The Islands by Carlos Gamerro

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The ultra-violent action in this weird and wonderful thriller centres on Felipe Félix...


Buenos Aires, 1992. Hacker Felipe Félix is summoned to the vertiginous twin towers of magnate Fausto Tamerlán and charged with finding the witnesses to a very public crime. Rejecting the mission is not an option. After a decade spent immersed in drugs and virtual realities, trying to forget the freezing trench in which he passed the Falklands War, Félix is forced to confront the city around him and realises to his shock that the war never really ended. A detective novel, a cyber-thriller, an inner-city road trip and a war memoir,The Islandsis a hilarious, devastating and dizzyingly surreal account of a history that remains all too raw.

About Carlos Gamerro

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Carlos Gamerro was born in Buenos Aires in 1962. He has published the novels Las Islas (1998), El sueño del señor juez (2000), El secreto y las voces (2002), La aventura de los bustos de Eva (2004), Un yuppie en la columna del Che Guevara (2010) and the book of short stories El libro de los afectos raros (2005). His literary criticism includes the books El nacimiento de la literatura argentina (2006), Ulises: claves de lectura (2008) and Ficciones barrocas: una lectura de Borges, Bioy Casares, Silvina Ocampo, Cortázar, Onetti y Felisberto Hernández (2010). He has translated into Spanish Graham Greene’s A World of One’s Own, W.H. Auden’s The Dyer’s Hand, Harold Bloom’s Poetry and Repression, and William Shakespeare’s Henry VIII and Hamlet. The English versions of his novels An Open Secret (Pushkin Press, 2011) and The Islands (And Other Stories, 2012) were done in collaboration with his regular translator Ian Barnett. He has also co-authored the film script for the movie Tres de corazones (Sergio Renán, 2007)and the Catalogue for the 11th Lyon Biennale (2011). He has also written the theatrical version of his novel Las Islas, which premiered at the Teatro Alvear in Buenos Aires, directed by Alejandro Tantanian (2011). In 2012 he participated in the Edinburgh World Writer’s Conference.Jimmy Burns: Jimmy Burns was born in Madrid in 1953. Jimmy contributes to Spanish language media outlets and publishes his books in Spanish translation as Jimmy Burns Maranon. He was the only full-time British foreign correspondent to remain in Argentina prior to, during, and well beyond the Falklands war.Ian Barnett: Ian Barnett has been translating from Spanish and French into English since 1994. He studied French literature and linguistics, and graduated from St. Catherine's College, Oxford University. He is a lecturer of the Masters Program in Translation at the University of Belgrano in Buenos Aires.
Published May 29, 2012 by And Other Stories. 548 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Islands
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Feb 10 2014

...the parts are greater than the whole. This kaleidoscopic view of the nation and its citizens grappling with war and survival is simultaneously too dense and choppy. Several individual chapters work better on their own, rather than part of the grand, overarching narrative.

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Reviewed by Anthony Cummins on Aug 18 2012

The ultra-violent action in this weird and wonderful thriller centres on Felipe Félix...

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Above average
Reviewed by Nick Caistor on Jul 19 2012

In Gamerro's impressive book, the illusion of "the islands" serves as a blind spot in the Argentinian imagination that blots out the ghastly reality that persists around them.

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