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Roberto Ala, an athlete from a developing country, rises rapidly to fame and success, only to fall just as quickly into disgrace, victim of a merciless and corrupt world within which the innocent Roberto finds himself at quite a loss. This gripping tale combines scathing criticism of the hypocrisy found within the world of sport combining the idealism of Roberto’s hopes and ambitions and those of the woman of his dreams, the enigmatic Conchita. When he is duped by his friend Rastaphan into taking a drink spiked with a substance undetectable by the anti-doping commission, it’s the beginning of the end for Roberto.
The current, frequent doping scandals, in particular sports such as cycling, top-level athletes and footballers, make this book startlingly relevant in the perspective of today’s high-level competitive sports world. The wonderful combination of reality with lyrical undertones of the Caribbean, richly and elaborately described, contrast vividly with the harshness and brutality of the events that take place, giving a very personal and captivating feel to this first novel which is at times humorous, tender and lyrical but at the same time true to lfe.