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Buenos Aires, 1992. Hacker Felipe Felix is summoned to the vertiginous twin towers of magnate Fausto Tamerlan and charged with finding the witnesses to a very public crime. Rejecting the mission is not an option. After a decade spent immersed in drugs and virtual realities, trying to forget the freezing trench in which he passed the Falklands War, Felix is forced to confront the city around him - and realises to his shock that the war never really ended. A detective novel, a cyber-thriller, an inner-city road trip and a war memoir, The Islands is a hilarious, devastating and dizzyingly surreal account of a history that remains all too raw.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'Carlos Gamerro has written one of the most ambitious novels about the war.' Jonathan Blitzer, The Nation --------- 'Gamerro picks history's what-the-fuck moments, which when found in fiction are so strange as to knock the reader momentarily out of the imaginary world.' Ben Bollig, The Guardian --------- 'Exhilarating, inventive and consistently absorbing.' Stuart Evers, The Guardian --------- 'A bravura piece of writing, with a cinematic sweep, sustained drama, and pitch-perfect dialogue.' Martin Schifino, The Independent --------- 'The reader is dragged headlong by Barnett's athletic translation - a highly addictive comic voice, its peaks of hectic farce underlaid by a delicate, deadpan absurdism.' Lorna Scott Fox, TLS --------- 'A weird and wonderful thriller - rife with surreal horror and rampant bad taste.' Anthony Cummins, The Observer --------- 'A genre-bending book' Anne McElvoy, BBC Radio 3, Night Waves --------- 'A generational, landmark novel' Andrew Graham Yooll, BBC Radio 3, Feature: Malvinas Madness --------- 'A danger-laden, mind-bending and ultimately redemptive quest. [...] There are more ideas here than most writers would fit in 10 novels.' Tom Bunstead, The Independent on Sunday --------- 'I urge you to find and read a copy of this important novel.' Matthew Crockatt, Huffington Post UK --------- 'A complex and ambitious exploration of how history is memorialised' Michael Sopp, The Literateur 'A dark and uproarious novel' Untitled Books --------- 'Gamerro displays great lyricism in his descriptions of the land of la pampa. He has a poet's touch on the visions and themes he explores throughout the story. It's a triumph.' Ed Hart, Sounds and Colours --------- 'Capacious in its scope; substantial in its themes; fluid in its movements; piercing in its wit; gripping in its horror, astringent in its social critique; and heartbreaking in its rendering of human frailties. Were it originally published in English, it would be a Booker Prize contender.' Rod Jackman, Philadelphia Review of Books --------- 'Gamerro's balls-out novel is a delirious mash-up - [His] gross, bleakly funny, violence-saturated satire of a psychologically damaged society hung up on impossible myth relies on epic hyperbole, masterfully translated by Ian Barnett. There is enough invention here for four novels, but this multilayered nightmare vision is deftly rendered and devastating in its intensity.' Siobhan Murphy, Metro (UK) [20 June 2012, not online] --------- 'Incredible powerful, keeping me alert and uncomfortable and deeply engaged on multiple levels from the intellectual to the dramatic.' Steve Himmer, Necessary Fiction