Original title: Santa Rosa
The author is an enigma, his language inventive, his humour breathtaking. – Dominique Simonnot, Le Canard Enchaîné
How can you expose the excesses of the ultra-rich without exposing yourself? The answer is in Santa Rosa, a farcical comedy with more than a whiff of truth to it.
A hilarious comedy set in the tropics, with its well-oiled narrative mechanism, Santa Rosa is a novel that can catch you off-guard. Behind the laughter is a reality the author knows well: life in those idyllic islands where the ultra-rich rub shoulders with utter poverty, and fortress-like villas with Olympic-sized infinity-edge pools with picturesque views ignore favelas springing up around dumps.
Here, the ultra-rich person is Rodney Slouvakian, a.k.a. Papa Bear, but like all the ultra-wealthy, we don’t see much of him. He runs his business from Switzerland, while his only daughter, the brainless Kimy, parties on Saphir, her father’s yacht, and in Eldorado, his luxury villa. She torments the staff between two selfies she posts on her “Young richies” Amstragram accounts. At her beck and call are both Lord Douglas, the last scion of a long line of now-penniless Scottish aristocrats, and Philippe Vandbrueggen, a dandy whose mother has sent him on a mission to seduce the young heiress, but who happens to be gay.
Meanwhile, over on the favela side of things, the paupers are pawing through the garbage looking for food… or perhaps treasure. Like Esteban, whose dream is to go through the garbage of Eldorado, where his ex, Maria, is a governess. Her colleagues on Papa Bear’s staff – a veritable rogue’s gallery of colorful characters – are willing to do whatever it takes to stay in their master’s service and not be sent back to that other world. So we meet the stupid pilot of his helicopter pilot, “Leichter dan Air;” Papa Bear’s personal secretary, a whip-wielding version of Super Nanny; and El Presidente, a straw man whose posters adorn every intersection on the island with his slogan, “la esperanza por mañana.”
Welcome to Santa Rosa. A purely fictional place, of course…
- 4,000 copies sold