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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

Tango for a Torturer

Daniel Chavarría

[an overview of the reviews and critical reactions]

general information | review summaries | review and reception notes | links | about the author

To purchase Tango for a Torturer

Title: Tango for a Torturer
Author: Daniel Chavarría
Genre: Novel
Written: 2002 (Eng. 2006)
Length: 341 pages
Original in: Spanish
Availability: Tango for a Torturer - US
El rojo en la pluma del loro - US
Tango for a Torturer - UK
Tango for a Torturer - Canada
Le Rouge sur la plume du perroquet - France
Das Rot im Federkleid des Papageien - Deutschland
  • Spanish title: El rojo en la pluma del loro
  • Translated by Peter Bush

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Why we haven't reviewed it yet:

Had a go at it, just didn't take to it

Chances that we will review it:


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Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
Booklist . 1/6/2007 Thomas Gaughan
The Guardian . 22/4/2006 Matthew Lewin
Kirkus Reviews . 15/4/2007 .
Publishers Weekly . 2/4/2007 .

  From the Reviews:
  • "What makes this novel unusual is that it is by turns bawdy, funny, dark, cheerful, learned, and madcap, populated with memorable characters and filled with the sense that Havana is a must-see travel destination." - Thomas Gaughan, Booklist

  • "Thrillers don't have to be dark and gloomy; they can also be stylish, amusing and full of sex. (...) Not everything goes to plan, and it all gets very exciting. The tale is marred only by myriad examples of what seem to be awkward translations from the original." - Matthew Lewin, The Guardian

  • "At his best, Chavarria (...) has the stylish grit of Elmore Leonard, but his colorful characters often beguile him far from his main plot." - Kirkus Reviews

  • "The author, who lives in Havana, brings to his novel a superlative narrative sense, keen feel for human behavior in desperate situations and a deep understanding of the nature of dictatorships. Charvarrķa is as adept at comedy as he is at tragedy." - Publishers Weekly

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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Notes about the Reviews
and the Book's Reception

       Despite quite a bit of international success and recognition -- and, in this case, the services of noted translator Peter Bush -- Chavarría's book has largely been ignored by the print-media: beyond the trades -- and some decent on-line coverage -- there's almost no mention of the book.
       Maybe it's because Chavarría's books don't fit one neat category (beside Adios Muchachos the other one available in English is the very different The Eye of Cybele); still, one would have thought the subject matter -- Latin American torturer brought to justice -- and the approach -- lot's of sex and trickery --, plus the Havana locale, would attract more attention.

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Tango for a Torturer: Reviews: Other books by Daniel Chavarría under review: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       Uruguayan author Daniel Chavarría was born in 1933. A popular author, he has been a professor of classics, and lived in Cuba and Italy.

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© 2007-2021 the complete review

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