Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

||| |||

Catalog » Browse by Title: T » Tango for a Torturer

Tango for a Torturer


The long-awaited follow-up to Edgar Award–winning Adios Muchachos.

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

“Daniel Chavarría has long been recognized as one of Latin America’s finest writers . . .”
—Edgar Award–winning author William Heffernan

Critical Praise for Adios Muchachos by Daniel Chavarría, Winner of a 2001 Edgar Award:

“Fun, fast, and intelligent, this devilishly charming import gives pulp fiction a good name. Hailed as one of the best Latin writers, Uruguayan-born Chavarría is well known throughout Europe as well as in Latin America . . . Chavarría never loses sight of his goal: to deliver an energetic hustle that will leave readers clamoring for more.”
Publishers Weekly

“In Carlos Lopez’s flawless translation . . . Chavarría provides a peek at a Cuba in the throes of globalization during the devastating Special Period. Full of humor and wit, Chavarría turns this basic story of survival into an erotic, fast-paced thriller. Times are hard, but who said they had to be dull?”
Village Voice

“Out of the mystery wrapped in an enigma that, over the last forty years, has been Cuba for the US, comes a voice so cheerful, a face so laughing, and a mind so deviously optimistic that we can only hope this is but the beginning of a flood of Cuba’s indomitable novelists, playwrights, storytellers. Welcome, Daniel Chavarría.”
—Donald E. Westlake, author of Watch Your Back!

“This spritely translation marks the US debut of Chavarría, a Classics-trained Uruguayan writer of novels, stories, literary journalism, and screenplays whose academic specialty—no surprise—is the origins and evolution of prostitution . . . Set-ups, double-crosses, disguises, and shifts in gender clack and flutter like palm fronds, and readers who persevere through the most bawdy and stomach-churning passages of this mad, breezy romp will emerge battered and scorched and asking for more.”
Miami Herald

“Place Adios Muchachos alongside the work of John D. MacDonald, Carl Hiaasen, and a good deal of Elmore Leonard, and it’ll fit right in with those masters of incongruously sunny, quirky capers.”

“The warm, naked characters tangled in the steamy, suspenseful plot of Adios Muchachos are further evidence of why Chavarría is recognized as one of the most dynamic and exciting writers in Latin America.”
Paco Ignacio Taibo II, author of Four Hands

“Daniel Chavarría has long been recognized as one of Latin America’s finest writers. Now he again proves why with Adios Muchachos, a comic mystery peopled by a delightfully mad band of miscreants, all of them led by a woman you will not soon forget—Alicia, the loveliest bicycle whore in all Havana.”
William Heffernan, author of Beulah Hill

“Pulp fiction in Castro’s Cuba. A picaresque novel with sex, scheming, and, well, more sex.”
—Martin Cruz Smith, author of Havana Bay

“If you have never visited Cuba and wish to do so—accompanied by a beautiful escort—this is your chance.”
Rex Stout Journal

Adios Muchachos is a comic mystery that left me giggling as the bizarre and unpredictable story took its final twist . . . And despite the alleged machismo of Latin men, Chavarría reveals no timidity or prejudice when diving deep into the erotic behavior of his gay and transsexual characters . . .”
New York Press

“Daniel Chavarría is a prince of a fellow, larger than life and twice as much fun.”
Lawrence Block, author of Eight Million Ways to Die

“. . . just about the perfect book to pack for a summer weekend at the beach.”


Aldo Bianchi, a former Argentine revolutionary now living in Italy, travels to Havana, where he meets the beautiful Bini, a sultry student working the hotels with great charm and panache. Bianchi soon discovers via his liaison with Bini that his nemesis, the Uruguayan military torturer Alberto Rios, is living under a false identity in Cuba. Putting his tropical holiday on hold, Bianchi goes on the hunt for his sadistic enemy.

Daniel Chavarría portrays the sensuousness and skullduggery of contemporary Havana, a city that offers erotic thrills to pleasure-seeking tourists, even as it hides villains in its humid embrace. While Rios thrives on bribery and corruption, Bianchi is driven by a desire to see justice done. Tango for a Torturer is a sexy and political thriller chock-full of bawdy humor and chilling evocations of the evils wrought by Latin American military dictatorships.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 390 pages
  • Published: 5/1/07
  • IBSN: 9781933354194
  • e-IBSN: 9781617750953


DANIEL CHAVARRÍA is a Uruguayan writer with two passions: classical literature and prostitutes. For years he was a professor of Latin, Greek, and classical literature, devoting much of his time and energy to researching the origins and evolution of prostitution. He has won numerous literary awards around the world, including the 1992 Dashiell Hammett Award and the 2001 Edgar Allan Poe Award. His novels include Adios Muchachos, The Eye of Cybele, and Tango for a Torturer.

More info »