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Diary of the War of Pigs (Diario de la guerra del cerdo) is a 1969 novel by Argentine author Adolfo Bioy Casares (1914-1999).

The premise is a chilling one: suddenly, with no warning, the youth of Buenos Aires declare war on the elderly. Bands of young men roam the streets, killing any old people they can find The novel is a sketch drawn, though in third person, from the perspective of Don Isidro Vidal, one of the hunted.

It follows Don Isidro over the period of a week. He is a creature of habit: he plays cards with his friends, buys his breakfact at the same bakery, walks in patterns. As his friends are killed by random passersby, his habits fall apart, and he is forced to confront what his age and lifestyle had taken from him.

The story has a darkly comical feel. Typical old men, Isidro's friends sit and whine to one another about how unfair life is (and yet they are self-aware; one of Isidro's friends remarks, "It is hard to defend old men. There are only sentimental arguments: 'how much they have done for us,' 'they have hearts too,' 'they suffer' and so forth. As if they don't know how the Lapps and the Eskimos deal with their elderly.") . They remain crotchety even in the face of death. The novel's portrayal of its aging heroes is an unembellished one: they have health problems, personality problems--all the things that grow on a man after sixty years of life. Ultimately, though, the book is an affirmation of man's ability to shed those things and regain the traits of youth--whatever the age.

This book is inspiring in a way few books are. Its chronicle of daily-life-turned-nightmare is a frighteningly believable one; its lessons are saccharine-free. There is nothing to do but recommend it.

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