Sex scout and non-Omnisicent Narrator, Moises, roots through garbage dumps and immigration shipwrecks to find the next prize for the Barcelona club who employs him. Alongside particulars of the sex trade, Moises dips into stories from his past (mom’s “little thing” e.g. depression; the ritual of waking up each morning and reciting name, address, age, occupation; his ex cheating on him with another soccer coach when that was his job). The persistent groin itch, the ruthless Doctor who runs the Barca chapter and collects uncut books that Moises post-coitally defaces, racing Luzmila (Romanian refugee turned sex machine turned sex scout) in imaginary Olympic gold medal speedwalking rounds, Doctor’s challenge to find the Nubian Prince (Boo) and the mess it gets Moises in (raped, hospitalized, reconstructed nose and lost taste for men). His parents’ suicides within days of each other, a tape-recording from the empty house and the haunting accusation “scumbag”.
Books in translation are tricky– I prefer to reserve full judgement for the actual words the author chooses. But this one I recommend without question; Esther translates Juan’s Spanish into an entirely readable and enjoyable English.
Continuing with the connections between books, another Faulkner reference: “It was the ideal scenario for a great escape, a supreme metaphor that epitomized all my opinions about the world, or about my own world anyway, which was not a tub full of guts, as a Faulkner character says, but a city buried in its own garbage.”
Recommended by: The Max (+1)
sub=Translated by Esther Allen