Born in a São Paulo shantytown, Ludo undergoes a remarkable transformation from one side of the city’s impermeable social divide to the other. Rescued and raised by a plutocrat, Zeno Generoso, Ludo finds himself entrenched in the gated, guarded community of the super-rich.
Now twenty-seven, Ludo works for a vacuous “communications company” that markets unwanted, unaffordable products aimed at the very underclass into which he was born and from which he escaped. To make matters more complicated, he has developed an obsessive, adulterous love for his adoptive sister, whose husband is his only friend.
Ludo’s involvement in an ill-conceived supermarket launch aimed at the favela’s desperately poor population risks embroiling him in a world of violence and brutality. By turns darkly humorous and poignant, James Scudamore’s Booker Prize-nominated novel is a highly original, surprising take on the rags-to-riches story.
James Scudamore is the author of The Amnesia Clinic, which won the 2007 Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Heliopolis, which was nominated for the 2009 Booker prize, is his second novel. Raised in Brazil, Japan and the U.K, he now lives in London.