The Extinction of the Species

Diego Vecchio



Having been bequeathed a legacy by Sir James Smithson, Zacharias Spears founds a museum to exhibit the latest specimens sent back from the west in Washington D-C. However, the exhibits are threatened by ravenous moths. Mr Spears' dream is to make it possible for everyone to travel to remote places and periods, going back thousands or millions of years at the cost of just a couple of cents and forty minutes of their time. When crowds eager to see fossils and jellyfish floating in a solution of formaldehyde flock to the museum, it seems that he has achieved his goal.
But museums, like literature, are cannibalistic in nature, devouring their own kind just as easily as they do stones, plants, embalmed pelicans, coins, fetishes, scalps, artworks and flying and swimming reptiles that drowned or lost their feathers in the Cretaceous period. With a little ingenuity, good lighting and a caretaker to make sure no-one touches anything, you can put just about anything on display in a glass case.
The Extinction of the Species is a natural history of museums, which are founded, expand, exhaust themselves and collapse in their grand quest to treasure things that once were, no longer are and never shall be again but that stubbornly refuse to disappear. It is also a weird alternative history about faith in progress, our lust for discovery, taxonomic drive and mania for collections and restoration. This is a unique, impeccably written, delightful choral novel; one that never ends.

Article El Pais Herralde Prize for the Novel (Spanish)

Article El País Babelia (Spanish)

Article La Razón (Spanish)

«The description of the genesis and evolution of the species is hilarious, a brilliant comic invention that mixes expressive ingenuity with parody of academic methods and pomposity. A clever novel about the transitory nature of the human condition.» Jesús Ferrer, La Razón


«Every word in the Extinction of the Species is redolent with a malicious sense of humour. A bamboozling series of events worthy of the inimitable Bouvard and Pécuchet themselves.» J. Ernesto Ayala-Dip, Babelia


«Don't be surprised if it reminds you of Georges Perec's games with objects in Think, Classify, or Jorge Luis Borges' fusion of the real and the fantastic.» Ricardo Baixeras, El Periódico


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