A little Christmas reading suggestion for you; Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos. Short and sweet but with incredibly dark and violent undertones, it’s a brief glimpse into the world of a small child (Tochtli) whose father happens to be a powerful Mexican drug baron. It’s written from the Tochtli’s point of view and so you get this wonderful childlike innocence on the one hand, but then a horrific realisation that men are being shot and tortured in front of him and that he’s reporting it all with an almost cold sense of detachment. It’s a brilliant, fresh way of presenting the well-trod “criminal underworld” theme and Tochtli has to be one of my favourite literary characters of the past decade. He is frequently laugh-out-loud funny, often heartbreakingly sad and always, always a masterful observer. If you’re looking for a colourful, short and snappy book to get you through Christmas at the in-laws’, then this is it: also the perfect stocking filler if you’re still short of a present or two.
Down the Rabbit Hole is £5.99 from Amazon.co.uk