The Gods of Tango

  • by Carolina De Robertis
  • Narrated by Carolina De Robertis
  • 14 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From one of the leading lights of contemporary Latin American literature - a lush, lyrical, deeply moving story of a young woman whose passion for the early sounds of tango becomes a force of profound and unexpected change.
February 1913: seventeen-year-old Leda, carrying only a small trunk and her father's cherished violin, leaves her Italian village for a new home, and a new husband, in Argentina. Arriving in Buenos Aires, she discovers that he has been killed, but she remains: living in a tenement, without friends or family, on the brink of destitution. Still, she is seduced by the music that underscores life in the city: tango, born from lower-class immigrant voices, now the illicit, scandalous dance of brothels and cabarets. Leda eventually acts on a long-held desire to master the violin, knowing that she can never play in public as a woman. She cuts off her hair, binds her breasts, and becomes "Dante," a young man who joins a troupe of tango musicians bent on conquering the salons of high society. Now, gradually, the lines between Leda and Dante begin to blur, and feelings that she has long kept suppressed reveal themselves, jeopardizing not only her musical career, but her life.
Richly evocative of place and time, its prose suffused with the rhythms of the tango, its narrative at once resonant and gripping, this is De Robertis's most accomplished novel yet.

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What the Critics Say

"De Robertis brings a beautiful voice to the history and intensity of the tango in this coming-of-age romance of early-twentieth-century Buenos Aires.... None of the passion is lost in De Robertis's narration. Character differentiation is almost flawless, and De Robertis's accent adds much to the flavor of the setting and the characters.... De Robertis's narration is so good that, while there are technically no voicings, each character seems almost as distinct as those performed by a narrator using multiple voices." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A rousing tale

Caroline de Robertis is a new author to me. I listened to a podcast interview of her regarding this book and decided to give it a try. Robertis parents emigrated from Uruguay to England where she grew up; she has also lived in Switzerland and now in California.

Leda Mazzani leaves a small Italian village to join her husband Dante in Buenos Aires. When she arrives she finds Dante is dead. She resolves to make a life for herself in Buenos Aires, but finds no work available to women except prostitution. So she dons Donte’s clothes, takes his name, finds a job in a cigarette factory and plays the Tango on her heirloom violin at night. She catches the ear of a successful band leader and joins his band.

The author describes the lives of working class Argentineans circa 1913. The novel is true to its time and manages to be engrossing and believable. The book is well written, it has a lyrical sentences that make it a poetic read. The author writes beautiful descriptions of the scenery and the prose is suffused with the rhythms of the Tango. The author provides a fantastic history of the tango, the music of the lower class Argentineans. The Tango is now all the rage in France so the upper class Argentineans decide they must embrace the Tango also. The book is easy to read and provides a glimpse at another time and culture. There is a bit more sex in the book than I prefer. The author narrates the book.
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- Jean "I am an avid eclectic reader."

Excelente. Must read!

Transport yourself to Argentina. A must read. Makes you want to read more of Tango, immigrants and life in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Excellent work Carolina.
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- Amaholic

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-07-2015
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio