a funny dirty little war by Osvaldo Soriano

Osvaldo Soriano was a jornalist and writer he worked for the la opinon in the early seventies ,he wrote his first novel in 1973 ,this his fifth novel was published in 1986 and was translated by Nick Caistor.he died in 1997 at the young age of 54 ,his books have been translated in to 15 different languages and inspired films .


The book is set in a small fictional Argentina town Colonia vela ,we see what starts as a small argument escalate to a huge conflict .This story has a strong Parable element to it ,we see through the Humour of Soriano writings the effect the Juan Peron had on his country men .we met Suprino the local Peronist boss ,he along with the town’s mayor and others plots to get rid of the assistance of the  deputy mayor Fuentes and his assistant Mateo who has leftist leaning as sympathies .but Fuentes doesn’t want to this leads to a huge stand-off and the local students which have leftist sympathies get involved ,thus the situation ends at near civil war .

Suprino said that the mayor and the party tribunal would take responsibility .

yes ,but not for the shambles.If we get them out ,all well and good :if not ,we’re screwed

let’s go in shooting then .

Hang on let the others do the shooting ,then clear off you’ve got keep your hands clean .Suprino said you’re going to be made police chief in Tandil

There must be thousands of commies there

the place is crawling with them .in the university ,in the steelworks ,you’ll have lots of fun .

Suprino and the local inspector talking .

The action is constant throughout the book and also the laughs as the situations lead from on disaster to another ,This is latin American writing at its best facing the distant past face on and with out rose-coloured glasses .Peron influence over post war Argentina was huge his crimes and death squads is something this country still comes to terms with and books like this help shed a light on that time .the book is very short and took me an afternoon to get through  ,the book was made into a film in 1983 by Hector Olivera .which was critical acclaimed ,the book  and film is a tale of left wing versus right wing politics that was acted out in many towns and areas of latin america during the 70’s .the translation by the acclaimed Nick Caistor is perfect ,he is one of the best at male latin american voices

Have you read this book ?


Purge the Prize winner

winner 2010 sofi oksanen

Sofi Oskannen together with Robert Saviano for a essay called beauty and Hell won the Le PrixLivree europeaan the European book prize in its third year the award site is here .This goes with the Nordic Council prize Purge won earlier this year .My review is here

December 2010


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