TAJOS: The Story of a Village on the Costa Del Sol by Ronald Fraser

TAJOS: The Story of a Village on the Costa Del Sol

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KIRKUS REVIEW

According to the voices in Fraser's latest oral history (he also recorded In Hiding, 1972), Tajos has never had it better since the coming of the tourists. In the old days ""one worked a lot but ate very little""; the Republic brought violence and disorder but little social change (the surviving socialists are still treated like a race apart) and was followed by the ""Hunger Years."" There's work for all now, miniskirts and motorcycles, and a chance to save for a TV or refrigerator. What more, hombre, could you want? Fraser's people are sharecroppers, unskilled laborers, construction workers, household servants, three brothers from the only resident landlord family, a village priest, a school teacher, the townhall coterie (all fervid Francoists), and several foreigners who, for some reason or other, have wandered into this byway from the seaside. Land, the traditional form of wealth, is increasingly being sold to foreigners at inflated prices or abandoned, but the village itself remains hidebound, homogeneous, parochial, gossipy (""They're always thinking que diran? What will the people say?""), puritanical, male-chauvinist and extremely boring (""When I'm working I leave the bar to go to bed and I get up in the morning to go back to the bar""). Yet the villagers, with sights no higher than marriage or the service trades -- only one Tajeno is at the University -- want to die where they were born. No comfort for Guevarists, sun-seekers or rustic idolaters but an authentic recording of underdevelopment's response to rapid social change -- the scrawny underbelly of Spain's shiny new hotels.

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 1973
Publisher: Pantheon