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Customer reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars

on 2 April 2008
As a Latina who was married to an Argentinean for many years and spent some time in Argentina in both the capital, Buenos Aires, and city of Mendoza in the wine country, I looked forward to reading this book. On the plus side, some of it is wryly humorous, and the author's chronicle of the history of the tango in Argentina is somewhat interesting. The author also captures some of the flavor of Argentina and gives a very decent account of its unstable political history.

Some of the characters described in the book, old tango instructors with whom the author hung out during his stay in Argentina, are colorful, and the author gives the reader a taste of the passion that the tango arouses and of its place in the culture of Argentina. I also felt that these very same characters that the author professed were his friends were probably secretly laughing at the author, a lumbering Texan who wanted to learn about the tango, and would say just about anything to him just for effect, whether or not it was true.

Moreover, some of the author's conclusions are those that only a Yanqui would devise, as I did not feel that they derived from a real understanding of Argentina or its people, given his limited scope of reference. Also, a few of the translations in the book were off the mark, which I found to be annoying. I also found the quality of the writing to be rather pedestrian, overall. Still, there is a modicum of enjoyment to be gotten from this book by those interested in other cultures or in the tango.
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