Tres tristes tigres / Three Trapped Tigers (Letras Hispanicas / Hispanic Writings)
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Tres tristes tigres / Three Trapped Tigers (Letras Hispanicas / Hispanic Writings)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  698 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Tres tristes tigres es la novela mas audaz del llamado boom hispanoamericano de los anos sesenta, un hito esencial en la narrativa hispanica y una de sus mayores muestras en la tradicion moderna y posmoderna. Publicada en 1967, ano clave en la historia del boom coincide con Cien anos de soledad , representa dentro de ese cuerpo de por si experimental un experimento mayor c...more
Paperback, 677 pages
Published February 28th 2010 by Catedra (first published 1965)
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MJ Nicholls
A punnilinguistic tour de farce—a hip and swinging hepcat’s tour around the Cuban vernacular and a strenuous intellectual workout for fans of exploding forms. Infante’s fragmented opus leans on the Sterne, Joyce, and Rabelais influence to a mirthmaking extent—bursting with puns and wordplays that deliver the same bursts of bliss as CB-R’s Amalgamemnon (esp. in the ‘Brainteaser’ section). The musical freewheeling ramble of the Beats can be found in the ‘I Heard Her Sing’ sections that form the em...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
This starts strongly. Somewhere before its halfway mark I kept muttering brilliant brilliant brilliant, chuckling every now and then. But the author, with diverse characters in pre-Castro Havana, seemingly ran out of ideas. This, I suppose, can happen when a one writes fiction not really to tell a story, but only to play. Play with words. And indeed G. Cabrera Infante did a lot of things to words here. Almost every imaginable things one can possibly do to words. And names even: of authors (Aldus...more
I was dizzy and short of breath when I finally saw this on the shelves at Twice-Told back in my Boom days. My vertigo may have been induced by the fact that I lived on espresso and spent all food money on books and cds. Those were strange times of death-trap automobiles and working two full jobs to remain poor but literate.

The friendship displayed in the novel was beyond moving. The erudition itself was arresting but the emotional bond captured me. I have felt those bonds throughout my life but...more
Nov 11, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: davemurray101 and the 1001 books list
Technically I've just committed an act of fraud by pressing the "I'm finished" button in order to write this review. I didn't actually finish this book. Didn't even come remotely close. Really I shouldn't be awarding a rating to this either. Essentially I'm awarding a rating to Guillermo Cabrera Infantes book which is entirely based on my own personal inability to engage with and absorb the writing therein.

But what the hell. I did try with this one but I really couldn't get on board with the wr...more
Tony Hightower
For my money, as underappreciated a novel as I have ever read. Imagine Joyce in Havana in the 1950's, hanging out with the two-bit glamor girls and the big-band underbelly of Cuban society, living an American Graffitiesque life with his two best friends, all of them chasing women and drink and privacy and kicks, and kicks, and kicks, and kicks.

When people say a book is laugh-out-loud funny, they generally don't mean it, but lovers of wordplay and who have even a vague understanding of mid-20th C...more
Un juego. Un Juego. De palabras, en la estructura, de sonidos, con los personajes, con las palabras, con el Tiempo, con los números, con los tiempos, con la historia, en la narrativa, con la Historia. En todo. Con todo juega. ¡Prólogo, epílogo y todo lo que hay en medio de esos dos puntos! Desde la nota advertiva y pre-prologuera, ya está jugando, nos está plantando las reglas del juego. Y como buen juego, uno se divierte durante el trayecto.

De esos libros que obligan revisar capítulos anterior...more
"It has been customary to read 700-page novels," writes James Woods in his famous essay on the the modern novel, "Hysterical Realism," "to spend hours within a fictional world without experiencing anything really affecting or beautiful." Woods had in mind writers like DeLillo, David Foster Wallace, Rushdie, and (especially) Zadie Smith, but he might have put Guillermo Cabrera-Infante at the top of the list. I would.

Of course, that's a little unfair of me, because I didn't read all of this book....more
Tedious, drab, lifeless, insipid, vapid, tiresome, morose,exhausting, laborious, arduous, lacklustre, humourless and just plain boring.

The first line may give you a rough idea as to how much I enjoyed this book but let me tell you that I feel rather guilty about listing this book and review on this site because for me it was anything but a "goodread". In fact if I could have given it a minus score I probably would have, it gets 1 simply because it is finally over and done with.

