American Triptych

General Fiction

By Carlos Rubio

Publisher : Xlibris

ABOUT Carlos Rubio

Carlos Rubio
A native of Cuba, Carlos Rubio came to the United States in 1961. A bilingual novelist, in Spanish he has writeen Caleidoscopio, Saga, Orisha and Hubris. In 1989 his novel Quadrivium received the Nuevo León International Prize for Novels. In English he is the author of Orpheus’ Blues, S More...



"Expert Latin-American satirist Carlos Rubio presents a new tongue-in-cheek masterpiece that scales new heights of satire even as it follows the life of a young protagonist in his journey through growing up and into manhood. Rubio pulls out all the stops on ironic humor in American Tripytch.

Rubio explores the potential of transformation in a young boy as he moves from one experience to the next in three volumes filled with the ironical embellishments of the Neo-Baroque writing style. In the first part entitled The Neophyte, Rubio unfolds the life of a young boy rescued from a flood by a somewhat dysfunctional convent of nuns. Instead of the expected moral upbringing instilled, he grows up to be virile and brazen with a perspective that is nothing short of hedonistic.

Bullwhip, the second installment, continues the adventures of the adolescent young man as he enters high school. He brings with him his solidifying philosophies and an “I don’t care” attitude, silently reconstructing the strict, academic atmosphere according to his whims. He gains his own notoriety, even as he faces down the local gang, and dodges the sexual advances of the vice principal. And while the individuals that oppose him get him cornered, a delightful twist of events sees him coming out on top.

California Fever concludes the exciting trilogy, exploring a more contemporary theme of events that begin with the young protagonist losing his memory after surviving an earthquake. Before long, he would venture into the life of a rock star as The Rocker, until he would be persuaded to enter politics. However, all this conceals a most unexpected ending, the consummation of what would seem an aborted desire of the hero’s soul.

Absolutely hyperbolic, parodical and phallic, American Triptych will tickle the brains and funnybones of readers who don’t mind the racy overtones and unrestrained sarcasm beneath the funny storyline.

Carlos Rubio’s AMERICAN TRIPTYCH charts new realms of satire. It’s a sort of cross between Gulliver’s Travels and Zap Comix with a dash of Pynchon thrown in. Rubio’s hero “comes of age” with girls aplenty and Neo-Baroque gusto. He is a foundling who grows and immigrates to a land of his own robust freedoms. American Triptych is a trip and a hot ticket too.

 The whole saga re-envisions this country we know, investing it with comic gold. America emerges symbolically as both the world’s womb and the battering ram. Characters roam the raw void of our land and its deep end opportunity. Sex assumes its more than rightful place; law and order break down along class lines as wild things seize the saddle and entropy seeds the American dream.

 In The Neophyte visit The Fetal Attraction (tavern for all who can’t grow up). Belt bourbon with Sister Gravity who is a nun too refined but can nurture the young hero (as he haunts the Convent of the Righteous Path). Grow up with a boy whose priapic philosophy of education soon replaces placement tests. Imagine a degree in Hedonism, a reign of pleasure, a philosophy of fun.

 With Bullwhip join lovers in cars that race, in clubs that never close, in joyous trouble with time. Beatitude ever vies with being lost as Bullwhip apes Dionysus in circles of suburban hell. A sheriff named Lovelace fondles his gun but loses his grip on vice. You will seek the next play on words, the next fable of liberty run amok in America.

 For California Fever will reveal all and nothing less than blithe capers, infinite jest or national amnesia. Seeking the shadowy Wheezer, Rubio’s plucky hero (now called “The Rocker”) is launched into the highlife and hubris of heavy metal bands as the lead singer of Gold Ru$h. From there it’s a short, suspenseful leap to politics where the mock pieties that define him lead to a thrilling finish.

 You have arrived in Rubio’s realm.  The Neo-Baroque style flourishes in Latin American literature, but Carlos crafts these books in his own supple English that convey the overboard amplitude of tongues employed in the service of Eros. Revel in the rotund sentences. Listen to a Cambodian monk sanctify body fluids and wisely lead our hero west of east.

 Carlos Rubio’s books show a storied career that careens in comic arcs of delight. American Triptych is something old made new for a new century. He is a swashbuckler who takes on the spiritual windmills of our time. The satire explodes our moldy myths that mask hypocrisy. As you turn these pages, your brow will unfurrow as great, fertile America unfolds in laughter.

                                                                             F. Ethan Fischer

                                                                   Editor of Antietam Review