The Divine Boys by Laura Restrepo, Carolina De Robertis

The Divine Boys

The Divine Boys by Laura Restrepo, Carolina De Robertis (Translator)
English | 2020| General Fiction/Classics | ePUB | 3.1 MB

From acclaimed Colombian author Laura Restrepo comes a prize-winning novel inspired by a true crime that shattered a community and exposed the dark recesses of toxic masculinity and privilege.

Immune to the consequences of immorality, five privileged young men in Bogotá bond over a shared code: worship drugs and drink, exploit women, and scorn the underclass.

As males, they declare the right to freedom of pleasure. As friends, only disloyalty to each other is forbidden. When a little girl from the slums disappears, the limits of a perverse and sacred bond will be tested in ways none of them could have imagined.

Hauntingly true, this daringly told work of fiction explores the tragic dynamic between genders, social classes, and victim and victimizer, and between five men whose intolerable transgressions will shake the conscience of a country.

mpty sack he tries to fill with luxuries and excess.

What’s he looking for, I wonder. What the hell is going on with him? What kind of shit is he after at this hour in the bowels of the hungry city?

The creepsters are two, and the smaller one looks like you. That’s all he says. And then hangs up.

At least his call lets me know he’s still alive, though who knows where, in what seedy dive, strip club, love motel, or Bogotá-flavored fight club, surrounded by who knows what kind of loose women. But alive, in the end, and that’s something. For now, at least, the wild partying hasn’t killed him.

The creepsters are two. The phrase says nothing, but it’s disturbing. It sounds like a nursery rhyme, which only makes me more uneasy. The other day, I asked Malicia about it. I wanted to bring her up to speed on these dawn outbursts. There was no need, though, she already knew. Could it be that Muñeco calls her too, turns to her? I’m stung by jealousy.

“Who could the creepsters be?” I said to Malicia.

“They are heralds of our misfortune,” she said.

That’s how she talks, Malicia; she fancies herself a witch, and not without reason. She knows how to predict problems, or maybe she just incites them with her words.

“Something thick is brewing,” she warns me, disfiguring her pretty brown face with a frown.

Later she comforts me by running a hand through my hair, and it doesn’t freak me out, which is rare for me because I have a fear of touch.

Somewhere out there, far away, Muñeco is searching, digging, seeking, on the hunt for something. He won’t calm down. This urge to debase himself, to run aground, must come from a need to disappear. To be someone else, to open himself, get shaken up, finally become himself. He is drowning and needs a way back to the surface.

Let him drown once and for all and stop this bullshit.

There goes Muñeco, out on a bender, and only he knows where, or maybe not. As Tournier, my teacher, would say: “An invisible thread guides his steps toward a mysterious outcome.”

Sometimes he’s out on a tear for two or three days and nights, and we don’t hear a word from him, not even a call about creepsters. When we’ve almost given him up for dead or bleeding his life away at the ER, he shows up midmorning on our Saturday soccer field, as if it’s nothing, glowing like a newly resurrected man with a martial arts headband across his forehead, hair still thick like an adolescent’s even though it’s thinning at the temples, chest bare, of course: Muñeco shows off his spray tan and admirable six-pack as he dives right into our weekly game, bathed and cologned, dispensing kisses as well as kicks.

He dribbles like an angel, Muñeco does, massacring his adversaries and evading red cards, bending the ball to his will and sending it spinning into exquisite arcs. And he often commits infractions, because when Muñeco gets pissed off he acts like a brute and starts fighting and driving us crazy, even though they’re supposed to be friendly, these little games among former classmates from Quevedo Prep on our alma mater’s field, where we’ve been playing for years.

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