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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lively, amusing and moving account of life in Buenos Aires
Miranda France's first book is a neat, informative and sometimes amusing introduction to Buenos Aires: its history, culture and people. Whilst I started off with only a general curiosity for Argentina, my interest has been much awakened by the author's vivid and thoroughly researched accounts. France takes the reader through her experiences in Buenos Aires by focusing...
Published on 12 July 1999

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mark Griffith
You might not agree with what Miranda French says about Argentina and in particular Buenos Aires but I still think this it is essential reading for anyone planning to spend time there. The book is now a little outdated but for me still captures some of the underlying issues that exist within Buenos Aires/Argentina. The truth is that it does read a little like a horror...
Published on 26 Oct 2000


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lively, amusing and moving account of life in Buenos Aires, 12 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Bad Times In Buenos Aires (Paperback)
Miranda France's first book is a neat, informative and sometimes amusing introduction to Buenos Aires: its history, culture and people. Whilst I started off with only a general curiosity for Argentina, my interest has been much awakened by the author's vivid and thoroughly researched accounts. France takes the reader through her experiences in Buenos Aires by focusing on a series of different aspects of the city and its culture: Evita, the Falklands, the 'Dirty War' and the preoccupation with self analysis provide several examples. This approach is made interesting through the way France depicts the time she spent there, shown through meetings with many different people. These range from neighbours, to workers in cafes and stalls, to more prominent members of Buenos Aires society - with a chilling revelation made by one person that she talks to featured towards the end of the book.
However, what comes across more than anything is the sadness which seems so deeply built into Buenos Aires: the 'disappeared', the story of Evita, the origins of tango, and Argentine 'bronca' all reflect a (seemingly) unsettled culture which, ultimately, France herself becomes caught up in. In the end, it is this that wills her back home, though she must now look back with much affection.
This is a superb first picture of a city and country many of us do not know much about. 'Bad Times in Buenos Aires' is a treat to read, and despite what the title suggests, may even encourage one or two readers to go and see (and experience) it for themselves Definitely a recommended book for anyone who enjoys good travel writing.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mark Griffith, 26 Oct 2000
By A Customer
You might not agree with what Miranda French says about Argentina and in particular Buenos Aires but I still think this it is essential reading for anyone planning to spend time there. The book is now a little outdated but for me still captures some of the underlying issues that exist within Buenos Aires/Argentina. The truth is that it does read a little like a horror story, but it's an amazing horror story and for me Buenos Aires is just that. To get people to agree about this book is as difficult as getting people to agree about Buenos Aires, you either love it or you hate it. So if you're not sure which of these you will feel it's just aswell to read this book to give you that extra bit of an insight to the experience. My advice is to read it after you've spent some time in the place, that way you can remain objective.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life in Buenos Aires, 24 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Bad Times In Buenos Aires (Paperback)
A vivid evocation of life today in Buenos Aires as experienced by an expatriate English woman. Ms France is especially good at describing the petty frustrations of life in the city where nothing ever works first time and everything takes three times longer than it should.
Ms France obviously loves the city and its people but finds herself being unable to bear living there any longer. As someone who has worked in Buenos Aires as an expatriate, I can agree whole heartedly with this and the rest of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Enjoyable, 4 July 2008
This review is from: Bad Times In Buenos Aires (Paperback)
Having just finished this book I was curious to read the reviews it might have on Amazon. I can only say that I enjoyed it very much. Although it has seen better days Buenos Aires is a fascinating city and the people Miranda France writes about are amusing and interesting in many cases. The book is a little outdated now perhaps (having been written in the 1990s) but it still paints a very vivid picture of the country and the people, people still trying to come to terms with the history of their land and the Peronist politics and the ''disappearing'' of many of the citizens. Ms France describes the need for so many people to go to analysts (in many cases a status symbol) and the rage sill felt about the Falklands. An interesting read and certainly a book I would recommend!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book that I have read in years !!!!!, 1 Mar 2001
By 
MARTIN CLAYTON "cruedo" (Summer Wine Country, West Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bad Times In Buenos Aires (Paperback)
I have just finished this book, and am now upset, as I want carry on reading. This book is informative, entertaining, sometimes dark, and upsetting, but also very humerous in parts. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I will book my flights tomorrow...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book, highly recommended., 11 April 2000
This review is from: Bad Times In Buenos Aires (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book; I was delighted by the descriptions of life in Buenos Aires and how well the author fitted into the 'strange' society around her.
This book is also a little troubling and I was very moved by the angst and deep-rooted neurosis that the author encountered. Buenos Aires seems a city on the edge of World slipping into the abyss of despair. Very insightful and evocative, a brilliant debut.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars perceptive but a bit too condescending, 19 Sep 1999
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This review is from: Bad Times In Buenos Aires (Paperback)
Like many English travel writers, Ms. France blends very well in the society she describes, and captures masterfully all kinds of moods, nuances and details. Her choice of subject for the ten chapters is a happy one, perhaps with the exception of the chapter on the pampas, a bit out of pace with the rest. Unfortunately, despite all her (I am sure, genuinely) best effort, English travelers abroad can never leave home a sort of superiority complex so that foreign ways of doing things inevitably end up looking just a bit silly! This book reminds me of Tim Parks' books on Italy: both France and Parks clearly love their subject countries, but can not help looking down upon it... albeit perhaps unconsciously! A great collection of pictures well worth reading!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The discovery of a nation's psychology, 28 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Bad Times In Buenos Aires (Paperback)
Bad times is good times and new times for readers. Not only a travel book but also the discovery of the psychology of the Argentinians. Different chapters for different experiences in which France tried to understand the things that are difficult to grasp even for the natives: Why Argentinians are so different compare to other countries in the continent? Somebody said: Argentina is a country that speaks spanish, full of italians with french culture and economical ties with england. This is one of the issues France tries to discover.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best guide, 8 Dec 2004
By 
Mrs. Carla Mckay (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bad Times In Buenos Aires (Paperback)
I read this on the plane going over to BA and it couldn't have been a better introduction. MF writes beautifully and poignantly about a city she cares and worries about. The beleaguered history of Argentina is set against contemporary anecdote and experience and thanks to her I started off at a distinct advantage when I explored the city and later the country.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting & entertaining insight into Argentine life, 12 July 2004
By 
Miss J A Hewett (Sheffield, South Yorks United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bad Times In Buenos Aires (Paperback)
Bad Times In Buenos Aires provides the reader with an accurate and thoroughly engaging account of the lives and obsessions of Argentinians. The book is both funny and informative - making you laugh while at the same time giving you real stories and backgrounds to the issues of Argentina - from the wierd stories of Evita's travels after death, to the frustrations of life in Buenos Aires. France's anecdotes are extremely amusing, and overall she combines her personal touch well with the informative side of the book. I loved this book - it would be a good read for anyone, but for anyone who has ever experienced Buenos Aires firsthand - this is a must-read.
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Bad Times In Buenos Aires
Bad Times In Buenos Aires by Miranda France (Paperback - 5 Sep 2002)
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