is rich, that he is sending more and more money to his family in Africa, and that he has a lot of luxuries at his disposal. Among other things, a beautiful apartment for rent in the Lavapiés district of Madrid.
However, Toure continues to move, and not always because he wants to. The writer is also a fan of moving. “I get bored if I always do the same thing. I’m trying to get into Toure’s head, and I need to move him. That is his destiny, his life is becoming a constant escape. In the end, things always get complicated for him, and he has to run away. ”
We were delighted to see Toure in Paris in the ‘Words of Distrust’ published in 2019, in a neighborhood where almost all the inhabitants were African; good money, for once, pseudo-detective and robbery more profitable than all the other trades he has tried. But things got complicated for him too, and he fled to Madrid.
The novel ‘Turtle’s Look’, in terms of plot, tells the story of the disappearance of some of the gems that Toure buried in Retiro Park. When he searches, he finds a turtle in their place, “and from there he tries to retrieve the treasure.”
Crude social criticism
The action, humor and lively dialogue are guaranteed, as in all of Jon Arretxe’s novels, but this one, like all the others, is more than just one of those “fashionable black light novels”. It is unusual, on the one hand, because unlike the other sagas in which the protagonists always remain the same, Toure has had a great quest for the novel.
In addition, Jon Arretxe is not afraid of gross social criticism. “It’s an essential complement to the black novel for me, and it seems more necessary than ever today. As the xenophobic messages of the right spread, I am very concerned about opposing it through the black novel. ” Driven by the situation, he has delved deeper into this area, and in this area, “this time the social outcasts appear with more prominence than ever before”.
There is no lack of humor in the novel, which takes place in a city that the author likes very much. Not even the great second-rate characters, who seemed to him the right neighborhood to locate Toure, were gifted to him by the Lavapiés district itself; not very numerous, but of great interest, and, as usual, based on the true inhabitants whom he has met during his stays there.
If the status quo is measured in money, Toure would be outside the set of socially excluded people because he had the money. However, “it feels weird. He has spent his whole life in misery, and suddenly he is rich, but he is always suspicious … He also says that he has almost nothing to do with the tour that took him to San Francisco “, but he does not feel out of place” surrounded by tourists and whites “.
Ian, too, wants to be legal in order to live in peace, to shake off the feeling of being always under suspicion, to achieve lasting peace, to want papers, and he won’t get that, for the time being. However, he will have more chances, as Arretxe’s head has started to take shape, the tenth of the Tour. He has announced that he will return to San Francisco, and has confirmed that the film, which will feature Toure, is also progressing. “If things go well, it will come in 2023,” he said.