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From far away they look like flies
(Que de lejos parecen moscas)
A dark novel written by an author as talented as it was a surprise when he won the Casa de las Américas Prize (Cuba) and the Best First Work Prize at the Gijón Dark Week (Semana Negra de Gijón) and who, according to The Wall Street Journal, is Argentina’s latest literary revelation.
Mr. Machi is the perfect example of both success and contempt. The owner of a small empire in Argentina, he made his fortune under the military dictatorship and then secured it under the first two democratic governments by marrying a woman with a double-barreled surname and who is the daughter of a land-owner. Machi is surrounded by beautiful women who bow to his every need; he has a BMW, a collection of three hundred ties and 10 million dollars in the bank. Cocaine and ‘blue pills’ help distract him from his wife’s many complaints about his infidelities and the failings of their children – who are so different to him – and above all help him to forget his enemies. And Machi has a lot of enemies; although he thinks of them more as insects and that «from far way, they look like flies». Until one day, when someone hides a body in the trunk of his BMW and another story suddenly begins.
With this explosive and original novel, Kike Ferrari, a metro cleaner in Argentina, commanded the attention of readers and the international press. This brutal and vertiginous work deals with the social, economic and urban devastation of a post-dictatorship Argentina and makes the unforgettable Mr. Machi a character which is emblematic and representative of ruthless neoliberalism everywhere.