The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Perón
Author: Carlos Gamerro
Translator: Ian Barnett
Original language: Spanish
Published by: And Other Stories, 2014
1975. The cusp of Argentina’s Dirty War. Magnate Fausto Tamerlán has been kidnapped by guerrillas whose ransom demands stipulate the placement of a bust of Eva Perón in all ninety-two offices of his construction company. Ernesto Marroné is tasked with installing them, but his is a mission for executives of a heroic disposition; a modern knight, he must penetrate the ultimate Argentinian mystery: that maid of myth and legend known as Evita. He plunges into a world of occupied factories, urban guerrillas, Buenos Aires slums and the utopian Evita City, where his leadership skills (acquired from managerial bibles How to Win Friends and Influence People and Don Quixote: The Executive-Errant) are put to the test.
Marroné is a man both ahead of and behind his time: an ’80s yuppie fighting his way through the revolutionary ’70s, a ’70s would-be rebel caught in the corporate rat-race and the lethargy of suburban life. A stand-alone work but also a prequel to his first novel, The Islands (And Other Stories, 2012), Carlos Gamerro’s caustic and utterly original tale is a shattered window onto the dog days of a century we cannot yet shake off.