The Reef (Paperback)
George Braziller, 9780807600214, 240pp.
Publication Date: May 23, 2017
Amidst stagings of guerilla warfare, rumors of killer bees and encroaching cartel activity, recovering ex-rocker, Tony Gongora, attempts to solve the mystery of an American scuba-diver's murder. As he tries to piece together the events of the crime, Tony uncovers his own bizarre and illuminating memories: of a fatherless childhood spent in the high-risk company of his eccentric friend and the hotel's manager; playing gigs with The Velvet Underground; joining a Japanese pop group. Against the backdrop of a deteriorating climate, a fast-eroding beachfront, official corruption, cartel violence, and delusional Western escapism, Tony and an international cast of hotel staffers make and break alliances as the personal begins to echo the political, and artifice and reality start to blur. With his signature wit, originality, and dashes of dazzling social theory, Villoro has created a biting satire of tourism and a brilliant analogy for Mexico's unique position in global politics.