by Andy Mulligan
Reviewed by Barbara Brown
Trash had me enthralled from beginning to end. Two boys, Raphael and Gardo, are friends and the main narrators in this wonderful fascinating tale. Both boys, aged around 13 years, live on a dumpsite. Their lives are spent sorting the trash, living the trash, breathing the trash, and ultimately, dying with it.
The dumpsite is where the city’s trash ends up. The unnamed city of millions is poor and the majority of the trash is human waste. An unhealthy living for the poorest of the poor, but Raphael and Gardo have each other and a few friends. Everyone who lives on the dumpsite always hopes for a treasure within the garbage and when Raphael finds a small leather bag, he thinks his life has turned for the best.
Then police and politicians are paying handsomely for the return of the bag. What is in this bag? With Gardo, Raphael gets the assistance of another trash boy, Rat, to help solve the riddle of the contents of the bag. The next thing these three boys are on the run - running to find answers to a mystery that even the top policemen can’t solve. Can three uneducated, gutter living children outwit and outsmart them?
Trash is a book that will make you look at the world a lot differently. One’s man trash is another’s treasure has new meaning in this brilliant story.