Synopses & Reviews
The breakout book from a prizewinning young writer: a surrealistic tour de force” (O, The Oprah Magazine
) about one man's obsessive search to find the truth of another man's downfall.
Nelson's life is not turning out the way he hoped. His girlfriend is sleeping with another man; his brother has left their South American country, leaving Nelson to care for their widowed mother; and his acting career can't seem to get off the ground. That is, until he lands a starring role in a touring revival of The Idiot President, a legendary play by Nelson's hero, Henry Nuñez, leader of the storied guerrilla theater troupe Diciembre. And that's when the real trouble begins.
Nelson's fate is slowly revealed through the investigation of the narrator, a young man obsessed with Nelson's story and perhaps closer to it than he lets on. In sharp, vivid, and beautiful prose, Alarcón delivers a compulsively readable narrative and a provocative meditation on fate, identity, and the large consequences that can result from even our smallest choices.
“Wise and engaging...[a] layered, gorgeously nuanced work.” The New York Times Book Review
“Consistently compelling....Alarcón's smoothly polished prose [is] flecked with wit and surprisingly epigraphic phrases...with lines that knock the wind out of you.” The Washington Post
“Outstanding...a work that creates a multilayered world and invites you to enter it.” Los Angeles Times
“Masterful...a sterling novel...brave, thoughtful and astute...elegant in its construction, it feels perfectly suited to bring Alarcón's tremendous talent to a wider audience.” The Miami Herald
“Compelling...an intellectual puzzle.” The Boston Globe
About the Author
Daniel Alarcón is the author of the story collection War by Candlelight, and the novel Lost City Radio, winner of the 2009 International Literature Prize. He has been named one of The New Yorkers 20 Under 40,” and is executive producer of Radio Ambulante, a Spanish-language storytelling podcast. Alarcón lives in San Francisco.