Thursday, March 08, 2007

Book 9: Evita First Lady: A Biography of Eva Peron

NUMBER: 9
TITLE: Evita First Lady: A Biography of Eva Peron
AUTHOR: John Barnes
STARTED: February 22, 2007
FINISHED: March 1, 2007
PAGES: 195
GENRE: Biography

FIRST SENTENCE: In the early hours of October 22, 1976, an Argentine army truck loaded with well-armed troops drove out through the gates of the presidential residence in Olivos and headed towards Buenos Aires, a few miles away.

SUMMARY: [From barnesandnoble.com] Eva Peron's life is once more an obsession with the scheduled release of the movie version of Andrew Lloyd Weber's hit Broadway musical, Evita. Now the classic biography of her fascinating life - including 16 pages of photographs - is back in print. Whore, feminist, tyrant, and saint, Evita was the beautiful and legendary woman who rose from poverty to become First lady of Argentina.

REASON FOR READING: I was listening to the Evita movie soundtrack when...

THOUGHTS: For me, this is not so much a book review (outside of the prose style) but a life review. And, since I'd rather not rehash the live of Eva Peron (boy was it interesting), this will probably be the shortest review ever.

Barnes has done a spectacular job of bringing the life and myth of Evita to the page. His style is almost fictional, and this allows Eva's personality to shine bright. She really comes alive on the page, as if one can actual feel her emotions. This style, however, seems to turn Eva into a characterization of herself. She's almost too lively, too emotional, too radical. In an essence, it's almost too much. In some areas, it felt like Barnes was trying to prove how different Eva was from anyone else. His book would have benefited by simply stating her life, not trying to make an argument out of it.

That said, this was a fascinating read. One that did not shy away from showing the poor, controversial, or unflattering side of the Argentine first lady. The book also freaked me out a little because it, in some ways, shows how the military dictatorship of Argentina has shadows in the current Presidential administration.

MISCELLANEOUS: I'm so liberal I'm almost a socialist. Oh democratic party, why do you move to the center?

KEEP/SHARE/CRINGE(?): I returned it to the library last week. I'm just now getting around to writing this. I am so lazy.
RATING: 6/10 [Good]

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