Additional Book Information
Series: NYRB Classics
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
The N'Gustro Affair
by Jean-Patrick Manchette, translated from the French by Donald Nicholson-Smith, introduction by Gary Indiana
An NYRB Classics Original
Mean, arrogant, naïve, sadistic on occasion, the young Henri Butron records his life story on tape just before death catches up with him. A death passed off as a suicide by his killers, French secret service agents who need to hush up their role—and Butron’s—in the kidnapping, torture, and murder of a leading opposition leader from a third-world African nation in the throes of a postcolonial civil war.
The N’Gustro Affair is a thinly veiled retelling of the 1965 abduction and killing of Mehdi Ben Barka, a radical opponent of King Hassan II of Morocco. But this is merely the backdrop to Jean-Patrick Manchette’s first-person portrait (with shades of Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me) of a man who lacks the insight to see himself for what he is: a wannabe nihilist too weak to be even a full-bore fascist.