At first I revelled in this brilliant account of a once rich country reduced to penury and chaos by corrupt politicians. But gradually I began to sink in the mire of greed, and lost track of who might be honest and who not. You might say that this was the purpose of Orsi’s writing, and I agree to a point. But the chaotic jumps from backstories to the present left me uncertain as to what point in time I was at. And soon everything simply became confusing and somewhat irritating. I ploughed through to the end and yet I remain uncertain whether this novel is brilliant or merely pretentious. I leave it to you to decide where you stand.
Just one more point. Perhaps the parallel universe concept carried through to the real world, because the book is promoted as being the winner of the Dashiell Hammett Prize in 2010. I have looked at all the Hammett Award listings online and cannot find Orsi or Holy City mentioned. Maybe someone can enlighten me.
Holy City by Guillermo Orsi, Quercus, 2012