The Adventures of a Photographer in La Plata

Adolfo Bioy Casares, Author, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (169p) ISBN 978-0-525-24803-3
The Argentinian Bioy Casares was close to Borges and collaborated with him on occasion. This new novel is in the cool, bemused elitist style shared by both, but the tone is not consistently maintained by the translator. It is a tale about ordinary people told in a terse, distanced fashion, so that the potentially intriguing characters are curiously flat. Nicolas Almanza, a young small-town photographer, gets his first professional assignment, to photograph stills of the provincial capital of La Plata. On the train he meets Juan Lombardo, an elderly ne'er-do-well, and his two daughters. They immediately take him over, so that before he gets to the pension where his old hometown friend Lucio Mascardi awaits him, he is obliged to become Lombardo's blood donor. In the week he spends in La Plata, both of Lombardo's daughters get into his bed; indeed, every woman he meets is eager to do so. Everyone, too, warns him about the scheming Lombardos, but, with a mixture of naivete and wisdom, Almanza survives the worst of their schemes. Though the narrative ends ambiguously, one can surmise that Bioy Casares is telling us that innocence triumphs despite the world's evil. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Paperback - 180 pages - 978-0-14-015258-6
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