Havana Red

Havana Red

eBook - 2005
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"The first of the Havana quartet featuring Lieutenant Mario Conde, a tropical Marlowe. A body is found in a Havana park. A young transvestite dressed in a beautiful red evening dress, strangled. The victim had fled his family, finding refuge with Marqués, an author living alone surrounded only by books, his house in ruins. In the baking heat of the Havana summer Conde investigates, moving through a Cuban reality where nothing is what is seems. Padura's masterful prose and eye for detail evoke the Havana that millions of tourists have come to know: crumbling architecture, peeling paintwork and a pulsating, searing sensuality beneath the tropical sun"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: London : Bitter Lemon Press, 2005.
ISBN: 9781904738855
Characteristics: 1 online resource (ix, 233 pages)
text file
Additional Contributors: Bush, Peter R. 1946-- Translator


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Oct 27, 2019

Couldn't return this novel fast enough, I hate to say. I found it very well written with interesting main characters, but the author seems to have a serious issue with describing black characters as animals with animalistic qualities. Ape-ish, animal-like dancing, referencing slavery as a reason for an obviously subjugated character's supposed subordinate nature. And I checked out this book from the Douglas Truth Branch! (Not blaming them of course...)

It's too bad this author's excellent story writing couldn't translate to a humanistic portrayal of the characters that he writes, specifically to an already marginalized group in his community and in a global context.

Apr 17, 2014

Padura is a poetic writer with a strong cynical streak. His macho character, Conde, is faced with the reality of the gay community in Havana and manages, despite himself, to come to terms with it and even respect it. Once again the angst of a society that embraced the "revolution" but were deeply disappointed weaves its way through the narrative.

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