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A fierce, powerful first novel--disturbing and darkly humorous--that tells of an extraordinary life lived first in innocence, then in alienation and defiance and, finally, in anger.
Santiago Moore Zamora believes he can find somewhere in his past the seeds of the warring impulses--ecstasy and despair, desire and revulsion, connection and isolation--that torment him now. And so he unfurls the memories of his childhood: the paradisiacal Spanish island where his upbringing was relegated to a series of nannies while his beautiful, thoughtlessly affectionate mother and his rigid, distant father went about their lives undisturbed by his presence; his exile as a young child to an English boarding school, where he was an object of his classmates' abuse, and of the furtive sexual longings of two teachers; his father's extreme censure when the realities of Santiago's life were revealed. He recounts the dangerous mix of emotions engendered in him by the cruel scorn and skewed affection alternately directed at him; the strategies he adopted to survive them; and the odd desire for transgression and incomprehensible need for corruption he discovered in himself as an adolescent--and knows intimately as an adult.
Dense with sensual and psychological detail, written with an elegant precision of language and sharp, unforgiving intelligence and candor, The Abomination is a stunning literary debut.