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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

Where There's Love,
There's Hate

Adolfo Bioy Casares
Silvina Ocampo

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To purchase Where There's Love, There's Hate

Title: Where There's Love, There's Hate
Authors: Adolfo Bioy Casares/Silvina Ocampo
Genre: Novel
Written: 1946 (Eng. 2013)
Length: 133 pages
Original in: Spanish
Availability: Where There's Love, There's Hate - US
Los que aman, odian - US
Where There's Love, There's Hate - UK
Where There's Love, There's Hate - Canada
Where There's Love, There's Hate - India
Ceux qui aiment, haïssent - France
Der Hass der Liebenden - Deutschland
Chi ama, odia - Italia
Los que aman, odian - España
  • Spanish title: Los que aman, odian
  • Translated by Suzanne Jill Levine and Jessica Ernst Powell
  • With an Introduction by Suzanne Jill Levine

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Our Assessment:

B+ : style over substance, but good fun

See our review for fuller assessment.

Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
FAZ . 23/3/2011 Jürgen Kaube
NZZ . 15/1/2011 Gustav Siebenmann
Publishers Weekly . 27/5/2013 .
Die Zeit . 9/10/2010 Tobias Gohlis

  From the Reviews:
  • "Selbstverständlich -- wir haben es mit einem Stück zu tun, das durch die Hände von Bioy Casares gegangen ist -- sind überall Hinweise auf das Spiel eingestreut, das Literatur sein kann. Sie mokieren sich über die Erwartungen des Krimilesers, dass eins und keins zwei ergeben soll. (...) Wer der Mörder ist, tut am Ende nicht viel zur Sache. Wichtiger ist, dass die Hauptverdächtigen jeweils voneinander denken, der Täter zu sein, und entsprechend handeln." - Jürgen Kaube, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

  • "Eigentlich ein billiger Schluss, und er darf es auch sein. Denn den beiden Autoren ging es um die Kopfarbeit der an der Fahndung Beteiligten. Eines jeden Denk- und Verhaltensweise kommt dabei zum immer widersprüchlicheren Vorschein. Dass die Verfasser sich und uns nebenbei noch ein literarisches Vergnügen bereiten, dafür sorgen die zahlreichen Zitate und Anspielungen, von der Antike bis in die Gegenwart." - Gustav Siebenmann, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

  • "The sinuous mystery is further complicated by Huberman's narration, which is colored by his arrogance and is far less reliable than he believes. (...) (A) witty and erudite take on the clichéd mystery." - Publishers Weekly

  • "Vom ersten Satz an wirkt alles unwirklich, fantastisch, traumhaft." - Tobias Gohlis, Die Zeit

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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The complete review's Review:

       Where There's Love, There's Hate is a Gilbert Adair-like murder mystery, poking fun at the conventions of the genre even as its narrator takes himself all too seriously. The narrator is Doctor Humberto Huberman, who journeys to the very isolated seaside resort of Bosque del Mar with the intention of working on his screenplay-adaptation of Petronius' Satyricon, set in present-day Argentina. While the goings-on in creepy Bosque del Mar aren't quite of the same order as in "Pertronius' tumultuous book", murder and the subsequent investigation soon dash his plans and ambitions, as he instead finds himself in a typically convoluted English-style murder-mystery à la Michael Innes (one of whose novels, as it happens, the murder victim was in the process of translating ...).
       A physician who dabbles in screenwriting on the side -- and who opens his story with his daily dose of arsenic dissolving in his mouth (he's a devotee of homoeopathy) -- Huberman is quite the character. He doesn't lack in self-confidence, and has an opinion about everything and everyone, but, of course, he repeatedly doesn't get or see things quite right, and eventually admits (by way of excuse):

I am a literato, a reader, and as often occurs with men of my class, I confused reality with a book.
       Of course, the reality of Where There's Love, There's Hate is entirely literary: a murder-mystery-pastiche that Huberman finds himself sucked into, even as he already early on implored:
When will we at last renounce the detective novel, the fantasy novel and the entire prolific, varied, and ambitious literary genre that is fed by unreality ? When will we return to the path of the salubrious picaresque and pleasant local color ?
       Bioy Casares and Silvina Ocampo are, of course, best known for their fantastical fiction, never returning 'to the path of the salubrious picaresque' in their work, and so there's no doubt from the first that Huberman will find himself disappointed in this respect (with the local color at Bosque del Mar -- all sand and storm -- presented as decidedly unpleasant, just to rub it in).
       The murder mystery is fairly unremarkable but agreeably complicated (helped by the way various characters react and interfere, confusing the situation further), and between would-be know-it-all Huberman, Commissioner Aubry, who leads the investigation, and the official doctor called in for the case, the well-pickled Doctor Montes, the investigation stumbles forward in best English-murder-mystery fashion. The tension and mutual suspicion among the various suspects of course adds to the fun (and confusion), while the many literary allusions (right down to the foundered sailboat named the Joseph K) give the feel of a bit more depth to the story.
       Much depends on the narrator here, and Huberman's tone and attitude, as he worries just as much about his immediate creature comforts and insignificant details as he does the fact that there has been a murder, are amusingly effective. Blowhard he may be, but his expression is stylish and (inadvertently) comic. Diminutive in size, he can (and constantly does) still puff himself up -- noting, for example:
I tilted my head and, with barefaced admiration, studied my protruding thinking-man's forehead: once again I had to concur with so many an impartial observer that the likeness between my facial features and Goethe's was authentic.
       Style is all-important here, and translators Suzanne Jill Levine and Jessica Ernst Powell capture Huberman's bombastic brio nicely. It makes for an amusing light piece of entertainment with a bit of murder-mystery suspense. Good fun.

- M.A.Orthofer, 29 April 2013

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Where There's Love, There's Hate: Reviews: Adolfo Bioy Casares: Other books by Adolfo Bioy Casares under review: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Authors:

       Argentine author Adolfo Bioy Casares is best-known for collaboration with Jorge Luis Borges, but also wrote several noteworthy books on his own. He lived 1914 to 1999.

       Argentine author Silvina Ocampo, Bioy Casares' wife, lived 1903 to 1993.

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© 2013-2021 the complete review

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