Three Mus­ke­teers

Marce­lo Bir­ma­jer; Sharon Woods, trans.
  • Review
By – January 10, 2012
Argen­tine author Marce­lo Bir­ma­jer uses his recur­ring char­ac­ter, Javier Mosan, to present a com­pli­cat­ed polit­i­cal tale with roots in his country’s trou­bled past. Mosan, a jour­nal­ist who does his best to avoid writ­ing sto­ries, spends a great deal of time indulging in sex­u­al fan­ta­sy. When his edi­tor asks him to inter­view Elias Traúm, an Argen­tinean who now lives in Israel, he thinks that it is just anoth­er rou­tine assign­ment. Traúm and two dead friends were known as the three mus­ke­teers” when they fought in the left-wing Per­o­nist guer­ril­la group, the Mon­toneros. Javier goes to the air­port to meet Traúm and ends up get­ting a severe beat­ing. Traúm is kid­napped. He is lat­er dumped by the side of the road and, Javier, relieved to learn that they both sur­vived, finds him­self drawn to the account of Traúm’s past despite orders from his edi­tor to drop the sto­ry. Read­ers who enjoyed Nathan Englander’s The Min­istry of Spe­cial Cas­es will find this com­pelling, too. It pro­vides insight into the world of Argentina’s Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty as well as a top-notch con­spir­a­cy plot.
Bar­bara M. Bibel is a librar­i­an at the Oak­land Pub­lic Library in Oak­land, CA; and at Con­gre­ga­tion Netiv­ot Shalom, Berke­ley, CA.

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