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Las muertas by Jorge Ibargüengoitia
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Las muertas (original 1977; edition 2007)

by Jorge Ibargüengoitia

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1516144,773 (3.74)9
En grotesk og galgenhumoristisk beretning om prostitution, korruption og forfald i en mexicansk provins.
Member:kchalot
Title:Las muertas
Authors:Jorge Ibargüengoitia
Info:México, D.F. : Gandhi Ediciones, 2007.
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The Dead Girls by Jorge Ibargüengoitia (1977)

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» See also 9 mentions

English (3)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (6)
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This book starts with a car trip in which Serafina, accompanied by three men, travels to a remote Mexican village where she shoots, but doesn't kill, a baker, and the men then set fire to the bakery. Then, Ibargüengoitia takes the reader on a highly enjoyable, if sometimes mildly gruesome, journey, as everything starts to fall apart for Serafina and her past comes to light. Based loosely on a real scandal, in which the bodies of six girls were found buried in the yard of a Mexican brothel, most of the book is written as testimony that could have come from police reports. Nonetheless, it is highly readable.

The reader hears from Serafina and her sister Arcangela (love those names!) who run several brothels, their other sister Eulalia who wants nothing to do with the business but nonetheless becomes involved in it, some of the prostitutes who work for them, some of the people they pay off, an army captain who becomes Serafina's lover and who works ceaselessly to protect them, the wounded baker (who had previously been Serafina's lover), and many more. After a period of building up their business, including the spectacular inauguration of a new brothel which everybody who's anybody in the town attends, everything starts to fall apart for the sisters, dramatically, and their behavior and actions spiral out of control. While telling a compelling tale, Ibargüengoitia satirizes widespread corruption -- everybody is out for her- or himself, getting paid or paid off, implicating others and lying to stay out of jail. He has a mostly matter of fact way of writing that slyly reveals the humor in some of these events.

Once I started this book, I found it hard to put down. It is out of print and I had to buy a used copy; sadly, the only other books by Ibargüengoitia that have been translated into English are also out of print and are wildly expensive.
2 vote rebeccanyc | Sep 4, 2014 |
Caustic, precise, sarcastic, beautiful Mexican prose at the service of a macabre story based on the crimes of the Poquianchis sisters. ( )
  jorgearanda | Nov 4, 2009 |
This was assigned reading for a Spanish literature course at Michigan State University. It is pretty unremarkable. A lot more could have been done to draw attention to Las Muertas. I wasn't impressed. ( )
  russelllindsey | Sep 3, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jorge Ibargüengoitiaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Zatz, AsaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Es posible imaginarlos: los cuatro llevan anteojos negros, el Escalera maneja encorvado sobre el volante, a su lado está el Valiente Nicolás leyendo "islas Marías", en el asiento trasero, la mujer mira por la ventanilla y el capitan Bedoya dormita cabeceando.
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En grotesk og galgenhumoristisk beretning om prostitution, korruption og forfald i en mexicansk provins.

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