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Lordy, lordy, lordy. And I ask thee: what's not to love about some super-sensual metafiction set in Jerusalem featuring porn stars and televangelists? Hallowed by thy name, Gamboa.
Viewed as one of "the most important Colombian writers" (Manuel V zquez Montalb n) today, Santiago Gamboa showcases throughout his first novel Necropolis the talent and inventiveness that have earned him a reputation as one of the leading figures in his generation of Latin American authors.Upon recovering from a prolonged illness, an author is invited to a literary gathering in Jerusalem that turns out to be a most unusual affair. In the conference rooms of a luxury hotel, as war rages outside, he listens to a series of extraordinary life stories: the saga of a chess-playing duo, the tale of an Italian porn star with a socialist agenda, the drama of a Colombian industrialist who has been waging a longstanding battle with local paramilitaries, and many more. But it is Jos Maturana--evangelical pastor, recovering drug addict, ex-con--with his story of redemption at the hands of a charismatic tattooed messiah from Miami, Florida, who fascinates the author more than any other. Maturana's language is potent and vital, and his story captivating. Hours after his stirring presentation to a rapt audience, however, Maturana is found dead in his hotel room. At first it seems likely that Maturana has taken his own life. But there are a few loose ends that don't support the suicide hypothesis, and the author-invitee, moved by Maturana's life story to discover the truth about his death, will lead a search that drives the entire plot of this chimerical novel beyond the action-filled investigation and to a thought that resonates universally. WINNER OF THE 2009 LA OTRA ORILLA LITERARY AWARD