Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the 2009 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize
Carnegie Medalist Mal Peet takes a searing look at the world of soccer and pop-celebrity culture — and the lives of three street kids caught in its glare.
When a black South American soccer star signs on to a team in the country's racist south, headlines blare. And when he falls for the sensual Desmerelda, a stunning white pop singer and daughter of a wealthy politician, their sudden and controversial marriage propels the pair to center stage, where they burn in the media spotlight. But celebrity attracts enemies; some very close to home. And its dazzle reaches into the city's hidden corners, exposing a life of grit and desperation the glitterati could never imagine. When a girl is found murdered, reporter Paul Faustino is caught between worlds as he witnesses the power of the media in making — and breaking — lives. Inspired by Shakespeare's OTHELLO, this modern tragedy of desire and betrayal, incisively and compassionately told, is a truly enthralling work of crossover fiction.
"Peet's third novel featuring crusty sports reporter Paul Faustino updates Othello in a fictional South American setting. Superstar soccer player Otello is traded to a new club, a move engineered by his greedy agent, Diego, and a sleazy politician named Brabanta. Within weeks, Otello elopes with Brabanta's only daughter, the pop superstar Desmerelda. Their Posh and Becks style union becomes premium tabloid fodder, the scrutiny intensified by racist undercurrents he's black and she's white. Unlike Peet's first two Faustino novels, Keeper and The Penalty, soccer action takes a backseat to story lines about celebrity obsession, the plight of the underclass and political corruption. The story is prefaced with a cast list, the narrative divided into acts, and some passages are presented as if they were dialogue from a play. Teens who don't know Shakespeare's version can enjoy this without understanding the many allusions. It'll be more difficult for those familiar with the original to overlook the fact that the motivation for the Iago character's betrayal of the too-good-to-be-true Otello never quite adds up. Ages 14 up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Inspired by Shakespeare's "Othello," a Carnegie Medal-winning author takes a searing look at the world of soccer and pop-celebrity culture, and the lives of three street kids who are caught in its glare.
About the Author
Mal Peet is the author of the Carnegie Medal-winning novel TAMAR, as well two previous Paul Faustino novels, KEEPER and THE PENALTY. He lives in Devon, England.