In his book The Relentless City (originally published as Caracas Muerde in 2012) Héctor Torres chronicles the hardship, pain, delinquency, and fear inherent in living in one of the most violent cities in the world. Written before the death of Hugo Chávez, the vignettes Torres explores are just as prescient and impactful as conditions in Venezuela have continued to deteriorate. There is a humor in Torres’ writing, a good-natured approach to the daily horrors and hardships. He writes in snapshots, little snippets of life, and yet the protagonist of each story feels real and tangible. He has a way of making us as readers care about characters whose stories last but a few pages. He marks them indelibly in our minds.
Caracas is relentless. It never gives an inch, never lets up, never lets go. The Relentless City will take you on a journey throughout the entirety of Caracas, touching on lives of people from every social class, people just trying to get through their day, trying to make ends meet, get back to their families every night. The chronicles are relentless, too, sticking in your head and refusing to leave you in peace. This is a book that will stay with you.