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Manuel Puig's masterful and ironic "detective novel" concerns the abduction of a woman, an impending murder, and the dim memories of a thousand old glamour queens — Garbo, Dietrich, Veronica Lake, Rita Hayworth — all combining to make a powerful portrait of two decidedly unglamorous lives: Gladys Hebe D'Onofrio, a lonely 35-year-old sculptor, tormented by her fantasies and perpetually in search of the ideal lover; and Leo Druscovich, an outwardly confident and successful art critic, deeply troubled by a terrible guilt that surfaces in his repeated sexual failures. Taking on, exchanging, and growing into the roles of victim and criminal, their lives presented through a variety of different kinds of "evidence" — lists, scribbled notes, transcripts, one-sided interrogations — these two lost souls gradually find themselves entirely dependent on one another... and heading towards precisely the sort of violent ending a detective novel demands.
Dalkey Archive Press