The Days of the Rainbow by Antonio Skarmeta

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...the emotional power and weight of Nico's narrative consistently overpowers Bettini's story, further unbalancing a translation that favors the informal, breezy language of the Chilean youth over the stolid speech of their elders.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

Nico, the son of a noted Chilean philosophy professor, witnesses his father’s arrest while he is teaching a class. Bettini, the father of Nico’s best friend, is a leftist advertising executive who has been blacklisted and is out of work after having been imprisoned and tortured by Pinochet’s police. This doesn’t stop the ministry of the interior from asking Bettini, who is the best in the business, to come up with a plan for the upcoming referendum designed to say “yes” to Pinochet’s next term. But just hours after he has been approached by the right, the head of the opposition makes him the exact same offer. What is Bettini going to do? Put his life on the line or sacrifice his political convictions? Finally he goes with the left. The next hurdle is finding a slogan that would be approved by the sixteen factions that comprise the opposition and who never agree on anything. Whiskey after whiskey, an idea finally emerges.
   This is a vivacious tale that examines how advertising and politics come together during the Pinochet regime. But this is also a coming-of-age story where we see through Nico’s experience what it means to grow up in a country where nothing is allowed and almost any move can feel like an earnest act of resistance.
 

About Antonio Skarmeta

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Antonio Skarmeta is a Chilean writer whose novel and film Ardiente paciencia inspired the 1994 Academy Award-winning movie, Il Postino (The Postman). The novel's English translation bears the same title. His fiction has received dozens of awards and has been translated into nearly thirty languages. In 2011, his novel Los días del arcoíris (The Days of the Rainbow) won the prestigious Premio iberoamericano Planeta-Casa de América de Narrativa. His play El Plebiscito, based on the same true incident as this novel, was the basis for the Oscar-nominated film No.
 
Published May 21, 2013 by Other Press. 241 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Jun 03 2013

...the emotional power and weight of Nico's narrative consistently overpowers Bettini's story, further unbalancing a translation that favors the informal, breezy language of the Chilean youth over the stolid speech of their elders.

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