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Shantytown Paperback – 23 December 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

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Product details

  • Publisher : New Directions (23 December 2013)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 128 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0811219119
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0811219112
  • Dimensions : 12.95 x 1.52 x 18.03 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

Product description


Aira is one of the most provocative and idiosyncratic novelists working in Spanish today, and should not be missed. --Natasha Wimmer"

Dense, unpredictable confections delivered in a plain, stealthily lyrical style capable of accommodating his fondness for mixing metaphysics, realism, pulp fiction, and Dadaist incongruities. --Michael Greenberg"

Depending on how you read it, this is either a taut noir crime novel or a searing portrait of Buenos Aires' poverty-stricken people. Either way, it's compelling stuff.

Aira's literary significance, like that of many other science fiction writers, comes from how he pushes us to question the porous line between fact and fantasy, to see it not only as malleable in history, but also blurred in the everyday. The engrossing power of his work, though, comes from how he carries out these feats: with the inexhaustible energy and pleasure of a child chasing after imaginary enemies in the park.

Aira's work is usually much more fantastic, so it s an interesting exercise to see the author playing with mystery conventions in a more realistic, if cinematic, style. A very literary crime story with South American attitude that is lean, spare and resonant.

About the Author

The poet Chris Andrews teaches at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, where he is a member of the Writing and Society Research Centre. He has translated books by Roberto Bolaño and César Aira for New Directions. He has won the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize for his poetry and the Valle-Inclan Prize for his translations.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Jedes Buch von Aira ist anders, aber doch immer gleich: großartig!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A trip to the funhouse
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5.0 out of 5 stars It was a great read!
Reviewed in the United States on 30 January 2016
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Kevin Keyser
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Read
Reviewed in the United States on 7 November 2014
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