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Adios Muchachos Paperback – May 1 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books; 1 edition (May 1 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888451165
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888451160
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 11.3 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #176,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
When Alicia decided to become a bicycle hooker, her mother agreed to sell a ring that had been in the family for five generations. Read the first page
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3.5 out of 5 stars
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By Larry on March 9 2004
Format: Paperback
It seems like every year the Edgar committees nominate one book that is so unusual that it stands out amongst the usual fare. Sometimes these books are excellent and would otherwise have remained undiscovered. For example, immediately comes to mind OUTCAST by Jose Latour, which was first published in English by the same publisher as this book. ADIOS MUCHACHOS is a black comedy that also could be considered a noir fiction. Characters are quite wacky and the plot extremely clever.
In Havana, Cuba, Alicia literally pedals her wares as a bicycle hooker. However, she isn�t simply out for money. She views each �client� as a prospective ticket out of her poverty-laden life via marriage or a long-term commitment. With the help of her pragmatic mother, Margarita, she seduces her johns with food and drink prior to their sampling of her sexual wares. Into this set up wanders her latest john, Victor King. Victor is involved in hunting for treasures on shipwrecks around the island. The people backing him are extremely wealthy. At first Victor uses Alicia for his own purposes. Later he proposes using her for his plan entailing voyeurism. However, a very unfortunate accident might possibly, with a bit of scheming, leave Alicia and Victor extremely wealthy. The question is, can they pull it off by outwitting the wealthy backers?
The rampant descriptions of blatant sex would preclude placing this book among the ranks of the cozies. For those who enjoy hard edged humor, this book will very well fit the bill. The characters, all despicable creations are a pure delight. In spite of their immorality, the reader will find them quite sympathetic. Interest never wanes as the reader roots for Victor and Alicia to succeed in their deception.
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Format: Paperback
I had read very optimistic comments on this book and its author in the New York Times for some time, so I finally decided to get into the Latin mood. The expectations were high and the starts very promising, really amusing. But little by little the emotion goes down. It's like you are expecting some twist in the story or something great to happen but there is nothing. It is just that. The story is told in a fast pace but it lack interest, at least to me. Only can I save from drowning this book the gorgeous hips of that belle cuban female, or that's how she seems to me.
As a side note, I should say that the idea of touring Cuba for good and cheap sex -taking advantage of their slavery- is not a laudable one, on which the author doesn't seem to agree.
No problem of conscience?
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Format: Paperback
Usually, a novel that splits right down the middle -- like a house divided against itself -- cannot stand. This one manages to, just barely. The first half is a raunchy romp with a Havana prostitute named Alicia, who manages to fall off her bicycle in an interesting way, and who strives to "trade up" toward a higher class of client. When she tangles with a shady international entrepreneur named Victor King, she finds her match until ...
Well, I shouldn't say what happens midway through the book, if only because it is so surprising and outlandish that it should be experienced without any lead-in. Suffice it to say that, quite suddenly, one finds oneself in a standard crime caper novel of the shaggy dog variety. The author's style metamorphoses into another genre, and the lovely Alicia is relegated to a subordinate role.
Only the ironic ending keeps me from downgrading the book to three stars. Daniel Chavarria obviously has talent as a writer, and has some of the juiciest sex scenes in recent literature, but he is no master of the genre. Paco Taibo, whose praise appears on the back, stands head and shoulders above him with his Hector Belascoaran Shayne novels. Yet I suspect that Chavarria is still young and has room to grow, and I look forward to reading his other works.
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Format: Paperback
Chavarria is no Dashiel Hammett. Nor is he a Reinaldo Arenas . . .and 'tho he shares Pedro Juan Gutierrez's (Dirty Havana Trilogy) appreciation of the consolations of tropical sexuality, he's not nearly as monomaniacal as Gutierrez, preferring instead to chain his erotics to a fast-paced and intriguing mystery plot. Set in contemporary Cuba, a nation desperate to modernize by delicately balancing the fruits of European and Latin American capital against the achievements of the Cuban Revolution, Adios Muchachos exploits that most typical setting where foreigner and native meet in Cuba - - the sexualized body of the Cuban woman. Chavarria's heroine possesses the most perfect "culo" in Havan, and like the enterprising jineteros or hustlers who sustain a dynamic entrepeneurial culture under the noses of the Revolution's guards, she deploys that asset to pull herself into the tourist economy and its prized dollars. When Cuban sexuality and ingenuity meet European libidos on a long leash from home - - the result is a whirlwind of disguise, counterplotting, and subterfuge. Buried within Adios Muchacho is a kind of charming allegory about the everyday power of the Cuban people to foil the return of postmodern, neo-liberal imperialists. A fun read.
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