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Pasado perfecto (Mario Conde #1)

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  448 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
En la lograda tradición de novela policial a la que nos ha acostumbrado Leonardo Padura Fuentes, en Pasado perfecto, volvemos a compartir las experiencias del teniente Mario Conde, que conoce como nadie los secretos desdobles de los burócratas cubanos.

Y es que Leonardo Padura Fuentes es el creador del teniente detective cubano Mario Conde. Conde es el investigador a cargo
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by TusQuets (first published 1991)
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From BBC Radio 4 - Saturday Drama:
The first story in Padura's much-loved detective series set in Havana. It's New Year's Day 1989 and Lieutenant Mario Conde wakes up with another terrible hangover and a case which is close to home - his schoolboy rival, now a party grandee, is missing.

Leonardo Padura's series, published in English as the Havana Quartet, is set over the course of 1989 - starting with Havana Blue which opens on New Year's Day.

Leonardo Padura is a novelist and journalist who was bo
This was another in my selection of forgotten literature found in the $2 section of my shop, which is yet again an absolute shame. This one especially should have a wide appeal. It's a Cuban literary noir novel, what's not appealing about that?

As has already been noted here on Goodreads, this is more of a study of time and place than a straight forward detective story. And Padura really manages to draw a strong image of what life was like in 1990 Havana.

I have never studied the country but ther
Nov 09, 2015 Tomo20 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very much hovered between 3 and 4 stars for this one. There were many irritants in the book, some of which may have been due to the translation, but not all. The book isn't particularly judgemental on communism, the church, corruption or politics beyond what the characters, rather than the author might feel, which is just as well as are is a lazy racist language running through the book that can just about pass off as being indicative of what some of the characters might use, rather than, again, ...more
May 09, 2015 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable crime novel set in late 1980's Havanna. An important party bigwig goes missing and police detective Manuel Conde is dragged in from his new year holiday and hangover to investigate. The plot involves the search against the backdrop of party politics and corruption and Conde's personal dealings with the lost Rafael at college and his renewed relationship with Rafael's wife Tamarra. Interesting in the context of Cuban life but not so compelling as I will rush to read the remainder of ...more
Apr 30, 2013 Yasmin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not much into Crime suspense or murder mysteries or whatever the genre is called these days. As always they are always the same in style and the mystery is invariably the same. So why did I get this book if I don't like this type of book? Well there isn't too many Cuban writers I'm familiar with and I did think maybe this book would be a little different from what's been done before. I don't know if it is the point of Leonardo Padura for you not to care about any of the characters or what ex ...more
Wayne Turmel
Oct 12, 2015 Wayne Turmel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moody and evocative.

Crime and human sadness are universal. This Cuban-noir story was rich with characters and a sense of sadness that crosses cultures. Just found this author and look forward to more.
Tensy Gesteira estevez
Sin duda, Leonardo Padura es una gran voz. esta novela me ha permitido disfrutar mucho l tiempo que conocí una parte de la personalidad cubana.
Compré este libro porque me apetecía leer alguna novela políciaca en español y porque estaba delante de la estantería de la tienda, sin mirar antes las opiniones de la gente aquí en Goodreads, que es mi go-to place para ver si un libro me interesa. Si las hubiera leído, no lo habría comprado. Se deja leer, pero tampoco me ha aparecido muy destacable ni interesante, sobretodo teniendo tantos premios la serie Mario Conde. Y si no fuera por como hablan español los personajes, ni me habría enterado ...more
Aug 02, 2014 Harley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

A fellow in my winter Mystery and Suspense class (w/Con Lehane) recommended Leonardo Padura, a Cuban author of detective novels. The recommendation sounded as if they were something I'd like--atmospheric, Chandler-esque stories set in an exotic locale--Habana--so I tried the first one, Havana Blue, written in 1991, and translated into English around 2008.

The Havana Quartet features police lieutenant Mario Conde, known as "The Count." The stories are seasonal, and the first, Blue, is winter. The
Barbara Gregorich
Oct 21, 2014 Barbara Gregorich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The setting and atmosphere stand out in this book, as do the characters. It's a character-driven mystery featuring Havana Police Lieutenant Mario Conde, who on New Year's Day is called upon to investigate the disappearance of a high-ranking member of an "enterprise." There's little mystery involved and even less suspense, but there are many interesting and intriguing characters.

