Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Short Story Wednesday: "The Return of the Argentine Tango Masters" from The Lies of the Saints, Erin McGraw

This story came my way via George Kelley who kindly sent me this collection. I was all set to talk about a story by Joyce Carol Oates from Best Mystery Stories of 2017, but it was so JCO that I was not enthused about talking about it. But this one was charming and it just had more story to it. The setting was interesting, (a radio station) and the characters felt more fleshed out, less generic. And in some way, it was subtly as dark as JCO. 

A radio talk show host is surprised when her ex-husband, Rafe, calls into her show, eight years after they split. The audience is enthralled with his tales of their marriage, especially ones about their doing the tango. Gwen's producer is insistent that the increase in ratings after this is thanks to the delight their audience is taking in the replay of this relationship. He will not let her blow Rafe off. And, in fact, when the Argentine Tango Masters come to town, the entire town comes to watch them dance. 

Gwen's new husband, Leo, is gradually seduced by the idea of learning the tango. By the story's end, the reader is not sure if the "tango" has a deeper and possibly more sinister meaning than the name of a Spanish dance. A fun story for me.

Kevin Tipple

Jerry House


George Kelley 

Steve Lewis


Margot Kinberg said...

This does sound like a fun story - thanks for sharing.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Right, it's Wednesday again.

Besides the "literature" stories (this week: Waugh, Paul Theroux, Edith Wharton, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Faulkner - a Gavin Stevens story, Trollope, etc.), I am reading (mostly, but not all, are rereads) Lawrence Block's The Burglar in Short Order. The first story certainly appears to be Bernie Rhodenbarr. The personality and banter are Bernie-like, though the burglar isn't named, but "A Bad Night for Burglars" certainly does not end in the way you would expect it to end. It's a nice collection ($6.99 on Kindle, though I was able to download a copy from the library) and a must for Block's Burglar fans.

George said...

Patti, I'm glad you're enjoying THE LIES OF THE SAINTS by Erin McGraw. I thought you might like her work.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I don't think I have read his Burglar books. Will have to try one. That is a marvelous group you have read, Jeff.
She is just my kind of writer, George.

TracyK said...

Erin McGraw sounds like an interesting author, Patti. I haven't read anything by Joyce Carol Oates, so now you have me curious about her too.