Juan Cárdenas

NOVEL | 2015 | 176 pages

Ornamento tells the encounter between a scientist and a group of volunteer women who serve as guinea pigs to test a new leisure drug that only works on women. Among them, there is a special case, a strange woman that goes by the name of Number 4 and who becomes emotionally involved with the scientist and his wife—a prestigious artist in the midst of a creative crisis. The irruption of Number 4 in the lives of this couple has a devastating and corrosive effect on their certainties, built from a position of social and economic privilege.

Ornamento is a novel written in an addictive prose, a journey into the heart of evil, an exploration of the societies founded in hate as well as a horror novel that tries to figure out in which measure the individuals are intimately crossed by the political history. Ornamento is a provocation to the readers, so that they can think in the possibilities of art as an ideal field to examine the evils that have enchanted us.



Ornamento is a novel dense in ideas, witty in its style (with such brilliant formulas as the reference to a “baroque of drug barons”) and close to the prophetic in its denouncing speech.
— Nadal Suau, El Cultural
A novel of high density – in terms of ideas, plot, language – Ornamento is the confirmation that Juan Cárdenas is one of the most interesting writers in the Spanish language today.
— Daniel Saldaña París, Tierra Adentro
Juan Cárdenas has conceived a maddeningly delightful, genuinely literary novel.
— José de María Romero, Revista de Letras



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