The Day I Killed My Father

Mario Sabino

The Day I Killed My Father
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The Day I Killed My Father

Mario Sabino

Blending suspense, tragedy, and profound reflection on the human soul, Sabino’s debut novel provides an unusual twist on a mystery story. We know he did it, but we don’t know why. From the simple and dramatic words of the title, echoed in the first line, the book begins with the narrator discussing his life with his therapist. The prose is bold and stark as the author explores what would drive someone to patricide. Whilst the plot holds us in absolute suspense, unable to second-guess the narrator’s next direction, Sabino articulates complex themes of religion, philosophy, and literature, seeking to investigate the nature of evil.


‘The day I killed my father was a bright day, although the light was hazy, without shadows or contours.’ Knowing who the killer is from the very first page is an unlikely way to begin a novel, but in the hands of Brazilian debut novelist Mario Sabino, it works exceptionally well. We move back and forth in time, trying to make sense as to how and why the main protagonist has done this. At stages we are witness to childhood memories retold, then the reader sits in on sessions with a psychologist.

The author uses literature, history, religion even poetry to draw the reader into this world – and draw you in he does. At times, I couldn’t put the book down. Chilling and sad, even on the same page, this book (which was a bestseller in Brazil) is one of the best I have read for a long time. The translation is by renowned Australian translator Alison Entrekin and was commissioned by Scribe – and for that they both should be congratulated.

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