Pure Bred Chihuahua, or PBC, is the first book of Renaissance Man, Marco Zaffino; Film maker, writer, photographer, artist and many other things, Marco does it all, to a very high standard and off his own back and hard work. Internationally recognised feature films, and having written 14 feature screenplays, aside from PBC 4 more novels in draft form; His passion is palpable! But enough about him, on to the book!
PBC is a very unusual story, I like to think of it as an antidote to the awful Twilight novels and the like which clog up the Zeitgeist with their commercialised drek. PBC is as they are, a fantasy adventure story which concerns itself with magic, vampires and otherworldly characters, however this does not detract from the book.
With a fractured use of multiple narrators, a timeline that flits between years at the drop of a hat, great characters, thought-provoking & clever observations and some truly beautiful use of language (especially in the descriptions of people, places and feelings) this book seems to me highly original. Zaffino has a way with storytelling which adds to the experience of reading which perhaps few can attest to, I would compare it with Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky, totally different I know! but stay with me…
The way both books are written add to the feeling of tension, anxiety, commotion/action, which the story or character demands; it gives the narrative a frantic, fleeting even confusing feel, to the point where you feel as one of the characters, basically it really works to put you in their head emotionally. It makes for difficult reading in places, and much is left unexplained or even confusing to the reader, I say GOOD! I don’t want my book to be pre-packaged and obvious, I WANT to imagine, be confused, have to work things out for myself.
To me his use of contrast is also interestingly comical, action jumps from Rochdale to Florence; Sure, why not!? Detailed descriptions of food that make your mouth water, then directly into an equal description of cold blooded murder; in an instant.
I don’t want to write much on the actual storyline or characters as that is where half of the fun comes from, but the story is focussed on Vernon Young; a young, possibly crazy, definitely brilliant man and his adventures with ‘Visiting’. Visiting is, and again I don’t want to explain too much, similar to ‘remote viewing’, to travel without travelling… or to travel not in the sense we know it. He is joined by a whole cast of brilliantly off the wall characters who join him on his trips into worlds which at times have an incredibly surreal basis. the book really is him finding himself, which side will he fight for in the coming war? Initially nothing is made clear, to him or to us.
In this way the book is definitely a set-up for the future novels, of which I believe this is the first of three. It has hooked me and I can’t wait to find out more about Vernon and his fucked up band of friends and enemies!
PBC is published by Pitseleh Fiction. Find out more about Marco Zaffino and his work here. You can purchase PBC paperback edition directly from Amazon here, or the Kindle edition here and I recommend you do!