Bad Vibes

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St. Martin's Press, 1997 - Fiction - 308 pages
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It is Wednesday, September 3, 1980, one week before a referendum is to take place that will decide whether dictator Augusto Pinochet's new constitution is to be accepted by the Chilean people. The tension in Santiago is omnipresent. The city (and the country in general) is totally split politically. The right-wing majority (rich businessmen, people connected to the government, poor people who've been bribed, etc.) are all for Pinochet. The left-wing minority (poor people who have principles, university radicals, communist wanna-bes) hate him. The city is under military siege: curfews, disappearances, riots, and the like. Bad Vibes is one week in the life an adolescent living through this chaos. Matias Vicuna is a seventeen-year-old rich kid who doesn't know what to think. Chilean politics are getting him down; so is life in general. His family is rich and well-connected, and he goes to a classy private school - even though he spends most of his time cutting class. He's got too much time on his hands, too much alcohol, too many drugs, and all the usual teenage trappings. His parents' marriage is rocky, his two sisters are spoiled, high-class mall rats, and there's some ugly family secret that unravels as the week goes by. To top it all off, the girl he's crazy about is a haughty, prudish, gorgeous bitch who'd rather spend time with someone else. He's dissatisfied. Mired in adolescent ennui, Matias has a fling with a hot carioca named Cassia on a school trip to Rio de Janeiro; snorts a bunch of coke (some of it his dad's); has clandestine meetings with Flora, his one left-wing schoolteacher; hangs out poolside with his Santiago surfer friends; and then has a semi-breakdown. Nearing the end of the week (and leading up to the referendum), he runs away from home and hides in a hotel. When he returns, his parents have divorced, his aunt has died of an overdose, and yes, the dictator's still in power. Matias's life has changed.

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Bad vibes

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Bad Vibes (Malo Onda) is Chilean author Fuguet's first work to appear in English. It is narrated by 17-year-old Matias, who returns from a class holiday in Rio with a massive identity crisis. Caught ... Read full review

About the author (1997)

Born in Santiago de Chile, Alberto Fuguet spent his early childhood in California. He is one of the most prominent Latin American authors of his generation and one of the leaders of the literary movement known as McOndo, which proclaims the end of magical realism. He has been a film critic and a police reporter. He lives in Santiago de Chile.

Alberto Fuguet nacio en Santiago de Chile, y paso su infancia en California. Es uno de los autores latinoamericanos mas destacados de su generacion y uno de los lideres de McOndo, el movimiento literario que proclama el fin del realismo magico. Ha sido critico de cine y reportero policial. Vive en Santiago.

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