Money to Burn by Ricardo Piglia

 

Image result for ricardo piglia money to burn

Money to Burn by Ricardo Piglia

Argentinan fiction

Original title – Plata Quemada

Translator – Amanda Hopkinson

Source – Personal copy

I have always had a great love since I started this blog of fiction from Argentina with 27 books under review. I knew it was time I featured Ricardo Piglia, a writer, and critic best known for introducing Argentina to Hardboiled crime novels from the great American writers. He also wrote a number of crime novels. This one came out a number of years ago. His last book to be translated came out a couple of years ago from Deep Vellum, I have a copy of that as well to review at some point. But started with this as it seemed to be a great genre-defying piece of work. A novel based on an actual crime that also saw Piglia sued by relatives and people he had depicted in the book. which saw a payout for how they were depicted in the novel.

They are called the twins because they’re inseparable. But they aren’t brothers, nor do they even look like one another. In factit would be hard to find two more different physical types. What they have in common is a way of looking at you, withtheir pale, placid eyes, a savage stare in a suspicious face. Dorda is heavy and quiet, with a ruddy face and an easy smile.Brgnone is thin, slightly built, agile, has black hair and a complex so pallid, it looks as if he’s spent more time in jail than he actually has.

The opening lines describe the twins or as they are nicknamed The gauch and the Kid. Dorda is a simple soul it turns out.

The book follows a crime that actually happened in Buenos Aires on the 27 September 1965 a group of bank robbers who had considered themselves like Urban Guerillas robbed a bank. They went on the run til six weeks later they were surrounded by the military police and a siege occurred which became the stuff of legend. These men the twins Dorda and Brignone were depicted as lovers hence being called the twins because they were described as inseparable. together with twelve other men in a gang, they were called the Tascura gang. they commit the robbery and go on the run with millions in one of the biggest crimes in Latin American history. The main focus of the book is these two men and the relationship also what happened during and after the crime. As the two called the Gaucho and the kid during the book add a sense of the outlaw feel of the book a sense of the crime harking back to the great crimes of the wild west or even before that with characters like Dick Turpin. We also see the nature of the men as two gay men in the society that wouldn’t accept them as Macho males. Then we also see how relationships suffer when under pressure as the law captures up with them in the form of Silva the policeman in charge of finding the gang.

Next day the newspapers carried pictures of Police commissinor Silva in the act of identifying the corpse of Twisty Bazan in a bar beside the harbour. His pronouncements were both sententious and contradictory (mutally incompatiable, even), as befits a perfect example of police logic.

“in this country criminals fall to illing ine another in order to avoid coming to Justice, We are on the trail of the gang of assassins who robbed the San Fernando bank and their hours are now numbered.

The dead man was an inform but it looked like bprogress early on in the case.

The bond between the two main characters is that of the classic partners in crime butch and Sundance, Bonnie and Clyde, Frank and Jesse James. The novel is formed of reports of the time and Piglia actually started writing the book just after the actual events coming back to it many years later. He said in an interview when the book came out he was influenced by Oscar Lewis works but also the New journalism of the 1970s. .He said he used the actual record events and placed a fiction on top of this. I said he was a writer I liked to feature as he in some ways is the Heir of Borges for the way he liked to defy genre but also subverting the crime and detective novel something Borges did in the early forties with his stories. The only problem with this book is that we may have lost something in the translation as the Spanish edition is known for his use of slang that was used at the time. Something that is hard to transfer. It has a great sense of pace at times and keeps the tension that must have been in the original book.

Advertisements

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa Hill
    May 15, 2018 @ 00:28:07

    Something like Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood?

    Reply

  2. 1streading
    May 19, 2018 @ 19:59:13

    I’ve only read Target in the Night (Money to Burn sadly out of print along like most of what little has been translated) but I quite fancy picking up The Diaries of Emilio Renzi.

    Reply

  3. Trackback: That was the month that was May 2018 | Winstonsdad's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

May 2018
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jun »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
%d bloggers like this: