Monday, June 04, 2007

Mayra Montero - Dancing to 'Almendra'

Lois D. Atwood reviews Cecilia Samartin's Broken Paradise and Mayra Montero's Dancing to 'Almendra'.
In these two novels, life in the tropical paradise of Cuba has fallen apart under either totalitarian or communist rule. Dancing to ‘Almendra’ is set in Batista’s Havana, where gangsters run all the casinos; Broken Paradise on the idyllic island whose society Castro is restructuring.

Dancing . . . is a thriller about mobsters, zoo keepers, casino and carnival performers, pimps — and Joaquin Porrata, a clueless young journalist. Sent to cover the killing of a hippopotamus, he meets Juan Bulgado, a lion keeper who also runs the zoo’s slaughterhouse, and learns that the killing was a warning to Mafia capo Umberto Anastasia. When Joaquin makes the connection in a news story, he becomes a danger to those in power. Read More

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