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Queer superiority complex or well-earned snark?

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On the opening page of Alejandro Varela’s debut novel The Town of Babylon, the protagonist Andrés identifies the moment his intuition told him to turn the other way, to resist the temptation toward mess.

Of course, he ignores his own judgment and goes anyway. Intrigued, I turn the page.Andrés tells the reader of his aspirations to not be “defensively prejudiced—certainly not haughty” and yet it’s his judginess that sustains much of the book’s early momentum.

He’s back in town to help take care of his ailing father: the messy event he’s tempted into attending is a 20th high school reunion.

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