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Death as a Side Effect

Overview


In Death as a Side Effect, Ana María Shua’s brilliantly dark satire transports readers to a dystopic future Argentina where gangs of ad hoc marauders and professional thieves roam the streets while the wealthy purchase security behind fortified concrete walls and the elderly cower in their apartments in fear of being whisked off to state-mandated “convalescent” homes, never to return. Abandoned by his mistress, suffocated by his father, and estranged from his demented mother and ineffectual sister, Ernesto seeks...
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Overview


In Death as a Side Effect, Ana María Shua’s brilliantly dark satire transports readers to a dystopic future Argentina where gangs of ad hoc marauders and professional thieves roam the streets while the wealthy purchase security behind fortified concrete walls and the elderly cower in their apartments in fear of being whisked off to state-mandated “convalescent” homes, never to return. Abandoned by his mistress, suffocated by his father, and estranged from his demented mother and ineffectual sister, Ernesto seeks his vanished lover. Hoping to save his dying father from the ministrations of a diabolical health-care system, he discovers that, ultimately, everyone is a patient, and the instruments wielded by the impersonal medical corps cut to the very heart of the social fabric.
 
The world of this novel, with its closed districts, unsafe travel, ubiquitous security cameras, and widespread artificiality and uncertainty, is as familiar as it is strange—and as instructive, in its harrowing way, as it is deeply entertaining. The Spanish edition has been selected by the Congreso de la Lengua Española as one of the one hundred best Latin American novels published in the last twenty-five years.
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Editorial Reviews

Belletrista

"Death as a Side Effect strikes a brilliant balance between the downbeat subject matter and the dark humour running through the whole novel. It is absurd, bleak and funny. Ernesto is an everyman character who is both frustrating to observe and easy to sympathise with, and his father is compelling and repellent in equal measure. For all its craziness, Death as a Side Effect is an accessible satire about ordinary family life, and a book that should be added to those holiday wish lists."—Andy Barnes, Belletrista

— Andy Barnes

Blogcritics

"Originally published in 1997 and translated into English for the first time by Andrea G. Labinger, Death as a Side Effect uses dark satire to effectively meld societal and personal tribulations."—Tim Gebhart, Blogcritics

— Tim Gebhart

Fore Word Reviews

"Shua's finest moments occur when she portrays individuals confronting the spectre of death in their own ways, or when a son's initial resentment dissolves when he discovers an epistolary—and far more enduring—means of escape."—Karen Rigby, Fore Word Reviews

— Karen Rigby

Booklist

"[Death as a Side Effect is] not to be mistaken for a light, optimistic read, but the quality of writing and the deftness of characterization make it a satisfying one."—Matthew Tiffany, Booklist

— Matthew Tiffany

Literary Review

"Shua's poetic novel is full of ironic twists that keep the suspense high until the very end."—Dana Heather Schwartz, Literary Review

— Dana Heather Schwartz

Fore Word Reviews - Karen Rigby

"Shua's finest moments occur when she portrays individuals confronting the spectre of death in their own ways, or when a son's initial resentment dissolves when he discovers an epistolary—and far more enduring—means of escape."—Karen Rigby, Fore Word Reviews
Booklist - Matthew Tiffany

"[Death as a Side Effect is] not to be mistaken for a light, optimistic read, but the quality of writing and the deftness of characterization make it a satisfying one."—Matthew Tiffany, Booklist
Literary Review - Dana Heather Schwartz

"Shua's poetic novel is full of ironic twists that keep the suspense high until the very end."—Dana Heather Schwartz, Literary Review
Belletrista - Andy Barnes

"Death as a Side Effect strikes a brilliant balance between the downbeat subject matter and the dark humour running through the whole novel. It is absurd, bleak and funny. Ernesto is an everyman character who is both frustrating to observe and easy to sympathise with, and his father is compelling and repellent in equal measure. For all its craziness, Death as a Side Effect is an accessible satire about ordinary family life, and a book that should be added to those holiday wish lists."—Andy Barnes, Belletrista
Blogcritics - Tim Gebhart

"Originally published in 1997 and translated into English for the first time by Andrea G. Labinger, Death as a Side Effect uses dark satire to effectively meld societal and personal tribulations."—Tim Gebhart, Blogcritics
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803229891
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2010
  • Series: Latin American Women Writers Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Ana María Shua has published more than forty books in many genres, including poetry, children’s fiction, and Jewish folklore, and her work has been translated into numerous languages. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship for work on The Book of Memories and is the author of Microfictions, available in a Bison Books edition. She lives in Buenos Aires. Andrea G. Labinger’s many translations include Alicia Steimberg’s Call Me Magdalena and The Rainforest, both available in Bison Books editions.
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