Reviews

“Powerful [and] willfully strange.” O, The Oprah Magazine – Ten Titles to Pick up Now, January 2016

Mr. Wilson, whose influences run from sci-fi to Steinbeck, tells his underdog story with lusty energy, filling it with all manner of portents and miracles, “like something out of the Bible,” as one onlooker exclaims. Here be two-headed wolves, megalithic crocodiles and life-saving dragonflies. And the final battle between the army and the unarmed but united damnificados is the stuff of legend.” Wall Street Journal

“Extraordinary.” LA Progressive

“Take a seat. We are going on an adventure … colorful sculpted characterizations and intricate tableau settings … epic.” The Independent

Damnificados is a great read. Wilson takes this real-life story and molds it into a fantastic fable about the collision between the haves and the have-nots in a fictional South American city.” World Literature Today

“Hard-hitting … in the kind of language that packs a serious punch … display[s] the precise observational skills, the facility with language, and the ability to make a tale speak fresh volumes.” The Times, London

“Inspired … Wilson’s novel of magic realism is a modern retelling of the classic hero’s journey, complete with a two-headed beast, a flood of biblical proportion, miraculous healing, and deus ex machina. The author’s elegant language makes even the darkest of situations beautiful. Sure to attract readers who enjoy a touch of magic mixed in with their tales of social justice.” Library Journal

“… A timeless reminder of the strength and character found in those struggling to eke out an existence at the bottom rungs of society. … Thoughtful and intense, but with a core of humility and self-awareness, Damnificados is an extraordinary, magical, inspiring tale of community and conscience.” Foreword Reviews

“A tale of societal misfits who occupy the unfinished Tower of David in Caracas, Venezuela … original and brilliant.” Washington Square News

“Amaworo Wilson creates a world where people and things that are thrown away come alive and where neglect breeds creativity and tyranny breeds defiance … at its best it feels like a manifesto. Amaworo Wilson invokes the urban poor as a global force and invites us to identify with it.” Socialist Worker

“It has all the elements — social realism combined with aspects of myth, folklore and the fantastical, as well as sympathy for the downtrodden and for social justice. … Brimful of ideas … crisp, pacey prose … scenes described in telling detail.” Socialist Review

“A wonderful, often funny, story … a gritty, urban, heroic tale of revolution. Amawaro Wilson has taken a real-life event and added a twist of magical realism to create this tale of an urban utopia.” BookRiot: No. 1 on “5 Small Press Books to Read in January”

“An invigorating tale about human beings clinging by their fingertips not only to a sustainable way of life, but to their very dignity, and shouting back at the wealthy with what breath they have, proclaiming they will not be ignored or silently pushed aside. The novel is delightfully imaginative and cuttingly insightful. If Gabriel García Márquez wrote a politically-revolutionary novel with dystopian overtones and published it through an indie press, it would be something like this. That is a compliment. Damnificados is engaging, provocative, and wholly original.” Fourth and Sycamore Literary Journal

“Flows like a big, memorable dream: powerful, improbable and compellingly real in its sumptuous detail.” Desert Exposure

“This is a remarkable first novel. Amaworo Wilson creates a terrifying yet believable world peopled by the dispossessed and a whole cohort of mythic archetypes. Set in an unspecified land in an unspecified time, Damnificados tells the tale of the efforts of a group of outcasts to create a community in an abandoned urban tower. The author’s unflinching prose is infused with compassion, but never with sentiment, and his depiction of moral integrity in the face of everything a hostile world can throw at it is compelling and ultimately uplifting. Cormac McCarthy meets Gabriel García Márquez.” The Frogmore Papers

“Intriguing … When a collection of misfits and the otherwise disenfranchised settle in a building, their attempt at organization parodies the structure of the society that has rejected them.” Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

“JJ Amaworo Wilson is a magician with boundless talent. [He] is a master of evocative details … [He] knows our human strengths and weaknesses and portrays it all. ” Silver City Quarterly Review

“A great book … better than magic, better than Marquez.” Mayday Bookstore blog

“Full of wonderful magical realism, motley characters you become attached to, a narrative capturing your attention, sturdy writing. Imaginative and creative read…. Wilson’s innovativeness really comes alive, a poignant tale, strong messages carried throughout the characters and narrative. Looking forward to more from this talented author.” The Discerning Reader literary blog

“Wilson masterfully tells of the struggle between the poor and the powerful (Torres brothers) with a little bit of magic. Pure fiction and part fantasy, it is an easy read that you do not want to put down.” Collected Miscellany blog

“Wilson’s skills as a novelist are impressive, and his scope in Damnificados is global: his vision of a Latin American city that casually and fleetingly connects to Africa and Japan makes this novel a world myth [and his] characters are effortlessly individual.” katemacdonald.net

“It reminded me of the one-foot-in-fantasy storytelling of Neil Gaiman where the world runs along its usual course of poverty and sadness, yet sometimes it doesn’t. Romance can blossom, love can flourish, miracles can happen … [A] fun read, very punchy, very creative.” http://www.robertraymond.com

“The writing is rich, the story is lively, the characters are fascinating, the action ranges from mundane to mythic. The book is a delightful carnival ride of the imagination.” freethoughtandmetaphor.com

“A Homeric fable … a spritely, enjoyable read [which] offers hints as to what life in the squatter’s tower block might have been like. http://doeeyedcritic.blogspot.co.uk