James Scudamore's prizewinning debut The Amenesia Clinic was set in Ecuador, and it's to South America he returns in this slinkily assured second novel sending up Brazil's super-rich. As a child, Ludwig Aparecido dos Santos is plucked from the São Paolo favelas by the supermarket millionaire, Ze Generoso, and dropped into a world of penthouse suites.
Now in his twenties and working for a communications company, he finds himself both ravished and revolted by his lifestyle. Involved in a semi-incestuous affair with his adoptive sister, Melissa, he has moments when he's tempted to sabotage his own good fortune.
In a novel that successfully straddles urban extremes, a streamlined fantasy summons up a teeming citadel where the wealthy take to their helicopters "like fat flies", leaving migrant workers to swarm below.Reuse content