A The lead Gomez is something f a cipher though everything he gets up to gay affairs with police fficers sheltering pregnant dissidents writing essays Well this is my second novel with Guillermo Saccomanno as the author after I started reading his monumental epic Gesell Dome this autumn And while I did not find time enough to finish this earlier work I happened to pick up this ne this month This was The Secret Child onef the new releases by Open Letter publisher this year The plot and the narrative structure in this book is wholly different than the earlier novel While the previous novel was like a raging sea Japanese Schoolgirl Inferno: Tokyo Teen Fashion Subculture Handbook of souls tenuous and disenchanted sinking into the mortal uagmiref reflections f their reeking souls tenebrous and culpable this ne novel is indeed a savage indictment f a totalitarian regime told in hallucinatory prose from the pen f a writer who has a penchant for a style that is wholly riginal and inventive In all versimilitude this novel tells the story f a Buenos Aires in 1977 in the darkest days Death by Inferior Design of the Videla dictatorship The story is told through flashbacks and recollectionsf a gay high school literature teacher who has a uniue penchant for Oscar Wilde and ne night hook ups with his male friends The story goes into great lengths detailing his sexual preferences and if it were not for the uniuely structured plot this would have been mistaken for a LGBT novel And ne common running theme are the political atrocities committed Hitler's Northern War: The Luftwaffe's Ill-Fated Campaign, 1940-1945 on young people and students and the poltical watch dog always running around in the streets in green Falcons alwaysn the brink f malevolence running a reign f terror through the streets There are several ther characters with their stories sidewinding alongside the main plot which is told thirty years later in the form f recollections What with the presence A Philosophy of Cinematic Art of a randy and lecherousld poet who happens to be the narrator s friend and his illicit affair with The Potato Hack: Weight Loss Simplified onef his students what with a semblance White House Years (Henry Kissingers Memoirs of the supernatural and theccult that makes its presence in ne f their nightly liaisions what with the presence Scab of two young dissidentsne happens to be. Azzi non avevano porte Solo finestre Ma iniziavano appena all'altezza del secondo pianoA gni finestra famiglie intere con bandierine biancoazzurre applaudivano e festeggiavano la parata silenz.
The second novel from Saccomanno in English translation is a much tamer affair than the comic take n Dante s Inferno the exuberant monster Gesell Dome A snapshot Indo No Kao of the seventies inside the Argentine Videla regime the terror tickled lead G mez relates talesf past acuaintances among them two young revolutionaries an OAP skirt chaser a macho muchacho cop lover and a neighbour into hair burning ccult practices while relating his wn erotic adventures in the realm Giant Peach Yodel of nubile youths An inventive pensive and comic seriesf scenes and remembrances the novel evokes the uotidian terror experienced when living under a corrupt and violent regime As Western democracy arseplummets into the new autocracy with post Brexit UK the first banana republic sans the bananas these sorts Sinai and Zion of novels are astute remindersf things we already know and have no power to change This is the second novel by award winning Argentinian author Guillermo Saccomanno translated to English by Andrea G Labinger for Open Letter books and it is a good ne The main story takes place in 1977 during the period called The Dirty War that followed the military displacement f Isabel Peron From this period f Government spons Though written in 2008 this has nly just been published in English This is Buenos Aires in 1977 under the Videla regime Green Ford Falcons hover minously n every street corner and police beat Iniquity or imprison people for no apparent reason and yet the residentsf Buenos Aires try to go about their normal business But looking the ther way eventually becomes an untenable proposition for the protagonist secondary school teacher G mez A student gets taken by gunpoint from his class and he finds himself involved with a homophobic cop Before long two young dissidents show up seeking refuge at his apartment and he is involved then he ever thought he could be As attractive a premise as it seems I found Saccomanno s writing did not hold my attention fascinating as a series f ccasional vignettes but with little to hold them together A winding sometimes fascinating claustrophobic novel about life under Videla in Argentin. Le Falcon verdi lasciavano coaguli sull'asfalto la traccia degli pneumatici insanguinati Cercai di camminare rasente il muro non c'era nessuna porta attraverso cui entrare per nascondermi I pal.
A lesbian BTW that seek shelter in the narrator s place and their intemperate liaisions what with the homosexual relationship that arises between a homophobic cop and the narrator that seeks to engulf the latter in a moral and political conundrum this novel makes for a wonderful roller coster ride through the dark depths f human souls Highly recommended This is mostly harsh and relentless Saccomanno s prose is clean and uiet The novel does meander a bit in the second half the seuence with Gomez sheltering the dissidents seems to be a bit Annual Report of the Officers of the Town of Holderness, N. H: Year Ending January 31, 1937 (Classic Reprint) of a digression Longlisted for 2020 Best Translated Book AwardMy video review It s after 1 am I m tired and so my words will have to wait except for thisne Gardening with Shape, Line and Texture: A Plant Design Sourcebook of the best books I ve read this yearMore to come Wow this novel what a stunner Historical noir set mainly during the Dirty War in Argentina We follow Gomez a gay former high school literature professor now in his 80 s as he recalls the eventsf the novel from 30 years earlier while he s in his 50 s Gomez serves as both protagonist f his wn story and as a conduit for the stories f ther victims The Amazing Dreams of Andrew Latter of the terrorf the Videla dictatorship that he meets and talks with Lots Culture is the Body: The Theatre Writings of Tadashi Suzuki of sudden hops between stories and back and forth in time but the book never feels hard to follow due to the vividnessf the writing Lots Cognitive Science: An Introduction to the Study of Mind of thrillingly David Lynchian surrealist scenes Tense and brutal with a bitf the The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta occult thrown in for good measure this book really brings home the fear and paranoia brought about by life under a murderous autocrat A great read This was something very different to what I normally read though the I reflectn it the the way that terror and paranoia are written reminds me so much f what Australian author Anna Funder does in STASILAND There s something compelling and disturbing about reading such candid accounts from characters that are simply struggling to existArgentina under the political dictatorship the disappearances the shadow f fear that people lived under and distrust f everyone this novel draws ut so many f these themes in a very visceral perfect word for this book markhaber wa. Iosa delle Falcon verdiNel vento si udiva l'eco di una marcia Ed era la Marcha peronista Mi appoggiai a un muro Sentii ualcosa di caldo e appiccicoso sui palmi sulle ditaIl muro grondava sangue.