Juan Villoro Yvette Siegert, translator
George Braziller Softcover $17.95 (240pp) 978-0-8076-0021-4
The Reef is a multifaceted exploration of human nature and the ways in which people contend with life after loss.
“Peterson achieved the American Dream without wanting to attain it, and his success felt like a second annihilation. In my eyes, that alone gave him a certain dignity,” muses Tony Góngora, protagonist in Juan Villoro’s biting and satirical examination of tourist culture and human connection, The Reef. Pithy yet complex lines like this abound, revealing a prolific tale of violence, escapism, overdevelopment, and philosophy set in the picturesque Mexican Caribbean.
Beautifully translated to English by Yvette Siegert, The Reef follows Góngora on his quest to solve the murder of Ginger Oldenville, American scuba diver and close friend. Set amidst a bizarre Caribbean resort aptly named The Pyramid for its distinct design, other concerns such as guerrilla warfare, imminent cartel activity, and troubling childhood memories disrupt the progress of the investigation.