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The Assault

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  117 ratings  ·  9 reviews
A passionate, epic writer, the author of Before Night Falls, concludes his five-novel sequence--a "secret history of Cuba" and a writer's autobiography--with this allegorical satire. Arenas paints a harrowing yet boldly entertaining Kafka-esque picture of a dehumanized people and the despair of an observer/narrator clinging to sanity.
Hardcover, 145 pages
Published December 31st 1994 by Viking Books (first published 1990)
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I'm updating this to five stars instead of four after a second read, and because we have been living breathing eating pissing fucking this book for an upcoming dance, 3-6 hours a day and you better get to liking it. Brilliant hallucinatory terrifying hilarious vision of oppressive society, i.e. Castro's Cuba...breeding permits...patriotic irrigation...cockroach-stomping holidays...TOTAL ANNIHILATION...grrrrr grrrr HOORAY
Layla Martínez
Una de las distopías más terribles que haya leído nunca. El Estado no solo controla a los individuos, sino que se convierte en los individuos. Se elimina hasta el vocabulario, que queda reducido a veinte palabras, y los héroes de la patria son los que han olvidado el lenguaje. Hay fragmentos del libro que son capaces de provocarte reacciones físicas, hasta casi la náusea. Me ha recordado a "Plop" de Rafael Pinedo, aunque en realidad sería al revés, claro, porque la trilogía de Pinedo es posterio ...more
I got the socio-political satire. And then it went on and on and on, with not much change or variation, and I lost interest.

This could have easily been a short story since you really don't want to spend much time with the main character. He has no redeeming qualities, and unlike the poor people in his country, you as the reader can escape his persecution quite easily by shutting the damn book.
Big Brother goes to Cuba. An acid-filled headbutt to the face of totalitarianism. A country (obviously Cuba)in which all-out slaughter of the citizens is carried out as punishment for the slightest of crimes by the narrator.
Kyall Glennie
vicious raw and brilliant, a distopia only capably written from the mind of someone who suffered under a one party restrictive state. harsh and strong and firey and complex and disturbing and perfect.
Robb Todd
Dark and funny--and a warning. He may have had a different government in mind when he wrote it, but governments change and this book has relevance for many he might never have intended it for.
Not a great book, a few interesting moments, but a strange kafkian book that is just a part of the larger oeuvre.
Didn't enjoy it that much
in a word: violent.
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Arenas was born in the countryside, in the northern part of the Province of Oriente, Cuba, and later moved to the city of Holguín. In 1963, he moved to Havana to enroll in the School of Planification and, later, in the Faculty of Letters at the Universidad de La Habana, where he studied philosophy and literature without completing a degree. The following year, he began working at the Biblioteca Na ...more
More about Reinaldo Arenas...
Before Night Falls Singing from the Well Farewell to the Sea: A Novel of Cuba Hallucinations: or, The Ill-Fated Peregrinations of Fray Servando The Doorman: A Novel

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