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Poor Man's Wealth

Poor Man's Wealth by Rod Usher
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For fans of Andrew Nicoll's THE GOOD MAYOR, this is a delightfully wise and witty tale of a hoax perpetuated by a group of narcoleptic villagers -- led by their mayor, El Gordo -- to rescue their town from ruin, abandon their inhibitions and unite two lonely hearts. Part fable, part love story, part comi-tragedy, Poor Man's Wealth is narrated, somewhat unreliably, by El Gordo, the Fat One. He is the mayor of Higot, a dusty village in an unnamed Spanish-speaking country under military rule. He and the secret Marisol Committee, a group of local councillors, dream up a plan to save the village from economic death and the exodus of its young people, especially now that tobacco, their one source of income, is a suspect crop.they start a hoax.El Gordo, whose charming English comes via a library bequeathed to him, argues that the hoax which so changes the life of Higot is no more a deception than, say, the Loch Ness Monster, Ireland's Blarney Stone, the Colossus of Rhodes ... Can they pull it off, attract tourists to unattractive Higot? Will the hunchback Bartolomeo, a sex scandal involving a bicycle, or the military junta, blow the hoax apart and see its perpetrators 'disappeared'?El Gordo takes the reader on a joyous, witty and wise journey through the travails of his village ... and his heart.Product of an Australian mother and an American father, Rod Usher lives in Extremadura, Spain, with his Spanish wife, Angela Gutierrez. He grew up in Melbourne, where, after dropping out of law school, he began a career as a journalist. He has been literary editor of tHE AGE, chief sub-editor of tHE SUNDAY tIMES, London, and senior writer for the European edition of tIME MAGAZINE. His poetry is published in Australian literary magazines, including QUADRANt, ISLAND and MEANJIN. He plays flute, not very well, in the Guzman Ricis municipal band in the village of Barcarrota.A delightfully wise and witty tale of a hoax perpetrated by a group of villagers to rescue their community from ruin - in the process abandoning their inhibitions, and uniting two lonely hearts.
4th Estate; December 2011
336 pages; ISBN 9780730499138
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Title: Poor Man's Wealth
Author: Rod Usher
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