Dancing to 'Almendra'

Dancing to 'Almendra'

3.06 (337 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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Description

Havana 1957.

On the same day that the Mafia capo Umberto Anastasia is assassinated in a barber's chair in New York, a hippopotamus escapes from Havana Zoo. Joaquin Porrata is the young Cuban journalist assigned to cover the latter story but, told by a secretive zookeeper that he `knows too much', he soon discovers that the two events are not as unconnected as they might initially seem.

An ardent and thrilling tale of innocence lost, of Havana's secret one-time world of violence, fantastic characters and extravagant crimes, Dancing to `Almendra' is a triumph of story-telling from one of Latin America's most impassioned and intoxicating voices.

`Brilliant . . . Montero moves her story along at a lick, but in the giddy swirl of events she leaves plenty of space for absurdist humour. She handles this blend of fact and fiction with brio' Observer

`Combining the dangerous world of violence with the glittering surface of Havana's nightlife, this is an intoxicating tale' Metro

`A sensitive and touching novel' Big Issue

`Brilliant . . . Dancing to `Almendra' is an exuberant must-read' Observer
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 129 x 197 x 17mm | 190g
  • PICADOR
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0330449311
  • 9780330449311

Review quote

"YMontero is a novelist of outstanding importance . . . Y"Almendra" is a masterly work Ythat leaves the reader breathless." --Luis de la Pena, "La Razon" (Spain) Praise for "Captain of the Sleepers: """ "Montero probes Ythe depths of inner ruin with the gelid calm and lucid exactitude that belies her characters' tortured passions and the story's tropical settings . . . YHer sentences, planed to a soothing smoothness by Spanish translator extraordinaire Edith Grossman, slide up against each other, inexorably building to a truly tragic--and truly disturbing--ending. YMontero is a worthy peer for the likes of Mario Vargas Llosa." --Oscar Villalon, "San Francisco Chronicle" "[Montero is a novelist] of outstanding importance . . . ["Almendra" is] a masterly work [that] leaves the reader breathless." --Luis de la Pena, "La Razon" (Spain) Praise for "Captain of the Sleepers: """ "Montero probes [the] depths of inner ruin with the gelid calm and lucid exactitude that belies her characters' tortured passions and the story's tropical settings . . . [Her] sentences, planed to a soothing smoothness by Spanish translator extraordinaire Edith Grossman, slide up against each other, inexorably building to a truly tragic--and truly disturbing--ending. [Montero is] a worthy peer for the likes of Mario Vargas Llosa." --Oscar Villalon, "San Francisco Chronicle" "I devoured it with absolute delight, and I'm looking forward to reading it again, and to reading anything Montero might come up with next."--"The New York Times Book Review" "Montero exploits true crime, romance, family drama, cabaret, and even danzon. . . . Her new novel is a hell of a song."--"San Francisco"" Chronicle" "[Montero] has crafted a story of pre-revolutionary Havana that crackles with violence, mystery, and a truly eccentric view of love. Imagine Raymond Carver crossed with Oscar Hijuelos's "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love.""--"O, The Oprah Magazine" "An extremely stylish novel . . . Montero is an energetic writer and Grossman's translation renders her prose into a wry, bawdy, delicious rhythm. . . . Here is a story of [Montero's] native country, marching toward the future one murder, one one-night stand, one dead hippo at a time. It's even more fun than it sounds."--"The Star-Ledger "(Newark) "Montero has delivered a well-written, cinematic story that fairly steps off the page. Think "Chinatown" set in the late 1950s, pre-Castro Cuba."--"The Plain Dealer" "Masterful . . . What a story! Montero has played her usual sleight of hand."--"Houston"" Chronicle" "Crackles with violence, mystery, and a truly eccentric view of love. Imagine Raymond Carver crossed with Oscar Hijuelos's "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love.""--"O, The Oprah Magazine""" "Think "Chinatown "set in the late 1950s pre-Castro Cuba. . . . Mayra Montero has delivered a well-written, cinematic story that fairly steps off the page."--"The Plain Dealer "(Cleveland) "I devoured it with absolute delight, and I'm looking forward to reading it again, and to reading anything Montero might come up with next."--"The New York Times Book Review""" "[An] extremely stylish novel . . . Here is a story of [Montero's] native country, marching toward the future one murder, one one-night stand, one dead hippo at a time. It's even more fun than it sounds."--"The Star-Ledger "(Newark) "Masterful entertainment--fast-moving, emotionally involving, mysterious, violent, and romantic."--"The ""Palm ""B""each Post"
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About Mayra Montero

Mayra Montero is the author of a collection of short stories and several novels. She was born in Cuba and lives in Puerto Rico, where she writes a weekly column for the newspaper El Nuevo Dia.
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Rating details

337 ratings
3.06 out of 5 stars
5 9% (29)
4 21% (71)
3 43% (145)
2 23% (76)
1 5% (16)
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