the dancer and the thief

Skarmeta, Antonio. the dancer and the thief. Translated by Katherine Silver. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008.

Due to overcrowding in a Chilean prison a select group of nonviolent prisoners have been granted amnesty by the President and released. From this prison come Angel Santiago and Nicholas Verga Gray. On the inside they were just criminals with numbers. On the outside they are vastly different from one another, yet nevertheless their lives are destined to intersect. Again. Twenty year old Santiago is anxious to avenge the horrible abuses he suffered in prison at the hands of other inmates as well as the warden. Sixty year old Gray wants nothing more than to put his life as a master thief behind him and reconnect with his estranged wife and son. Zealous protege meets reluctant master. Meanwhile, the prison warden, knowing that his life is in danger now that Angel Santiago has been freed, allows a violent inmate to go free for one month. While the rest of the world thinks this prisoner is in solitary confinement he is on the hunt for Angel Santiago. The mission is to kill him before he can kill the warden. If this wasn’t enough of a plot, add a teenage girl who has lofty dreams of becoming a dancer. Broke and broken Victoria meets broke and broken Angel. Now Angel needs money more than ever. Who better to get it from than a master thief? And, thanks to a dwarf, he has a plan.

Reason read: Chile gained her independence in April.

Author fact: Skarmeta is known for The Postman which I am reading…eventually.

Book trivia: The Dancer and the Thief was made into a movie in 2009 starring Ricardo Darin and Abel Ayala.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “It’s Chile Today” (p 115). Here’s the head scratcher about this chapter. The subject of Chile is not under ‘C’ for Chile but rather ‘I’ for It’s. So, let’s say someone asked me what Pearl would recommend for books that have a connection to Chile. I wouldn’t find Chile in the table of contents unless I knew to skip C and go right to I. Odd. To be fair, there are a lot of chapters like this but this is the first time I noticed it.