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Erasmus is a Salvadoran journalist living in exile in Mexico City during the Salvadoran Civil War. His marriage is breaking up, his bowels are unwell, and his doctor, Don Chente, another displaced Guanaco, is hypnotizing him into madness. In Moya's world, and in Salvador, then and now, paranoia is inevitable and somewhat practical. Despite ongoing violence, Erasmus decides to return to his country. Why leave DF for a country that has put family members in body dumps? Because of what all Salvys know:"it was as though my umbilical cord was attached to the place"--or perhaps, Erasmus considers, "because I'm an ass." In anothe writer's hands, the material might skew towards sentimental tropes. But in Moya's telling, anxiety, guilt, and historical trauma culminate in a delicate set of neuroses--in some places the novel reads like a Seinfeld episode, but with more screaming.— From Gina's Picks
Drinking way too much and breaking up with his wife, an exiled journalist in Mexico City dreams of returning home to El Salvador. But is it really a dream or a nightmare? When he decides to treat his liver pain with hypnosis, his few impulse-control mechanisms rapidly dissolve. Hair-brained schemes, half-mad arguments, unraveling murder plots, hysterical rants: everything escalates at a maniacal pace, especially the crazy humor.