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Descripción de editorial
Nico, the son of a noted Chilean philosophy professor, witnesses his father’s arrest while he is teaching a class. Bettini, the father of Nico’s best friend, is a leftist advertising executive who has been blacklisted and is out of work after having been imprisoned and tortured by Pinochet’s police. This doesn’t stop the ministry of the interior from asking Bettini, who is the best in the business, to come up with a plan for the upcoming referendum designed to say “yes” to Pinochet’s next term. But just hours after he has been approached by the right, the head of the opposition makes him the exact same offer. What is Bettini going to do? Put his life on the line or sacrifice his political convictions? Finally he goes with the left. The next hurdle is finding a slogan that would be approved by the sixteen factions that comprise the opposition and who never agree on anything. Whiskey after whiskey, an idea finally emerges.
This is a vivacious tale that examines how advertising and politics come together during the Pinochet regime. But this is also a coming-of-age story where we see through Nico’s experience what it means to grow up in a country where nothing is allowed and almost any move can feel like an earnest act of resistance.
Set in the weeks leading up to the 1988 Chilean plebiscite that ended Pinchoet's rule, Skarmeta's historical novel winner of the 2011 Premio Iberoamericano Planeta-Casa de Am rica de Narrativa award follows two men as they navigate the difficult terrain of life under a dictatorship. Bettini, a brilliant, and thus underemployed, ad man is tasked with creating a 15-minute television ad campaign for the coalition of political parties who, seeking an end to Pinochet's rule, have united under the common cause of voting "No" on the plebiscite. As time runs out, Betinni strives to create a single message that can satisfy all the dissenters and inspire the Chilean people. Meanwhile, his daughter's boyfriend, Nico, attempts to find his father, a philosophy teacher who was arrested by Pinochet's men during class. As he awaits his father's return, Nico imagines the worst, slowly opening his eyes to the realities of Chile and adulthood. The dual narratives complement each other well, illustrating the horrors of Pinochet's regime and the difficulties of resistance. However, the emotional power and weight of Nico's narrative consistently overpowers Bettini's story, further unbalancing a translation that favors the informal, breezy language of the Chilean youth over the stolid speech of their elders.