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Papers in the Wind Paperback – May 20, 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When Alejandro Raguzzi (nicknamed “Mono”) dies of cancer, his brother, Fernando, and friends Ruso and Mauricio take it upon themselves to ensure the future of Mono’s young daughter, Guadalupe. The problem is, Mono’s entire estate consists of one terrible investment: he owns the transfer rights to Mario Juan Bautista Pittilanga, a soccer player laboring deep in the third division, far from Buenos Aires. If they can sell him, the girl’s future is secure—but how do you sell a striker who can’t score goals? Their comically inept efforts test the group’s already volatile dynamics. As the three friends navigate the murky waters of professional soccer, they learn a lot that, as fans, they wish they hadn’t, and their desperate, dubious dealings offer a poignant contrast to the dying Mono’s despair over the long decline of his beloved team, Independiente, and his concern that his daughter will not be raised as a fan. Can the game return the love we put into it? Sacheri, a best-selling author in Argentina, offers an entertaining and affecting novel of friendship, faith, and sport. --Keir Graff


“Like Hornby and Roddy Doyle, [Sacheri] excels at rendering the bantering, often adolescent exchanges of male friendship… this book is the perfect read for literate sports fans who are turned off by the excess of the World Cup, who don’t give a damn about golden boots and groups of death. Sacheri’s book is about failure and the ways that people cope with crushed dreams. It reduces the global sport to a human level, yet still acknowledges its flawed appeal.” —NewYorker.com

“A touching and amusing look at friendship through the eyes of four Argentine soccer fans…the clever ending... makes the tale worth the telling. Overall, the book is a pleasure to read.” —Kirkus

"In describing a world where players are commodities, whose value is talked up or down by a cast of reptilian speculators, Sacheri opens a fascinating window onto the game’s un-beautiful workings." —Times Literary Supplement

“An entertaining and affecting novel of friendship, faith, and sport.” —Booklist 

“When Papers in the Wind by Eduardo Sacheri, a novel about soccer translated from Spanish by Mara Faye Lethem, arrived on my desk, it pushed everything else out of the way.” —Shelf Awareness

"[A] gruff but carefully detailed and ultimately affecting novel." —Rain Taxi

"Eduardo Sacheri is part magpie, part magician, patiently assembling bits of ordinary life and conversation until you feel nestled inside not only the Argentinian soccer world, but inside the four-way friendship at the center of the book. Papers in the Wind is a soccer novel that's not really about soccer, a beautifully written and translated novel that's not only about beautiful writing or translation. It starts with death and ends with the promise of life." —Brigid Pasulka, author of The Sun and Other Stars and A Long, Long Time Ago, winner of the 2010 PEN/Hemingway Award.

“A striking novel of loss, betrayal, and what it means to grow up and accept the responsibilities that life has a way of unexpectedly thrusting upon us, Argentinian author Eduardo Sacheri’s Papers in the Wind realistically captures the bitter lows and the extreme highs of male friendship as it explores the lives of three very different men who, like it or not, will be forever linked to one another by their childhood memories and shared heartache.” —Typographical Era

"A good read if you want to lose yourself in another culture and learn more about the quirks of Argentine soccer and the impact it has on those who enjoy it." —World Soccer Talk

"Papers in the Wind, like The Secret In Their Eyes before it, is an extraordinarily well-crafted novel.  Disarmingly entertaining; wonderfully nuanced – it’s clever without showing off. Like a great soccer player, Eduardo Sacheri manages to make what he does on the field appear easy for the fans." —Book Sexy Review

“Sacheri succeeds like few others in giving his stories a universal dimension—the stories of ordinary people where the commonplace becomes epic.” —Juan José Campanella, Oscar-winning director of The Secret in Their Eyes

“A fine and inspiring novel, and you don’t have to be a soccer fan to enjoy it. But it helps!” —Hudson Valley News

“With his stories of soccer and descriptions of its players and fans, Sacheri reconfirms his previous literary merits: the ability to create environments with great sensitivity and narration, giving his words just the right tone, and suggesting that something is left unsaid.” —Revista Acción


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Other Press (May 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590516427
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590516423
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,191,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By TChris TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 5, 2014
Format: Paperback
As Papers in the Wind opens, Mono Raguzzi has just been buried in a cemetery in Castelar, a city in Buenos Aires Province. His death is being mourned by his brother Fernando and his friends Mauricio and Ruso. Mono had a short-lived career in professional soccer before joining a Swiss technology firm. After leaving that job to spend more time his daughter, he used his severance pay to buy the transfer rights to a soccer player, Mario Pittilanga. Now his brother and friends are wondering what to do with Pittiglana, who (to put it mildly) has not lived up to his potential.

Papers in the Wind slides around in time. Some chapters show us Mono before his death, struggling to find himself after his soccer career ended, dealing with the shaky relationship with his girlfriend Lourdes that produced Guadalupe, his daughter, or coming to terms with the end of his life and of his lifelong friendships. Other chapters take place in the present as Mono's friends and brother try to work out a scheme to save Mono's investment in Pittiglana while convincing Lourdes to give them time with Guadalupe.

The four key characters have well-defined, consistent personalities. Facing death, Mono focuses on what has always been important in life -- friends, family, and soccer. Mauricio is a driven, self-centered lawyer who cheats on his wife and does his best to avoid the obligations of friendship. Ruso's marital strife is caused by his failure at every business he starts, but he is affable and a master at avoiding conflict. Fernando, a teacher, is so honorable that he drives his friends crazy. Whether the friendships will survive Mono's death is a question that becomes more urgent as divided loyalties begin to divide the friends.
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This is a story for every football fan, but most important...for every person that has friends for which you would do anything for. Football is a huge part of the story, but as Sacheri described in his latest release, it is just a background of the greatest stories. You will become friends with Mono, Ruso, Mauricio and Fernando and at the end, you will identify with their love for Independiente. Highly recommended, get ready to cry and get angry with this plot.
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By Manuel on January 3, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Sacheri
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