'Whatever region his writing inhabits, it is blazing with life and actuality' Ted Hughes, New York Review of Books
It is 1906. The death of his seventeen-year-old son, Arturo, has disrupted the life of Max Barabander in Buenos Aires, sending him back to his roots in Warsaw. Having attained wealth and respectability after a youth of poverty and a prison stretch for theft, Max revisits scenes of the past in the thieves' quarter in Warsaw finding congenial underworld company. Visiting his old haunts reminds him of his early religious upbringing and he begins to fear the rabbi will put a curse on him for evil behaviour. As his spiritual disorder accelerates, he is finally driven to violence. A novel that foreshadows the twentieth-century's changing mores and loss of ethical values, SCUM is an impressive example of the extraordinary talent of a master storyteller.