The Story of My Teeth, by Valeria Luiselli

Translated by Christina MacSweeney, narrated by Armando Durán and Thom Rivera.


“…the world of the mind is based on a compromise with logic.” (Vladimir Nabokov, Pnin)

Absurd and thoroughly enchanting, the story and Luiselli’s writing are magical. It’s rare I feel bereft on completing a novel, even the best novels I’ve read, but I was so disappointed when I realised I had come to the end of the book.


After a long career as a security guard at a juice factory Gustavo Sanchez Sanchez (known as “Highway” to his friends) decides to become an auctioneer. His intention is to make enough money to replace his teeth. While traveling the world hosting auctions he wins an auction for Marilyn Munro’s teeth and has his dentist implant them in his mouth, replacing his own.

When he meets his son Siddhartha from whom he has been estranged for 18 years, Siddhartha drugs him and steals his beloved Marilyn Munro teeth.

The story behind the story is included in the afterword by Luiselli. The book was commissioned by an art gallery and sponsored by Jumex, a Mexican juice factory. The book was read in parts to workers at the Jumex factory and their discussions about the book recorded and sent to Luiselli who used the recordings to help her shape the book. It is a wonderful collaboration which also includes a section by Luiselli’s translator, Christina MacSweeney who provides a fascinating chronology.

Valeria Luiselli proved herself an author to watch with her debut novel Faces in the Crowd, and The Story of My Teeth firmly establishes her work as something beyond the ordinary.

The two narrators of the audiobook, Armando Durán and Thom Rivera, are excellent. Durán co-narrated Faces in the Crowd and both have voiced several other well known novels by Latin American authors including Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

The Story of My Teeth is due for release September 15 courtesy of Blackstone Audio.

The Story of my Teeth (unabridged audiobook) • by Valeria Luiselli • translated by Christina MacSweeney • narrated by Armando Durán and Thom Rivera • 4.1 hours • published by Blackstone Audio • 2015 • ISBN 9781504664523

This entry was posted in 5 stars, contemporary fiction, literature, translation and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s