What is it about?

Los perros duros no bailan (2018) follows the model of Cervantes´ “El coloquio de los perros” in both form and content. Not only dogs can talk, but its narrative shares its ‘exempla’ intention, its mixture of reality and fiction and its use of references to those considered classic by its author. The borderline between reality and fantasy is blurred in order to show the miseries of society. In order to transgress the anthropomorphic point of view which has given way to a world full of violence and corruption, the limits between the world of humans and that of animals is diluted by the so called “animal turn”. Following the model of “El coloquio”, Pérez-Reverte benefits from a number of classics, -Cervantes, Shakespeare, Dante, Conrad, Orwell, Mailer-, and historical references, -Espartacus-, and film, -Blade Runner-, to show us a world of violence and injustice, but also one of heroism, loyalty and utopia

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Why is it important?

Many of Arturo Pérez-Reverte´s fans and haters are used to listening and reading about his love for dogs and his despise for politicians and law makers in general. Many believe this short novel is more of a call for help to stop illegal dog fights. However, a deep analysis reveals the author has benefited from many of the philosophical concerns and techniques employed by the author of Don Quijote, Miguel de Cervantes, in his short story "El coloquio de los perros", along with a number of other well known classics. "Los perros duros no bailan" can surely be read as an easy piece but, following Umberto Eco´s Duoble Coding, the intertextual connections lying underneath provide a much more enriching and complex literary and humanistic universe.


I truly hope those who dispised the novel as just another easy reading can give it a more careful consideration. If anything, Arturo Pérez-Reverte always makes use of numerous intertextual references which run well beyond any superficial reading

Dr Emilio L Ramon
Universidad Catolica de Valencia San Vicente Martir

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This page is a summary of: Los perros duros no bailan: novela ejemplar cervantina y novela perez-revertiana, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, March 2020, Liverpool University Press, DOI: 10.3828/bhs.2020.16.
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