Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Trashed Treasure

Readers will be grabbed by the very first sentence in this book, Trash (2010) written by Andy Mulligan.  My name is Raphael Fernandez and I am a dumpsite boy.  Beginning in his third year Raphael has been picking through mountains of trash in the rubbish-town of Behala near the sea working alongside his friend, Gardo.

As they are sifting through trash one day a bag called a special is dropped down from the crane.  That name is given to an unbroken bag from an area where the rich reside.  Among all the various valuables a small, coffee-ground covered pouch falls into Raphael's hand.

A peso-filled wallet with a few photographs and an ID card, a folded-up map of the city and a key inside the map are the only contents within.  Quickly putting these items down his shorts Raphael and Gardo continue sorting so as to not draw attention to themselves.  But

We were both excited and we were right to be, because that bag changed everything.  A long time later I would think to myself:  Everyone needs a key.  With the right key, you can bust the door wide open.  Because nobody's going to open it for you.

Desperate to uncover the truth the two friends seek the assistance of another boy living in the dump, Rat.  Troubling times are ahead for the trio of teens who search to unravel the mystery surrounding these items.  Using alternating voices of characters for each chapter this tale pits them against seemingly insurmountable odds in this third world country fraught with corruption at every turn. Death shadows them as the slightest misjudged decision could end all.

With the clock ticking toward The Day of the Dead this compelling thriller will have pages being enhaled by breathless readers as the action speeds toward the soul satisfying conclusion.  Beneath all the escapades of these young men the heart of the story beats steadily guiding everyone toward the larger social issues portrayed.

Andy Mulligan  is an author to be admired and appreciated for his superb storytelling skills. Now I need to get my hands on his other book, Ribblestrop, but quick.

Andy Mulligan talks about this book at The Guardian, Andy Mulligan Talks Trash.  Here is a link to the author's website for more information about this book specifically.  There is a wonderful series of pages on Andy Mulligan's blog with chapter summaries and loads of other information.

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