I’ve posted a review of James Scudamore’s “Heliopolis” over at The Europa Challenge Blog today. Set in modern Sao Paulo, the novel was one of the nominees for the 2009 Man Booker Prize and is an engaging read. As I mention in the review, it reminds me of how well-meaning family members often pressure others in their families to pursue personal or career paths that aren’t the best fit for them. In the worst case, those paths end up producing great conflict, both within and without the person pressured. If unresolved, conflict can sometimes erupt in litigation, though that’s not a subject of this book.
One of the motifs of “Heliopolis” is avoiding the streets of Sao Paulo, which one of the characters in the novel does by commuting by helicopter. Coincidentally, The New York Times had an article this week about increasing helicopter congestion in Los Angeles. A friend recently called my attention to a YouTube video about L.A. traffic problems, specifically, the road construction that was feared to result in Carmageddon. The video is one of the many subtitled parodies of “The Downfall.” Enjoy!