Friday, December 29, 2006

Book Review: The Buenos Aires Quintet by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán

In The Buenos Aires Quintet, first published in 1997, we find Pepe in Buenos Aires, bringing that city to life in the way he does Barcelona. Pepe’s been hired by an uncle of his who wants to locate his son, now back in Argentina after years of exile in Spain. What does Pepe know of Argentina? "Tango, the disappeared, Maradona," he flippantly answers, although Pepe is fully aware of Argentina’s history. Once there, he encounters people of around his age who fought against the military take-over in 1976; i.e., the "subversives," most of whom have "disappeared." The nephew he is sent to find, Raúl Tourón, was aligned with these left-wing Perónists, although he worked as a research behavioral scientist and, in fact, made an important discovery in working with rats: that a link exists between animal behavior and the quality of animal feed. Put another way: "he taught how to treat people like rats." The military dictatorship stole his research, putting it to use for their own ends. The following year Raúl’s house was raided and his wife, the lovely, militant activist Belma was shot and their baby daughter taken away. Raúl was taken into custody as was his sister-in-law Alma, but they were later released. Raúl doesn’t learn the facts until much later, but it was his father, already in exile in Spain, who made a deal with the military junta to spare their lives and get them out of prison.
Read More

Please visit SPLALit aStore

No comments:

Post a Comment