Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9781681375120
Pages: 200
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

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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.