The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Perón
1975. The cusp of Argentina’s Dirty War. Magnate Fausto Tamerlán has been kidnapped by guerrillas whose ransom demands stipulate the placement of a bust of Eva Perón in all ninety-two offices of his construction company. Ernesto Marroné is tasked with installing them, but his is a mission for executives of a heroic disposition; a modern knight, he must penetrate the ultimate Argentinian mystery: that maid of myth and legend known as Evita. He plunges into a world of occupied factories, urban guerrillas, Buenos Aires slums and the utopian Evita City, where his leadership skills (acquired from managerial bibles How to Win Friends and Influence People and Don Quixote: The Executive-Errant) are put to the test.
Marroné is a man both ahead of and behind his time: an ’80s yuppie fighting his way through the revolutionary ’70s, a ’70s would-be rebel caught in the corporate rat-race and the lethargy of suburban life. A stand-alone work but also a prequel to his first novel, The Islands (And Other Stories, 2012), Carlos Gamerro’s caustic and utterly original tale is a shattered window onto the dog days of a century we cannot yet shake off.Read an Excerpt
- Read more about Carlos Gamerro here.
- Translated by Ian Barnett who collaborates closely with Carlos Gamerro and has already translated Gamerro’s The Islands (And Other Stories, 2012) and An Open Secret.
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‘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.’
‘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.’
‘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.’