A great novel by Chilean author Alberto Fuguet
that is often referred to as the Spanish version of J.D. Salinger
's The Catcher in the Rye
. Originally published under the title “Mala Ondo” in 1991, the novel tells the story of a week in the life of Matías Vicuña, a seventeen-year old wealthy Chilean and his various exploits in the city of Santiago, Chile
. The action takes place during the week of September 3, 1980, when the country was debating the referendum
over the leadership of General Augusto Pinochet
. The reader soon sees the sharp political divides between the far-left and communist
youths eager for change and the wealthy conservatives
eager to maintain the status quo
. Somewhere muddled between the two political polarities is our narrator who spends the majority of his time getting drunk, doing drugs, hitting on girls, and being absorbed by American culture.
The novel is considered a revolutionary force in creating the so-called “McOndo” literary movement (McOndo standing for McDonald's-Macintosh-Condominiums and the absorption of all things American by the youth of other countries), as the characters live in a world of fast food, American television shows and music, and the overall theme of the book: destiny and fighting for your dreams.