Published by Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date: December 11th 2012
Genres: Cultural, Fiction
Adam Gorozpe is a very put upon man. Like the first Adam he stepped into a Garden of Eden by marrying his wife Priscila, daughter of the wealthiest and most powerful man in Mexico City, and a festival queen in her own right. In doing so, he creates his own success and takes over his father-in-law’s place, while still placating the man by living in his home. Now his paradise is plagued with employees who refuse to remove their sunglasses in meetings and a vile man who also goes by the name Adam but whose sole purpose as Director of Security, seems to be Gorozpe’s downfall. His first move in this plan is wooing Priscila, who despite being the Queen of Spring decades ago, has shown her true nature with a propensity to slap the maid for no reason and, in Gorozpe’s words is a befuddled lady who speaks freely without the constraints of logic or reason. This is not a problem in itself as she has been replaced in Gorozpe’s affections by a woman who provides refuge and is known only as L. Up until this moment she has created the balance in his world.
…I’ve always described my private life, my career, and the society in which I live, as a paradoxical cage of freedom. I am free because my life is what I am, caged, yes, because all human society is a cage but a cage dominated by Adam Gorozpe, do you understand?
But when the other Adam’s actions impinge on this balance, Gorozpe must decide how far to go to rid himself of this venomous snake and restore himself as master of his universe.
In one of his last works, author Carlos Fuentes brings to bear the full weight of his talent in this darkly comedic novel, with all the sharp truths of current day Mexico’s political and economic climate coming to life in the form of Adam Gorozpe. The stream-of-consciousness narrative in Adam in Eden is wicked, arrogant, amusing, and rife with a sly knowledge of the world and how it works. As his troubles accumulate and the other Adam appears to be edging him out of his Eden, Gorozpe decides to take action and in doing so reveals who he really is, raising even more questions. A wonderful fable, Fuentes leaves the reader pondering right and wrong and good versus evil, but laughing all the while.