The story such as...more
Really mixed feelings about this one. Insanely dense "word play" But like a pit bull puppy that grew up too fast, the play has become an unstoppable torrent of aggression that kind of left me feeling battered. Perhaps some people I know would be more receptive to this kind of unbridled creativity, but I like my creativity with a bridle on it.
This book is about Havana, 24/7 and 100 mph. Day-Glo drunken hyper-realism bleeds into a mutant hybrid of meda-absurdity and formal logic. This book is lik...more
Amber Berry
Although I was reading several other books at time, I felt I had to devote most of my attention to this novel, since I had requested my library to purchase it. I don't remember how it came to my attention, but I suspect it was because of a music reference.
I read about the first 200 pages, then skimmed through the middle sections and ended with the final 100 pages (there are 487 pages in the 2004 Dalkey edition.)
This book is for people who love words and wordplay, and don't mind cliches (which ar...more
Toby Elliott
this little known cuban author has written a crazy, graphically engaging, rich novel set in - well, Cuba - in the fifties. the cabana! the cigars! the women! the drinking, the ecstasy ... but also, the darkness beyond ringside, the muttering in the wings. gunshots in the night.

i've loaned this book to a few friends & they've all been totally astonished that they'd never even heard of Guillermo Cabrera Infante before. for more information on him: . he has been compared to James Joyce as we...more
Jessica Bee
the chapter on bustrofedon sends me into linguistic ecstasies. I can only imagine how amazing it must be in its original spanish.
A la altura de Cortazar, Sabato y Garcia Marquez. Increiblemente ingenioso, lleno de sorpresas, chistes camuflados y un juego de palabras muy inteligente. Este libro me tuvo riendome durante horas, a la vez rodeandome de un sentimiento de oscuridad y tristeza. Es uno de esos libros que hay que leer multiples veces, y con cada lectura entender un nuevo chiste, un nuevo juego de palabras. Eso si, al igual que Cortazar y Borges, leer Tres Tristes Tigres require saber cantidades de literatura e hist...more
Israel Jaime
Sí, un ejercicio interesante de uso del lenguaje y la polifonía, sin embargo, me pareció ya rebasado por la época, es decir, como si hubiese perdido cierto valor leerlo actualmente que hace todavía veinte o más años. En su momento sí debió haber representado toda una aportación. Por otro lado, aunque reconozco en el libro un buen grado de experimentación, a veces me desesperaba que no ocurriera "nada", me quedé en suspenso las más de 400 páginas.
Claudia Carvalho Silva
Ao ler Três Tristes Tigres, fui sugada para um mundo literário ao qual não estava habituada. É um livro que transporta em si uma riqueza enorme, um estilo diferente, uma variedade gloriosa: desde números, a referências, palavras, pontos de vista, à complexidade e interligação dos dramas paralelos...

Guillermo Cabrera Infante é um verdadeiro mágico das palavras. Brinca com elas, cria trocadilhos, troça com o seu arranjo, mistura idiomas. Inclui nas suas palavras emoções, estados de espírito, inte...more
Dilsia A.
Nov 04, 2011 Dilsia A. is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I find it difficult to read, one has to be good at Spanish language because of the word games the author embarks on. It gives a glimpse of the Havana during the fifties before Castro's Revolution in which la Estrella a black big woman sings "boleros", Estrella was a real person her name Fredesvinda García Valdés la Freddy.
This is a work of art. Working under censorship in Cuba, and then in Franco's Spain, Cabrera Infante finally produced a text that challenges our ideas of how Castro's Cuba became a reality. Both political and social in nature, this work is a playful as well as mocking commentary of Castro's destruction of a Cuba now lost.
Guillermo Carbrera Infante was born in 1929 in Gibara, a small town in Cuba. His father was one of the founders of the Cuban Communist Party. Through poverty the author could not realize his dreams of a medical career. One of his jobs was proof reading. I found this book to be quite heavy I read it many years ago and I did so because one of my friends said it was an engrossing read. I thought it was a little hard going at times and put it away for a while. I then decided to give it another go an...more
dianne budd
clever, wordy and occasionally hilarious - but a Whole Lot of verbal and intellectual masturbation - overall not worth the (great amount of) time.
Geoff Wehmeyer
One of the funniest and most out of left field books I've ever read.
Hmm, that was a bit weird.

Approached in the right frame of mind - as in, prepared to go along for the ride rather than expecting such fripperies as..erm..a plot - this was ok for a while. Some of the wordplay was fun and some of the earlier scenes conveyed quite well the adult playground vibe that pre-revolutionary Havana is supposed to have had (albeit in a very male-centric way).

