THE STRANGERS by Jon Bilbao
Translated by Katie Whittemore
With their relationship hanging by a thread, Jon and Katharina have escaped for the winter to his old family home on the Spanish coast. There they struggle through the drudgery of their unstable jobs while tentatively sounding out their future together. One night, strange lights appear over the water, sparking a flurry of interest from amateur ufologists who descend upon the town en masse. Also appearing from nowhere is Markel, a cousin Jon can’t quite remember, and his assistant Virginia. Their presence is immediately unsettling. Threatening, even. They move in. Refuse to leave. Who the hell even is Markel?
If Hitchcock had borrowed from those Whitley Streiber books that used to scare the shit out of me as a kid, he might have come up with something as downright odd and creepy as The Strangers. Yet, Bilbao has fashioned something very much his own: an unlikely blend of literary fiction, domestic horror and sci-fi kookiness that does not so much tie up loose ends as unravel them with anarchic abandon. With the seat-edge tension of a thriller, The Strangers is a total blast to read.
The Strangers by Jon Bilbao (Tr. Kate Whittemore)
Dalkey Archive, 2021