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Macho Camacho's Beat

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  254 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
-- Over the course of a single afternoon, Macho Camacho's hit song 'Life Is A Phenomenal Thing' blares out of every radio in San Juan and connects the lives of Senator Vicente Reinosa, his poor mistress, his neurotic, aristocratic wife and his fascist son. Full of puns, fantastic wordplay, advertising slogans, and pop-culture references, Macho Camacho's Beat is a grimly fu ...more
Paperback, 211 pages
Published December 1st 2000 by Dalkey Archive Press (first published 1980)
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MJ Nicholls
Jun 02, 2016 MJ Nicholls rated it really liked it
Duke Ellington’s maxim it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing is true of prose, and this novel has swing in abundance. The rhythm is the star of this fantastic novel. For fans of prose that can shake its lexical bootay like a master groover, this is the next book you read.
Jim Fonseca
Sep 06, 2015 Jim Fonseca rated it really liked it

First the title: for those not into sports, Hector (Macho) Camaco was a championship boxer from Puerto Rico in the 1980’s and early 1990’s and ended up dead after being shot in his car outside a bar in San Juan in 2012. “Beat” refers not to boxing, but to a hit song the boxer recorded that took over the airways on the one day in which this novel takes place in 1985. (I looked and I do not know if this was really a hit song for Macho, although he did appear in some low-budget movies.) It’s all ab
...more
Alasdair Pettinger
Apr 26, 2012 Alasdair Pettinger rated it liked it
A snapshot of San Juan, Puerto Rico in the mid 1970s that covers barely more than the few minutes it takes for a hit song to be played on the radio. The guaracha - 'Life is a Phenomenal Thing' - punctuates the narrative that captures, in turn, the thoughts of a senator and his son (stuck, separately, in a traffic jam), his wife at her therapist's office, and his mistress waiting for him in her apartment. They are all trapped in one way or another, the men outside, the women inside.

I was drawn to
...more
Audrey
Tengo dos opiniones conflictivas acerca de esa novela. Por un lado, la prosa es muy bien construida, casi poética. Es un placer leer unas páginas simplemente por disfrutar del lenguaje. Por otro lado, los posmodernistas de la escuela de Sánchez no debieron nunca escribir novelas. Es una novela de un sólo concepto: la superficialidad de la vida puertorriqueña de los 80. No se interesa por sus personajes, ni tiene argumento. Además, lo brillante de la novela y la cosa que parece más importante par ...more
Marie Lopez
Jan 30, 2013 Marie Lopez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Es un clásico puertorriqueño. Cultura, verdad, crudeza y humor para no llorar.
Melvin Rodríguez-Rodríguez
Al ritmo de la guaracha y repleta de humor boricua, esta novela presenta una visión caleidoscópica de San Juan, creando un mosaico de personajes unidos, o separados, por un tapón descomunal.

Una mujer pobre espera por su amante, que resulta ser un senador, padre un niño rico malcriado y aficionado a los carros. Agregados a la historia están la refinada y devota esposa del senador, el hijo hidrocéfalo de la mujer pobre y su vecina, una señora a la vez chismosa y con buenos sentimientos. La prosa u
...more
Totoptero Bastidas
Nunca fui de los que gritan cuando en una fiesta retumbaba una canción de Bobbie Cruz o un son de la dupla Blades-Colón. Nunca fui amante de los ritmos caribeños o el baile en bares con nombres como “Goce Pagano” o “Son Salomé”; pero al leer “La guaracha del Macho Camacho” de Luis Rafael Sánchez, no podía dejar de bailar. Lo primero que me sorprendió fue la opinión general de los puertorriqueños que consideraban a esta novela como el inicio de la literatura puertorriqueña actual, aún más cuando ...more
Raphaelus
Jun 03, 2009 Raphaelus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Rhythmic, ludic, irreverent, and Puerto Rican to the marrow. One of my favorites.
Alejandro
Ahi nomás, es como el Calle 13 de los libros.
Alexander
Aug 27, 2014 Alexander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Humor, poesía, raza, ritmo y la esencia de Puerto Rico en una novela un tanto pesada pero de gran aporte.
Sin duda me encantó y te la recomiendo.
Algo fuera de lo cotidiano.
Mbcorujo
Mar 10, 2014 Mbcorujo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Del escritor puertorriqueño que más admiro. My favorite puertorrican writer.
Heberquijano
Apr 26, 2016 Heberquijano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Divertidísima y ninguneada por el bloom
Nicole
Jun 20, 2014 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I can't say I liked this book because the truth is I won't ever re-read it if I have a choice. It was a relief to finish it. I can't even say I understood all of it, it's that hard to follow. I gave it 3 stars instead of 2 only because I acknowledge the critique about the media and puertorican attitudes it developes is amazingly relevant; it is rich in popular culture references as well. Also it is read best in its original spanish form, which is very particular to the puertorican use of languag ...more
Rolando
An excellent translation of an almost untranslatable book. The words leap out of the page and seduce you, much like the whore from the first page, whom the reader gives "a look, a cautious look, or the shadow of a look..." Ecstatic prose, a 200-page poem of San Juan and music and rhythm and decay.
Mae
Sep 04, 2013 Mae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spanish
One of those books that change your life. I read this book in Spanish at the time of its publishing. It shocked me to the core, but I only because I could not believe no one had written it before. A creative musical writing style, african, spanish and taino mixed in one--very puertorrican.
Laila
Jan 28, 2008 Laila added it
Shelves: half-read
I wish I could read this, it's too abstract, too sing-song. I couldn't get through it in English, I don't know how on earth I entertained the idea of reading it in Spanish.
Arlene
Sep 25, 2009 Arlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is amazing writing I love this book. Anyone how has lived in Puerto Rico can relate.
Liliana
Mar 21, 2008 Liliana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
If you are into xxth century Puerto Rican literature, I would say that this is a must read
Tim
Apr 19, 2010 Tim added it
Shelves: 2009
Note: pictured is the Dalkey Archive edition cover, but I read the Avon/Bard edition.
Aaron Mcilhenny
May 11, 2016 Aaron Mcilhenny rated it it was amazing
reread it for school. Still worth it.
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Considered by many to be the greatest Puerto Rican playwright of modern times.

Born and raised in the city of Humacao, Puerto Rico. He enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico in 1955, earning a Bachelors of Arts degree. In 1959 he earned a Masters Degree in dramatic arts in City University of New York. He eventually went to Spain and earned his Doctorate in Literature in 1975, from the Complutens
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“El nubarrón de moscas, euménides zumbonas que improvisaban
un halo furioso sobre la gran cabeza. La Madre y doña Chon
miraron la cara babosa y el baberio y la dormidera boba con lagartijo
muerto en la mano: El Nene mordía la cabeza del lagartijo hasta
que el rabo descansaba la guardia, el mismo rabo que trampado en
la garganta convidaba al vómito. La Madre y doña Chon miraron el
vómito: archipiélago de miserias, islas sanguinolientas, collares de
vómito, vómito como caldo de sopa china, espesos cristales, sopa china
de huevo, convención de todos los amarillos en el vómito, amarillos
tatuados por jugos de china, amarillos soliviantados por la
transparencia sucia de la baba, cristales espesos por granos de arroz:
un vómito como Dios manda”
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