Having said that, the lack of any real direction meant that it all became increasingly dull. The wordplay, fun at f...more
Un viaje por la noche. Por la juerga. Por la musica. Por las mujeres. Por el lenguaje. Uno mas de esos libros sin destino. Precursor de Cortazar? O sucesor? De Bolano, precursor, sin duda. Un humor mordaz, un ingenio delirante con el uso del doble sentido, del triple, del sin sentido. Personajes entranables (Bustrofedon, Silvestre). El placer de leer por el placer de leer, aunque no haya una historia digerible o descubrible. Uno de esos libros que uno llena de notas, de dobleces en esquinas y en...more
Gijs Grob
'Drie trieste tijgers' is de Spaanstalige tegenhanger van Ulysses, een boek dat Cabrera Infante ook zelf vertaalde. Het is eigenlijk geen echte roman - een verhaal ontbreekt, en een groot deel van de hoofdstukken staan in geen of weinig verbinding met de andere. De rode draad vormen de belevenissen van vier vrienden in het Cuba van de jaren vijftig, en dan vooral het nachtleven daarvan. Maar vooral is 'Drie trieste tijgers' een boek over taal. De schrijver geniet duidelijk van de mogelijkheden d...more
Genius Cuban writer....wish he was more well known. Great even in translation--the Spanish is dizzingly brilliant.

"Coffee is a sexual stimulant. Tea is intellectual. Mate is the bitter primitive residue of a hungover dawn in New York circa 1955. (I am speaking for myself and also for you, Silvestre. I don't care what the scientists say. For this reason my example should be seen as both personal and remote.)
A coffee sipped on the corner of 12th and 23rd, at dawn, or just before, the morning win...more
Erez Levinberg
Couldn't finish it , bad translation
Literary Man
Hailed as the Latin American Ulysses, but perhaps Ulysses should be called "The Irish Tres Tigres Tristes."

This book blew me away. Not an easy read, but deeply rewarding. Recommended for fans of language, fans of plotless novels, people who like drinking and sex, music, Cuba.

Even in translation, the wordplay dazzles. Plenty of truly satisfying descriptions of nakedness and mischief and The Dream of making it big in Havana.

This book is probably better than whatever you're reading right now.
Jeremy Kitchen
Cuban Ulysses. Fan-fucking-tastic.
On starting this book I wondered what on earth was going on. I then got to a point where I could follow the story although was still not sure what the book was all about. Then the book took another route and I could not work out if this was a new story with new characters of if I had just missed something and it was still the original characters. I got over three quarters of the way through before I gave up, I just did not have a clue what was going on.
A language game in itself, Cabrera Infante tells in his unique style the story of a group of artists, intellectuals, musicians, and writers in the booming night club culture of Cuba before the revolution. If you are looking for a project, take this one it's totally worth it. Cabrera Infante worked on the translation to English and claims it is of the same quality as the Spanish version. The English version of this book is called Three Trapped Tigers.
Jorge León
Advertencia: un libro para ser gozado, disfrutado y ponderado en tanto uno advierta y asimile la maestría de Guillermo Cabrera Infante con el lenguaje y los juegos de palabras. Admirador que soy de los extraordinarios puns de Spider Robinson en la saga de Mike Callahan ( a rabiar el ingenio desenfadado de Cabrera Infante en este sublime exitoso experimento.Imprescindible.
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Escritor de origem cubana, Guillermo Cabrera Infante nasceu a 22 de Abril de 1929, em Gibara, Cuba, e faleceu a 22 de Fevereiro de 2005, em Londres, Inglaterra.
Filho de pais directamente ligados à política - fundadores, em Gibera, do Partido Comunista - desde cedo se viu confrontado com um forte ambiente de consciência política. Motivado pela profissão dos pais, Cabrera Infante viu-se forçado a mu...more
More about Guillermo Cabrera Infante...
La Habana para un infante difunto La ninfa inconstante View of Dawn in the Tropics, a Novel Mea Cuba Holy Smoke

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“If the sleep of reason produces monsters, what does the sleep of unreason produce?” 5 likes
“Así que así era yo y no había quien me cambiara, porque pasaba el tiempo y me ponía viejo y los días pasaban y se convertían en fecha y los años se convertían en efemérides y yo seguía así, quedándome con las noches, metiéndolas en un vaso con hielo o en un negativo o en el recuerdo” 1 likes
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