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Las DOS Muertes de Gardel / the Two Deaths of a Gardel

Las DOS Muertes de Gardel / the Two Deaths of a Gardel

by Horacio Vazquez Rial, Horaci Vazquez-Rial

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Vazquez-Rial, a historian and prolific novelist originally from Buenos Aires , offers a fictionalized biography of tango icon Carlos Gardel, a fixture of Argentine mythology. However, the writer poses some questions about the singer's origins and life that challenge Gardel's legacy, which is not unreasonable, given the mystery surrounding his birth. Vazquez-Rial's work is largely based on the research of Nelson Bayardo (Carlos Gardel: A la luz de la historia, Fundacion Banco de Boston, 2000), who asserts that the singer's real name was Carlos Escayola and that he was born in Tacuarembo, Uruguay not in France, as he claimed. The story opens spectacularly with a re-creation of the airplane collision in Medellin, Colombia, on June 24, 1935, in which the singer perished. (He was so badly burned that he was unrecognizable, giving rise to the popular legend that Gardel could still be found singing his face disfigured in some Buenos Aires cafe.) In Vazquez-Rial's novel, the collision was no accident but a successful Nazi assassination of the plane's pilot. Stuctured around Paulino Losada (a Spanish journalist who saw the crash), Romeu (a writer interviewing Losada 62 years later), and the testimony of Carlos Segundo Escayola (one of Gardel's brothers), the complicated plot will test the reader's memory. However, the novel is a quick read, and V zquez-Rial has a good ear for dialog. He alternates facts with fiction so skillfully that it is difficult to separate them, and what emerges is a portrait very different from the sugar-coated "official" ones. Although Vazquez Rial's novel shatters the myth of Gardel, it is ultimately satisfying because it shows readers his more human, vulnerable side: aGardel who was sired illegitimately and brutally by an evil Uruguayan colonel; a Gardel who was forced to associate with the underworld in order to survive. Recommended for all bookstores and both public and academic libraries. David Pardue, Univ. of Kansas Libs., Lawrence Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Ediciones B
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