This is Mal Peet’s third novel featuring Paul Faustino, a downbeat but still idealistic middle-aged football reporter working in an unnamed South American country where street kids regularly disappear without trace and political corruption is a way of life. The main story alternates between the lives of three street children and the opulent existence of Otello, a world-class footballer recently recruited by the local team. Because he is black he remains unpopular with many, and in particular the political fixer whose daughter Desmerelda falls in love with the footballer and marries him in secret. Yes, you have guessed it; this is Othello brought up to date, with Iago replaced by Diego, the smooth-tongued agent who leads Otello to personal destruction. Those who find Othello one of Shakespeare’s most unbearable tragedies, given that it rests on a misunderstanding rather than any particular tragic flaw, may be relieved to hear that Peet does not follow the play in every respect. No final murder takes place, and both Otello – increasingly more Gazza than Beckham – and Diego live on to the end. Slightly becalmed half way through, things pick up again as readers head towards a final, pulverising climax. Written for teenagers, this fine but consistently bleak novel is not for the faint-hearted but right on the button when it comes to describing the on-going corruption in some present-day societies not so far from the American border.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Richard Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Richard Hill2009-03-01 13:52:202022-12-28 13:54:37Exposure