Padura tells the story in both first person and third person POV. That is, sometimes Conde is telling the story from th
When a PI or cop crime novel is set in another country, the inevitable and predictable tropes of the genre form a nice structure within which the uber-purpose of they mystery can be explored, namely the way the society works. In this, the first of a quartet of Havana-based sleuthers, our hero Police lieutenant Mario Conde, known as the Count, is assigned the disappearance of a prominent government executive in the ministry of trade, in part because Conte has become the best detective on the forc ...more
The Crime Scene Scene
Havana Blue is the first novel in the Mario Conde series by author Leonardo Padura. Lieuetnant Mario Conde is hired to investigate when the wife of a prominent businessmen Rafael Morin reports that he has gone missing. But Rafael Morin's rise from being poor to a picture perfect life hides some dark secrets worthy of investigation.

Leonardo Padura is probably Cuba's best known author and crime novelist. He captures an essence of Cuba in his novels and the lives and loves of a lost generation.Rea
David Schlosser
I don't regret reading this novel, but I'd be hard-pressed to give it much of a recommendation beyond "you probably won't hate it" if you're looking for a mystery and "you might enjoy it" if you're looking for a literary excursion.

I was eager to read it based on a fascinating profile of the author in The New Yorker, which described how he's managed to become a popular novelist who manages to speak a little truth to power in his authoritarian dictatorship, Cuba. If you're fascinated by the intell
Mar 27, 2010 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The translation wasn't very good but in spite of that I enjoyed basking in the atmosphere of the book. The discussion about Cuba was also interesting. I would read another of his books despite the poor translations.
Filippo Bossolino
Feb 26, 2014 Filippo Bossolino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il grande merito che riconosco a questo romanzo è quello di catturare l'attenzione e coinvolgere il lettore nonostante non succeda quasi niente o comunque poco. Non un colpo di scena, l'azione non esiste. E il caso viene risolto con un'indagine metodica, un tassello dopo un altro. E il caso di cui è protagonista il tenente Mario Conde è quello relativo alla scomparsa di un funzionario del Ministero dell'Industria a Cuba, durante i primi giorni dell'anno 1989.
Un'indagine particolare perché lo sco
Oct 07, 2015 Lysergius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
A touch of vindication for Conde as an old school friend gets into deep water.
Apr 09, 2014 Aliza rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe something got lost in translation? I found the switches between first and third person a little jarring, but enjoyed the details about life in Cuba and the ways in which being a detective would be different in Havana. An enjoyable mystery but a little predictable. Also, the main character appears to suffer from the same wish fulfillment/author avatar disease as Mikael Blomkvist (from Stieg Larsson's Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series), where the Average Joe/relentless investigator main cha ...more
El alquimista del tedio Alquimista del tedio
A Leonardo Padura lo quería leer desde que vi publicada su novela El hombre que amaba a los perros.

Luego supe que Pasado Perfecto es la primera novela de una saga, de ocho títulos, de momento, de novela negra que tiene como protagonista a Mario Conde (este es agente de policía no banquero).
Padura es cubano y su novela transcurre en la ciudad de la Habana.
La novela negra como cualquier género literario que se precie de tal es un cajón desastre donde los autores pueden tocar distintos palos y don
Mar 19, 2014 Alfredo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: negra
¿Qué es el «pasado perfecto»? Si se pone uno psicoanalítico, es aquel que el sujeto recuerda y que, forzosamente, proviene de la omisión de aquello que le dañó en exceso, o de la supresión de lo que podría constituirse como una traba de importancia en su presente. Un pasado que es más lo que se quiere recordar que lo que se ha vivido y experimentado. Un pasado idealizado, mentalmente trucado para convertirse en algo más placentero de lo que realmente fue. Algo por el estilo.

Padura plantea algo s
Nov 27, 2012 Susana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Comencé a leer este libro con una expectativa muy alta, luego de disfrutar inmensamente "El hombre que amaba a los perros", pero ... es otra novela negra latinoamericana, eso sí, muy bien escrita.
Es mi impresión, por algunos libros que he leído recientemente del género, que la novela negra latinoamericana se adentra más en las vivencias de su detective, que tiene su familia y círculo de amigos, aún cuando su vida pueda ser triste y solitaria (abandonado por la esposa, incapaz de encontrar un nue
Jun 30, 2013 Lowry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A cop book of a kind that transcends nationality, set in the fascinatingly particular world of contemporary Cuba. A trip to a different culture, and yet deeply familiar because of the central character -- the cop as damaged loner, who either cannot find love or cannot keep it, who has tremendous talent for the work of catching criminals, but never quite loses the wish to have been someone else. How many books from how many countries have a protagonist like this? Think of Kjell Eriksson's charact ...more
Mi primera novela de Padura, y mi presentación con Mario Conde me dejó sentimientos encontrados. Por una parte, disfruté mucho el buen oficio de Padura. Escribe bien, fluido, y cuenta mejor. Los personajes tienen profundidad, están bien construidos y presentados, incluso los circunstanciales. Hay momentos imágenes poéticas memorables, y párrafos que son una gozada. Pero el personaje principal, Mario Conde, no acabó de atraparme. No sé si es su obsesión con Tamara (y con cualquier cosa viviente q ...more
Nov 21, 2014 Debra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
It might have been the translation, but I found the writing in this mystery to be uneven--sometimes evocative, other times too too...too. (The opening description of the protag's hangover, for instance, was overwritten, overblown.)

