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The Buenos Aires Quintet (A Pepe Carvalho Mystery) Paperback – March 27, 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Montalbán does for Barcelona what Chandler did for Los Angeles— he exposes the criminal power relationships beneath the façade of democracy.”
THE GUARDIAN

“Montalbán writes with authority and compassion— a le Carré-like sorrow.”
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"What’s not to like about a detective who, at the end of a hard day’s sleuthing, rustles up a duck ragout at 1 in the morning and then sits down to eat it?" — THE DAILY BEAST

“A writer who is caustic about the powerful and tender towards the oppressed.”
TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

“Carvalho travels down the mean calles with humor, perception, and compassion.”
THE TIMES (LONDON)

“Does for modern Barcelona what Dickens did for 19th century London.”
TOTAL

“Carvalho is funny . . . scathingly witty about the powerful. He is an original eccentric, burning books and cooking all night. Like Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe, he is a man of honor walking the mean streets of a sick society.”
THE INDEPENDENT (LONDON)

“A sharp wit and a knowing eye.”
SUNDAY TIMES (LONDON)

About the Author

Born in Barcelona in 1939, MANUEL VÁZQUEZ MONTALBÁN (1939–2003) was a member of Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya (PSUC), and was jailed by the Franco government for four years for supporting a miners’ strike. A columnist for Madrid’s El País, as well as a prolific poet, playwright, and essayist, Vázquez Montalbán was also a well-known gourmand who wrote often about food. The nineteen novels in his Pepe Carvalho series have won international acclaim, including the Planeta prize (1979) and the International Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (1981), both for Southern Seas. He died in 2003 in Thailand, on his way home to Barcelona.

NICK CAISTOR’S translations from the Spanish and the Portuguese include works by José Saramago and Paulo Coelho, and he is the author of Che Guevara: A Life.

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Product Details

  • Series: A Pepe Carvalho Mystery
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Melville International Crime; Reprint edition (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612190340
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612190341
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,103,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tango, the disappeared, Maradona; it is the answer to the often repeated question "what do you know about Buenos Aires"in this masterpiece by Manuel Vazquez Montalban.This time Pepe Carvalho leaves his beloved Barcelona for the tragic city of Buenos Aires, whose inhabitants are trying to come to terms with the upheavals of their recent history.Apart from hair-raising adventures,Carvalho's baptism into the Buenos Aires culture provides of course also ample opportunity to sample Argentinian cuisine.As an hommage to Pepe and also out of curiosity, today I tried the recipy for ninos envueltas on page 268, which I accompanied with a full-bodied Syraz from Argentina's Mendoza wine region.I dare say as full bodied as the femme fatales in this, my best loved Carvalho mystery, so far.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Maybe lost something in translation. Dialogue not realistic. Interesting set of characters, but took too long to get somewhere. Plot was evident. Some incidents outlandish and unbelievable. Made you laugh instead of be worried. Did hit you over the head with the conflict between the sides of Argentina's civil war. Read it to prepare for a trip to Buenos Aires. Will see how well it describes what one sees in today's life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my opinion, this is the pinnacle of the Montalban books in English. Politics and history entangle with a mystery in a sort of dance that will be familiar to readers of his other works. There will be some investigating, some nostalgia, detailed gustation, perhaps an encounter with an old lover or an existential crisis. Maybe more clues will emerge, maybe not. The crime is eventually resolved, potentially solved, but it is the meandering journey that forms the heart of these books.
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Format: Kindle Edition
While the book was fine and prose way above average I found that for me the plot and intrigue was often broken up by long soliloquy's on social issues or other matters that seemed to break up the pacing of this already long book. Still enjoyed the lead character of Pepe Carvalho and his eccentricities, but found the story drawn out and a late chapter killing spree really superfluous. Social history of Argentina and sense of place with description of Buenos Aires was excellent so rescued the book a bit for me. Still, given the two books I have now read by Montalban will have me steering away from him unless it is a book of short stories ha ha.
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