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City Book Review: "A strange and wonderful novel."

Date: Dec 13 2012

NECROPOLIS is a strange and wonderful novel. Colombian author Santiago Gamboa sets the stage as he has an author, who is not named, invited to the International Congress of Biography and Memory. Gamboa puts into motion the cast of characters in a hotel in Jerusalem, just past the military checkpoints, the author describes. Just for starters, Gamboa introduces his readers to the author/narrator, whose life has “slowed down,” an evangelical preacher, a couple of chess players, and a porn star. The depth of Gamboa’s descriptions border on the lyrical and are packed with a punch, such as the exchange the author reports between himself and the famous bibliophile Supervielle: “…because marriage, as I’m sure you know, has the same decaying effect on love that heat and the passing of the days has on meat….”

Gamboa does a masterful job of keeping the voices of his characters distinct. This is no small feat, when Gamboa’s Jose Maturana, the evangelical pastor, is found dead and the investigation seems to favor an explanation of suicide. Well, except for a few things that just don’t add up. With Necropolis, Gamboa has definitely earned the critical praise as an inventive writer.

--Elizabeth Humphrey

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