Books about Argentina


20/08/2008
Originally uploaded by owenaj
Browsing through Daunt’s Books on Marylebone High Street I came across two books. One I’d meant to get, ‘The Old Patagonian Express: By Train Through the Americas’ by Paul Theroux and one I had not heard of, ‘Bad Times in Buenos Aires’ by Miranda France. I bought both. I’ve had a tentative dip into the latter and have to confess I’ve enjoyed the first couple of pages. The opening in particular:
I arrived in a city that seemed fascinated by the possibility of its own collapse. ‘We are in crisis!’ declared the headline on one of the first newspapers I picked up – and it was true that an unspecified threat of chaos pervaded the city centre. The grand European architecture that had given Buenos Aires its cherished nickname, ‘the Paris of the south’, was in places relaxing into a dilapidation from which is might never be roused. Some of its many splendid domes had crumbled into the shoulders of buildings that refused to support them any longer. One the Avenida de Mayo, a once lofty spire had toppled to one side, so that now it pointed an accusing finger at the government buildings on the other side of the Plaza del Congreso.
Let’s hope the rest is as engaging. I’m going to save the rest for my trip out. It reads like a good travel piece so will be perfect on the flight.

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