For the third time this year the Booker long list has produced an amazing book that I would otherwise have missed.
Heliopolis is set in a futuristic Sao Paulo and follows Ludo, who was born in a shanty town, but then given great wealth after being adopted by one of the richest men in the city. Ludo then falls in love with his adoptive sister, Melissa, which leads to a clever, humorous plot, as he tries to deal with his conflicting emotions.
The main issue the book covers is the social divide between those living in complete poverty, and the elite who can afford everything. Heliopolis is cleverly written to show the difficulty Ludo feels in belonging to his new, rich world.
Although the squalor is vivid, the poor are described in a dignified way. The result is that I had great empathy for the under-class and at many times felt they had the better life.
This book has everything: humour, great characters, clever plot, a moral message and a wonderful ending. It gripped me throughout.
Did you love this book as much as I did?
Have you read his previous book The Amnesia Clinic?