"Rage" by Sergio Bizzio

From Argentina. "Jose Maria is in love with Rosa, a maid working in a Buenos Aires mansion. Accused of a terrible crime, he hides in the attic of the house. His clandestine existence turns him into a compulsive voyeur and, increasingly, a protagonist in a tale of rage, drugs and alcohol. A metaphor for the decline of a social class and a country, this is also a tale of love and suspense. Humor, misfortune, and the erotic fantasy come together, offering the reader an inside vision of contemporary Argentina."
 
The above blurb made this book sound very compelling. Unfortunately, the blurb makes it more compelling than it actually is. It's not a bad book by any means, but just not a great book. What bothered me most about this story was the premise. An interesting idea for sure but I had a hard time suspending disbelief. If the story had taken place over the course of a few days rather than a few months, the premise may have worked better. I found it a little hard to believe that the main character would be able to hide away in a house, completely undetected, for that many months without anyone knowing he was there. This alone made it hard to lose myself in the story. Couple this with some of the events that take place and it really seems outrageous.
 
Bizzio is a good writer, no doubt about that, but there are plot elements that begin and then simply disappear or don't go where they could have. For instance, one of the characters that appears early in the story --- a hot headed white supremacist --- interacts with the main character at the beginning of the story, setting up something interesting, then virtually disappears for the rest of the novel. He does come back, but is dealt with in such a way that it came across, to me at least, like the author didn't know what to do with him and simply wrote him off---literally. I don't know, perhaps I was missing something here.
 
I think this story would have worked better had the timeline of the tale been considerably condensed, adding just that much more realism to the circumstances. It seemed far fetched to me to read it without constantly having to remind myself that it was fiction. You are asked to believe in certain situations that would be simply unlikely, if not impossible. But perhaps that isn't really the point. Perhaps it's the metaphor that the book's blurb speaks of that is the main point here and that is the "decline of a social class and a country".
 
Again, not a terrible book. It does keep you turning the pages, however, you are asked to suspend a little too much disbelief for my liking.
Source: http://www.juliangallo66.blogspot.com