... one of the many linguistically adroit writers currently at work in what is an exciting era for Mexican fiction... That he can succeed in generating any sympathy for his frenetic lovers is entirely due to the ferocious eloquence of his prose, which has been magnificently well served by translator Frank Wynne’s Miltonic register... In what is a determinedly literary novel, rich in echoes of Dante, there are Shakespearean flourishes... Monge’s realist, deadly topical fiction is a weighty metaphor for our world gone mad... Monge balances the dour, apocalyptic brutality of Cormac McCarthy with lively, grim humour.
Though it’s meant as succour, and it succeeds in driving her on, the phrase’s obsessive repetition in this hellish text comes to recall Marlowe’s Mephistopheles: “This is hell, nor am I out of it”. As Epitafio and Estela so vividly demonstrate, mental pain is incomparably pernicious, given its tendency to externalize and thus replicate itself. Among the Lost tells of a hell burning right now, both in locations across the globe and in countless human minds. It’s a hell created and sustained by humans: self-perpetuating and difficult to escape.
From the very first pages of Among the Lost, we’re engaged, and compromised... It all contributes to the acrobatic leaps in register, between richly poetic and spat-out visceral expletive, somehow remaining all of a piece... Monge is one of the most talented and interesting young novelists writing from today’s Mexico, and it’s taken too long for Anglophone readers to gain access to his work... And we should have a lot more to come, if there’s any justice in the world.