Michel Faber, "Finesse"

A dying Castro-esque dictator needs the help of a surgeon he once imprisoned.

(from Vanilla Bright Like Eminem)

Rumours that the dictator was ill were unfounded. He’d never been fitter. Nevertheless, the dictator considered it wise, from time to time, to confirm the robustness of his health by having X-rays made of his chest. On this occasion when the great man asked if the X-rays showed anything unusual, his personal physician hesitated to reply.
“You have a big heart,” said the physician at last.
“I know that,” smiled the dictator. “But how big?”
They stood in the dictator’s office. The physician hugged the folder of X-rays unhappily to his breast.

Well, on one hand I was really into this story. The situation was interesting, its main characters made for excellent adversaries. The doctor and the dictator found their usual positions of power reversed (though neither could afford to be completely honest with the other) making for interesting exchanges. Not slick, but very well written.
On the other hand, I’d have enjoyed something resembling a conclusion. Maybe that means I should be reading genre fiction or something. Certainly a resolution is not something Faber has any interest in.

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