1975. The cusp of Argentina’s Dirty War. The magnate, Fausto Tamerlán, has been kidnapped by guerrillas, who as part of their ransom demands have stipulated the placement of a bust of Eva Perón in all ninety-two offices of Argentina’s leading construction company, Tamerlán & Sons. Tamerlán’s head of procurement, Ernesto Marroné, is the man tasked with the job, but he soon finds out that his is a mission for executives of a heroic disposition. His subsequent picaresque journey plunges him into a world of occupied factories, the slums of Buenos Aires and the utopian Evita City. Equipped with his trusty copy of Don Quixote: The Executive-Errant, Marroné is a modern knight who finds himself forced to penetrate the ultimate Argentinian mystery: Eva Perón – that maid of myth and legend whom we know as Evita. A stand-alone novel in its own right but also a prequel to his first novel, The Islands (And Other Stories, 2012), Carlos Gamerro’s caustic and utterly original novel is a shattered window onto Argentina’s recent past.
Praise for The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Perón:
- ‘Some may feel that the armed militancy of the 1970s shouldn’t be the subject of knockabout comedy; others, that Eva Perón shouldn’t be a target for satire. But in its dissection of operative myths and its demystification, The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Perón proposes an effective literary language for the purpose.’ Soledad Quereilhac, La Nación
- ‘The more we laugh at the tragicomic hero Ernesto Marroné, this child of rigorous capitalism turned Montonero revolutionary, the more we empathise with Gamerro, the father of this child who is convinced he can apply the sermons of self-help manuals to breathe new life into the Revolution.’ Silvina Friera, Página
- ‘The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Perón is a Salman Rushdie-style retelling of a nation’s history from the recollections of an oddball individual, as Carlos Gamerro delves back into a vital passage of Argentina’s past from the skewed perspective of a man fundamentally unsuited to his own time . . . The result is a comically charged and slyly satirical tale that strips away the high rhetoric of history and politics, and reveals the squabbling egos underneath.’ Ross McIndoe, The Skinny
- ‘Finally, the novel’s translation deserves high praise. The collaborative effort between the bilingual Gamerro and Ian Barnett turns colorful Spanish prose into funny, distinctly British English that evokes the novel’s working-class bruisers and prim-and-proper business sharks with equal aptitude.’ Arthur Dixon, World Literature in Review
- ‘[A] hilarious political satire . . . Carlos Gamerro provides a comical glimpse into a slice of Argentina’s political past. Here we have an entertaining, absorbing and thought-provoking piece of literature with a loveable protagonist.’ Dami Okhiria, Buzz
- ‘[A] masterful work of comic fiction that opens up a fascinating period in international history. By aiming his barbs at all sides of the political spectrum, Carlos Gamerro exposes the inherent corruption of human nature. As the country becomes increasingly unstable, the chapters grow ever more surreal, culminating in a finale of glorious ridiculousness. This is the work of a master satirist and comes highly recommended.’ Booktrust
- ‘Gamerro navigates extreme situations of war . . . and crime with a practiced hand and plenty of humour . . . With its eccentric mixture of politics, terror, domestic minutiae, and business rhetoric, the story of Marroné’s entrance to the guerrilla echelons is a biting commentary on Argentina’s Dirty War . . . a thorough probe at the uglier seams in society, and ultimately, the making of an unlikely hero, The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Peron is satire at its finest.’ Karen Rigby, Foreward Reviews
- ‘This is a bold and imaginative novel which deserves to be celebrated, a reminder that fiction can still take risks and provide the odd shock.’ Tom Cuell, Workshyfop
- ‘A bombastic satire on 1970’s Argentina, following the exploits of Ernesto, procurement manager for a huge construction firm . . . Huge fun, laced with searing insights into the politics of the time.’ Lucinda, Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights
- Read more about Carlos Gamerro here.
- Translated Ian Barnett who collaborates closely with Carlos Gamerro and has already translated Gamerro’s The Islands (And Other Stories, 2012) and An Open Secret.
- Carlos Gamerro regularly visits the UK for readings. Sign up to our mailing list to find out more information.
- If you had subscribed to And Other Stories before The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Perón went to the printers, you would have received one of the first copies of the book – in which all subscribers are thanked by name – before its official publication, as well as up to five other And Other Stories titles per year. Find out about subscribing to upcoming titles here.
Other works by Carlos Gamerro:
- Read more about Gamerro’s ‘important’ and ‘landmark novel’, The Islands here.