Having said that, I enjoyed the story and very much appreciated the sense of place about a world--Cuba--that is otherwise unknown to me.
Jan 04, 2015 Don rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a poorly constructed mystery. The mystery doesn't play much part of the book until half way and it isn't much of a mystery when you get to it. The author doesn't seem to have a very good opinion of women. Each woman has a detailed rating of sexual attractiveness as their main attributes. There was so much smoking in the book I developed a smoker's cough
Darren McCollester
I love the four books in this series. There is one more, Adios Hemingway, that I am allowing to marinate on my book shelf before I finally finish the Mario Conde saga. Unlike many mystery/cop books, these are not page turners, but much more thoughtful, evenly paced, engaging reads. I have come to like Mario Conde very much, as well as Skinny Carlos, who is not skinny at all, and the blue and gold Havana that Padura writes of, his descriptions of the porridge made from the meager bread and soup l ...more
Fabio Tassi
Prima avventura del tenente Mario Conde.
Il romanzo costituisce il primo episodio della tetralogia Le quattro stagioni. Conosciamo qui per la prima volta il protagonista - il tenente aspirante scrittore hemingwayano Mario Conde - con i suoi rituali di vita ed il suo mondo: splendori e miserie della realtà cubana del periodo especial, il sergente strabico (a giorni alterni) Manolo, il Vecchio (maggiore) e la centrale di polizia dell'Avana, gli indimenticabili ex compagni di scuola: il 'magro' e la
Linda Howe Steiger
Does not start with a gripping bang, but hang in there: this is a pleasing read. Set in 1988 Cuba. More than a simple police procedural, also a book about memory and destiny. In the end one grows quite fond of police lieutenant nicknamed "The Count" and his melancholy musings about high school. Some excellent writing, to be expected as the Count himself dreams of writing a book about squalor a la Hemingway. Think I'll go search out the rest of the Havana Quartet.
Nov 13, 2015 STAVROULA rated it it was amazing
Καλογραμμένο, διαβάζεται ευχάριστα. Ο συγγραφέας με την πέννα του μας ταξιδεύει στη πολιτική και κοινωνική ζωή της Κούβας 20 χρόνια μετά την επανάσταση, δείχνοντας μας ότι η ιστορία δεν αλλάζει και η διαφθορά υπάρχει πάντα.
Barbara Tsipouras
Dieser Krimi ist nicht wirklich ein Krimi im klassischen Sinne. Es ist eine sehr melancholische Erzählung, gespickt mit Erinnerungen, vom Leben in Kuba in den 70er und 80er Jahren. Die Geschichte entwickelt sich langsam und wenig spektakulär, dafür ist der Schreibstil ungewöhnlich und beeindruckend.
Samuel Mustri
May 24, 2015 Samuel Mustri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leonardo Padura is Cuba's best living novelist. The excitement is in his writing style, not in the plot, and the rest of what's interesting is his view of Cuban society, his characters, and so on. The sensuality of his prose is visceral. Havana Blue probes the dirty little secrets of communism, favoritism, and social climbing. I will read as many of the Mario Conde novels as I can.
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Leonardo Padura Fuentes (born 1955) is a Cuban novelist and journalist. As of 2007, he is one of Cuba's best known writers internationally. In English and some other languages, he is often referred to by the shorter form of his name, Leonardo Padura. He has written movie scripts, two books of short stories and a series of detective novels translated into 10 languages. In 2012, Fuentes was awarded ...more
More about Leonardo Padura...

Other Books in the Series

Mario Conde (8 books)
  • Havana Gold
  • Havana Red (Mario Conde, #3)
  • Havana Black
  • Adios Hemingway
  • Havana Fever
  • La cola de la serpiente
  • Herejes

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