The latest addition to my website is Ricardo Piglia‘s Plata quemada (Money to Burn. This is a novelised account of an actual robbery from a bank armoured car in Buenos Aires. Piglia was a journalist at the time and reported on the case. The robbery succeeds but the police track down the robbers, with others betrayed by an informer. There is a final shoot-out in Montevideo. Piglia gives the book both a political edge – it seems that some politicians and police officers might have been involved – as well as a psychological edge, as the criminals seem to be psychopaths, serious drug users and generally mentally flawed. The novel was controversial – Piglia was sued three times over it (details in review) – but it has been acclaimed as a foremost Latin American novel and is certainly a good read.
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I loved this novel when I first read it and would love to read it again at some point. One of my pen pals from Argentina noted that Piglia made an extremely convincing use of period criminal slang in the novel, but to whatever extent that was true what I most remember from reading it was how high energy and almost off the rails the plot and writing were. Thanks, by the way, for your mention of the Liberaij book in your extended linked review. I hadn’t been aware of Haberkorn’s book’s existence, but I just picked up a copy of it from my university library. Excited to get going on it now!
I managed to get a look at Liberaj yesterday and was not terribly impressed. It seemed merely a journalistic version of Plata Quemada but, I must admit, I only skimmed through it. Glad you liked Plata Quemada. I really enjoyed it and, yes, lots of criminal slang. I lost count of the number of words used for money.