Esther Tusquets: ¡Bingo!

bingo

The most recent addition to my website is Esther Tusquets¡Bingo!. This was to be Tusquets’ last novel and, sadly, it has not been translated into English or, indeed, any other language except for Portuguese. Yes, it is about bingo (and it seems from the preface that Tusquets herself was not averse to playing the game) but it is more about old age. The unnamed protagonist is a successful lawyer approaching sixty and instead of the aches and pains and baldness he expected with old age, what has actually happened is that he has lost interest in the things that used to give him pleasure such as art, travel, women and the sea. He drifts around, barely going to work. One day, while drifting he goes into a bingo hall to escape the summer heat and soon becomes immersed in bingo and bingo culture, getting to know the people and the game. He also gets to know an attractive staff member there, who reminds him of his first love. It is a first-class novel despite the unpromising subject matter and it is a pity that it has not been translated into English.

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