César Aira

At final, a noir novel from the Argentine grasp of suspense and surprises

Maxi, a middle-class, directionless ox of a tender guy who is helping the trash pickers of Buenos Aires’s shantytown, draws the eye of a corrupt, trigger-happy policeman who will use a person ― together with blameless teenage ladies ― to damage a drug ring that he believes is working in the slum. a wierd new drug, a brightly lit carousel of a slum, the kindness of strangers, gunplay... irrespective of how critical the subject material, and regardless of Aira’s “fascination with city violence and the sinister underside of Latin American politics” (The Millions), Shantytown, like any of Aira’s captivating paintings, is stuffed with ask yourself and mad invention.

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