Review of the book “El tango de la guardia vieja”

Author of the review: Małgorzata Halaba

A book by Arturo Perez-Reverte El tango de la guardia vieja is a fascinating story about human relations, unthinkable coincidences, unexpected meetings between lovers every twenty or thirty years… And a book about chess, as well. It’s a slow-paced, delicious, subtle tale one reads with great pleasure. Its characters are unconventional and full of surprises, so are their walks of life.

Meet Max Costa: a gigolo who makes his living dancing at a luxurious liner cruising between Europe and South America. As it turns out, dancing is just one of his many talents – Max, an Argentinian immigrant, is a former solider of the Foreign Legion, a gallant, a thief, a burglar, a crook and even an occasional spy – but, first of all, he is a charmer, with impeccable manners.

There is also a mysterious She –  Mecha Inzunza de Troeye, a woman coming from totally different world: beautiful, wealthy, elegant wife of famous Spanish composer. Theoretically, chances for Max and Mecha to meet are close to zero. But since real life is full of surprises, they not only meet, but build unusual, decades-long relationship – based on love, friendship and a good dose of perversion.

But despite the title, the book is not about the tango. Since the author wanted to write about male-female relationship, about emotions and sex – well, what could be a better background than the tango? According to conventional wisdom the shortest way to the bed starts at the dancing floor… Fortunately, the author has spared us the rose and La Cumparsita… :)

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