I downloaded Hopscotch after reading rave reviews of it… and then struggled with it a bunch. I think, in part, I really wanted to be reading a book about Argentina. While they eventually get there, the characters linger in Paris being intellectual and frustrating each other for so long that I in turn got frustrated with them. Maybe in another moment I’d enjoy this book more; the prose was beautiful, and I think the book deserves more patience and leisure than I had for it.
On the other hand, I really enjoyed both of Martinez’s books. Purgatory was my first introduction to Argentina’s dirty war of the 1970s and early 1980s through the eyes of a woman whose husband disappeared and whose father was enmeshed in the government that was ‘disappearing’ people. The Tango Singer was a tour through the city, pieces of Argentina’s history, and the country’s love of tango music.
I also enjoyed The Secret in Their Eyes, which includes moments from the dirty war, but is mostly the story of court clerk who whose life becomes entangled with a murder case that he oversees.
The Buenos Aires Affair was creative, confusing, and often lurid. In some moments, I found myself reading one side of a transcribed phone conversation, followed by news clips of the headlines that were noticed by the transcriber. In others, I read a psychologists case report or a mock magazine interview. Often, I realized that something I’d thought was real was actually imagined. If you read this book, definitely do so with the expectation that you’re being purposefully sent down a winding path of being periodically horrified and befuddled.