Archive for September 19th, 2019

The Fragility of Bodies

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The Fragility of Bodies (Veronica Rosenthal – 1) by Sergio Olguin

When she hears about the suicide of a Buenos Aires train driver who has left a note confessing to four mortal ‘accidents’ on the train tracks, journalist Veronica Rosenthal decides to investigate. For the police the case is closed (suicide is suicide), for Veronica it is the beginning of a journey that takes her into an unfamiliar world of grinding poverty, crime-infested neighborhoods, and train drivers on commuter lines haunted by the memory of bodies hit at speed by their locomotives in the middle of the night. Aided by a train driver with whom she has a tumultuous and reckless affair, a junkie in rehab and two street kids willing to risk everything for a can of Coke, she uncovers a group of men involved in betting on working-class youngsters convinced to play Russian roulette by standing in front of fast-coming trains to see who endures the longest.

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About the Author

Sergio Olguín was born in Buenos Aires in 1967 and studied Letters at the University of Buenos Aires. He has worked as a journalist since 1984. He founded the magazine V de Vian, and was co-founder and the first director of the film magazine El Amante. He has collaborated in the newspapers Page/12, La Nación and El País (Montevideo). He is editor-in-chief of the magazine Lamujerdemivida and responsible for culture of the newspaper Crítica de la Argentina. He edited, among others, the anthologies The best Argentine tales (1999), La selección Argentina (2000), Cross to the Jaw (2000) and Writings with Blood (2003). In 1998 he published the short story book The Greeks (Vian Ediciones) and in 2002 his first novel, Lanús, reissued in Spain in 2008 (Andanzas 647). It was followed by Filo (2003, Tusquets Editors Argentina) and the youth narratives The Team of Dreams (2004) and Springfield (2007), translated into German, French and Italian. Dark monotonous blood deserved the V Tusquets Prize Editors of Novel, according to the jury, for the magnificent resolution of a plot of obsession and double morality, of passion and social conflict, in which the protagonist is involved, a man willing to pierce all limits for an unconfessable relationship. (Translated via Bing Translate from Goodreads)

My Review

5 stars

Veronica Rosenthal is a journalist that has heard of the increased suicides of teenagers on the train tracks in Buenos Aires. She learns about the train drivers that are on edge afraid of coming across another teen standing on the tracks and waiting for their body to hit the train. Veronica knows that something is going on and is determined to find out what and stop it.

What she learns is teenagers are trying out for soccer for a way to escape their poverty. A local coach is then guiding them to play chicken with the trains. The last one off the tracks is the winner. But this is not just about the poor kids that die. Some very rich people are placing bets on these kids.

This is an amazing story. I was instantly drawn in and feeling so bad for these kids that are doing whatever they can to try to survive poverty. Sadly there are those out there that are willing to do whatever they want to exploit this desperation.

Veronica is one heck of a journalist. She is smart and determined to get to the bottom of the deaths. Of course those people placing the bets on the teen’s lives are very willing to kill to keep Veronica quiet and there is no help from the authorities.

This story is well written. I loved all of it and can’t wait to read more from Sergio Olguin.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.I would like to thank MZPR for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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