A hypnotic novel in which an American student's quest to find the greatest living tango singer leads him deep into the labyrinth of Argentina's past.
It is 2001, and inflation is spiraling out of control in Argentina as Bruno Cadogan, an American graduate student specializing in Borges, arrives in Buenos Aires. Cadogan is on the trail of Julio Martel, an elusive tango singer rumored to be even better than Carlos Gardel, the greatest singer of the 1920s and '30s. Martel has never recorded and his strange, powerful performances, at seemingly arbitrary sites around the city, are always unannounced.
Cadogan finds lodging in a boarding house rumored to be the setting of the famous Borges story "The Aleph," and soon finds himself drawn into the tangle of legends surrounding the singer's life. As the economic tension grows and the city hovers on the verge of riots, Bruno begins to believe that Martel's increasingly rare performances are in fact far from random--that they instead form a map of the darkest moments in the city's past.
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