The Good Cripple
by Rodrigo Rey Rosa
Translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen
An explosive novel from Guatemala’s premiere young writer Rodrigo Rey Rosa, The Good Cripple is obsessively focused and chilling. It is also allegorical––and under the calm surface of Rodrigo Rey Rosa’s lithe style questions about violence, mutilation, and revenge churn darkly away.
A young man, Juan Luis Luna, is abducted in Guatemala City and held at the bottom of a rusty, empty underground fuel tank in an abandoned gas station. The kidnappers demand a ransom; his rich father does not reply. The criminals threaten to cut off his son’s foot and still hear nothing. They then slice off one of Juan Luis’s toes and send it to his father, who still refuses to act. So the next day…