The Burning of the Chiado

François VALLEJO

In August 25th 1988, the magnificent city of Lisbon was burning. Through his hotel window, François Vallejo was one of the first to hear the rumbling flames, to see the transforming sky, to feel the colours of the fire.

A few people refuse to evacuate the flaming neighbourhood. Each one of them is seeking something - or someone - and losing part of their humanity by wandering in the streets of Lisbon. But then comes Juvénal, inhabitant of Lisbon, who is too polite to be honest.

This mysterious and disturbing man has such an influence upon his "friends" that he is able to force them into confessing the profound and even unconscious reasons of this sudden clandestineness.

François Vallejo delightfully describes how a certain savagery takes over his heroes, how hunger, thirst and fear alter their identity, reveal them. The "crescendo" is set by the day’s light in which they can see each other, and the darkness of night - total darkness, since there is no electricity - in which.

Press reviews

Témoignage chrétien

« A burning city is beautiful. [...] When we finish up the last page, we think to ourselves : François Vallejo has grown even bigger in literature. »

Le Canard enchaîné

« A gripping adventure that can also be read as a fable on humanity! Vallejo is fearsomely manipulative. A real novelist, master of his visions: it’s enchanting. »

Magazine littéraire

« A short and frantic narrative. »

Figaro Littéraire

« The author places his characters in extreme situations to watch them push back their limits. An intact poetry of disaster. »

About the author

François Vallejo (ENG)
Francois Vallejo knows more and more where he comes from and seeks (...)

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