In the heart of a large city in a Latin American country is a once-abandoned high-rise tower. It is now filled with squatters – families with nowhere else to as well as loners just looking for a safe place to dwell. These are the ‘damnificados’ – the unwanted; those damned to dwell where no one else dares to live. They become a city unto themselves, watching out for one another, creating schools, and stores to meet their needs.
But while the building was abandoned before the damnificados took over, it still has an owner and he wants it back. He asks nicely, trying to point out that they don’t really have a right to be in the building, but the damnificado community isn’t willing to move.
The building owner will return with an army and face off against the ragtag bunch of squatters but fate, more than skill, may save them on more than one occasion.
Wow. This book came completely out of the blue for me, but author JJ Amaworo Wilson quickly grabs the reader’s attention with some really great characters in a really great situation. We are brought into the damnificado community and we feel like we belong there.
There’s a lot of humor here, despite a couple of private armies ready to kill every man, woman, and child in the tower, but the humor isn’t a moment of respite from the threats and violence – it’s the humor of everyday humans and the absurdities of fate.
What really makes this book such a wonderful read, though, is the humanity. There is much to be admired about the damnificados – the people in the community appear to have a respect for one another (sometimes that respect is shown by leaving someone alone) and they will stand up for their community against overwhelming odds.
This is one of those rare books that I’m putting in my ‘read again’ pile and I think it might be one of the best new books I’ve read so far this year.
Looking for a good book? Damnificados by JJ Amaworo Wilson is an excellent morality tale with great characters, some humor and absurdity, set in the modern era in the center of any major city. This is well worth reading.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: JJ Amaworo Wilson
publisher: PM Press
paperback, 272 pages