A tale of one man’s flamboyant rise and then his spectacular fall, Le brutaliste pushes the reader into his entrenchments, between attraction and repulsion.
Tomas Taveira is a powerful, rich, famous architect. And a sexual
abuser. Yet he fascinates Matthew. The latter manages to interview him
at length, trying to get as close as possible to the man who, struck by a
resounding scandal, had to interrupt his career.
Who is this man whose name the narrator will not mention once during the course of the novel? An avant-garde builder who raised brutalism (architectural current) to the rank of art or a simple brute without limits? His watchword has always been: play, have fun, win. The Amoreiras towers overlooking part of Lisbon represent his victory, but the games he imposes on the women he works with are vile. He forces them to submit to his sexual whims in front of a camera and then keeps every trace of his attacks on tapes. When these recordings are stolen from him, the shock wave spreads to public opinion: the Brutalist is dragged through the mud and into the courts.