Norberto Luis Romero is an Argentine, now a citizen of Spain. He writes a wide range of fiction — from realistic to extreme fantasy.Romero won the first Noega Award for Short Fiction, from Asturias, for his book of stories Transgresiones. Since then, he has published two other collections — Cancion de cuna para una mosca domestica (Cradlesong for a House Fly) and El momento del unicornio, published by Leaping Dog Press under the title Last Night of Carnival — and five novels (Signos de descomposicion, La noche del zepelin, El Lado oculto de la noche, Isla de sirenas, and Ceremonia de mascaras).
Romero has worked in advertising, is a specialist in animated cartoons, and has worked in the film industry in Argentina.
His stories have been published in Canada and the United States. This is his first book-length collection to appear in English.
- “Romero’s stories are many things: dangerous, seductive, poignant, voyeuristic, sadistic, righteous, even pious. Sometimes these aspects manifest within the one story. In a doco I saw several years ago, Terry Jones of Monty Python fame paraphrased the poet Browning when he said that one artistic idea added to another artistic idea does not make a third artistic idea — it creates something magical, a star: Romero often blends two or more often opposing concepts to produce something quite heavenly and beautiful (even beautifully tragic, if that makes any sense). Whether or not the author intends to do this as part of a technique, I don’t know, but it works all the same.”
— Matthew Ward, Skive Magazine, Australia
- “These dark, sensual, and disturbing short stories are creepy, to say the least, portraying an obsession with death, sexual sordidness, and the grotesque. In ‘A Taxidermist’s Diary,’ for instance, a son is annoyed with the ‘monsters’ his mother brings in from the street, people suffering from physical trauma and congenital abnormalities. The son also is having trouble finding quality material to fully display his prodigious taxidermy skills. As one might guess, he finds an elegant, if macabre, solution to both problems at once.Throughout this collection, sex is dangerous, compulsive, and threatening. And more often than not, death is welcomed as ‘the perfume which comes from the sea.’ This is not light reading. Yet the quality of insight transforms the often vulgar subject matter. In ‘The Odor of Seaweed,’ a paralyzed man begs for death from his various family members, but all his entreaties are ‘refused with gentle, kind words although their badly dissembled terror was reflected in their eyes.’ The stories give compelling voice to humanity’s ‘badly dissembled’ terrors, weaving a rich tapestry out of grim extremes.”
— Cheri Crenshaw, Fearless Reviews
- “ If there is one thing the writing world could do more of it’s short story collections. The short form can be varied, weird and always interesting. That can go for most short stories in general but for Last Night of Carnivalit certainly rings true.The author has a nice turn of phrase and can certainly set the mood in his story, painting his scenes with just the right amount of words. The only downfall for me is the way some of the stories suddenly turn dark after setting up a nice introduction. But that’s a personal thing. On the whole Norberto can hold a storyline and keep it going with subtle plot twists that are very evocative and erotic without being too exploitative or explicit.An enjoyable and different book and certainly one to curl up in bed with!”
— Deian Vincent, New Hope International Review On-Line