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Curse the Names


Robert Arellano, author of the Edgar-nominated crime novel Havana Lunar, returns with another spine-tingling noir from Akashic Books.

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

One of Deckled Edge Books‘s “5 Books With Diverse Perspectives You Can Read Today”

“In this unsettling mix of noir and paranormal obsession . . . Arellano displays a sly, Hitchcockian touch.”
Publishers Weekly

“Arellano pulls off the not-inconsiderable feat of making the disintegration of his hero more compelling than the end of the world as we know it.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Arellano’s taut prose [is] a trip into the mind of a man on the edge of delirium, piecing together a puzzle at the expense of his marriage and his sanity.”

“Arellano writes with pure movement and action . . . Curse the Names does exactly what Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone did so well. It takes the ordinary, the benign and relatable and turns it into a fast-paced romp with unexpected events and realizations at every turn. Don’t be surprised if you start this book and don’t look up again until you’re finished. Though its release has come at the doorstep of 2012, Arellano has definitely earned a late addition to my best books of 2011.”
—Ryan W. Bradley, The Nervous Breakdown

“Readers, fasten your seat belts for this one. Arellano’s novel is a dizzying Thompsonian concoction of noir crime thriller and alternately nightmarish and comic surreal psychodrama, spiced up with a heaping handful of local northern New Mexico flavor.”
Albuquerque Journal

Curse the Names reads like a top-notch thriller. Arellano is a master at mining the psychological landscape of his characters—the unique and in some cases downright eccentric subcultures of northern New Mexico: the dope-growing pariah ex-hippies, the brainy scientists of Los Alamos who’ve bartered their souls for big salaries, and the mercenary, self-medicating professionals who flock around them to feed off their scraps. Alternating between the hilarious and the dreamlike, the novel is imbued the sense of foreboding inherent to Los Alamos’ infamous ‘gift’ to mankind.”
—George Mastras, author of Fidali’s Way

“The nightmare intensity to Arellano’s prose gets under your skin. You won’t want to turn the lights out after reading it.”
—Charles Ardai, Edgar Award winner


High on a Mesa in the Mountains of New Mexico, a small town hides a dreadful secret. On a morning very soon there will be an accident that triggers a terrible chain reaction, and the world we know will be wiped out.

James Oberhelm, a reporter at Los Alamos National Laboratory, already sees the devastation, like the skin torn off a moment that is yet to be. He believes he can prevent an apocalypse, but first James must escape the devices of a sensuous young blood tech, a lecherous old hippie, a predator in a waking nightmare, and a forsaken adobe house high away in the Sangre de Cristo mountains whose dark history entwines them all.

A massive bomb is ticking beneath the sands of the Southwest, and time is running out to send a warning. James has to find a way to pass along the message—even if it ruins him.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Published: 12/27/11
  • IBSN: 9781617750304
  • e-IBSN: 9781617751097


ROBERT ARELLANO is the award-winning author of six novels including Curse the Names, Fast Eddie, King of the Bees, and Don Dimaio of La Plata. His nonfiction title Friki: Rock and Rebellion in the Cuban Revolution, was released in 2018. He lives in Oregon. His latest novel, Havana Libre, is the standalone sequel to his Edgar-nominated Havana Lunar.

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