Meet Luis Cabrillo, a magnificently impudent young Spaniard of the Thirties who looks like Valentino and has a genius for...

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THE ELDORADO NETWORK

Meet Luis Cabrillo, a magnificently impudent young Spaniard of the Thirties who looks like Valentino and has a genius for originality. Son of a daffily intelligent traffic manager for the Spanish railway system, Luis runs through 27 schools before he finally leaves home at 15 and begins a vast series of occupations which ends with him as a 20-year-old driver/guide for cynical American and English journlaists covering the Civil War. He thus learns colloquial English and, when he falls into a fantastic sum of banknotes, he learns everything else-by holing up in a Madrid attic for two years to read 2000 censored books, everything from P. G. Wodehouse to Walt Whitman. Luis emerges penniless but is now perhaps the most brilliant Spaniard in Europe--and he offers the British embassy in Madrid his services as a spy. The British, however, toss him out, so Luis goes directly to the Germans, whose embassy is filled with operatic spies and fathead buffoons who take him on, train him, and warily send forth their young prodigy to garner rich military secrets from the British. Meanwhile, he falls for a vixenishly well-spoken young Californian whose wit and heat match his own; and, in Lisbon, Luis (codenamed Eldorado) invents an elaborate fictional spy network supposedly working out of London that feeds hoaxes (derived from guide books) to the Abwehr in Madrid--who are overwhelmed by his information riches and pay him handsomely. Veteran intrigue-maker Robinson (Kramer's War, Rotten with Honour) has fashioned a suave and savvy entertainment, ironies abounding in a Graham Greene plot of total involvement graced with serenely accomplished dialogue and even traces of Woody Allen, Spanish-style. Delightful.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 1979

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979