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Seven Ways to Kill a Cat

by Matias Nespolo

Like a dog with a meaty bone, this book grabs you and doesn't let go from start to finish. Harsh and often tragic life in the Buenos Aires barrio is depicted through Gringo. On the cusp of adulthood, facing choices but drawn inevitably to the gangs, drugs and prostitution that corrupt the streets where Gringo lives, he doesn't stand a chance.

Extract

I'm staring so hard I walk slap bang into the back of a chair and nearly rupture my balls. I swear under my breath. Yani tries not to laugh, but she carries on wiping down the counter, she doesn't look over. When she finally lifts her head, I shoot her a look of sheer agony that makes her laugh out loud. I love the way her cheeks dimple. Her laugh makes us partners in crime just like it did last night. When she finally stops giggling, I give her an enquiring look, jerk my chin, raise my eyebrows. She frowns, glancing quickly in three different directions - the table where Fat Farias is chatting with Ruben, the table at the back where Chueco and El Jetita are huddled, and the old man at the car she's just been serving. El Negro Sosa is propping up the bar. I hadn't noticed him. That means the whole gang is here. There's some shit going down, and if someone doesn't tell me what the fuck is going on and soon I'm gone. I'll be out of here before the tango starts, because I know my luck: I always end up with the ugly best friend. If I have to tango, I'd rather do it with Yani.
Translated by Frank Wynne

Parallels

Wreckage by Niall Griffiths
Inferno by Patricia Melo
 

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