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El hombre que amaba a los perros

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  6,006 ratings  ·  710 reviews
En 2004, a la muerte de su mujer, Iván, aspirante a escritor y ahora responsable de un paupérrimo gabinete veterinario de La Habana, vuelve los ojos hacia un episodio de su vida, ocurrido en 1977, cuando conoció a un enigmático hombre que paseaba por la playa en compañía de dos hermosos galgos rusos. Tras varios encuentros, «el hombre que amaba a los perros» comenzó a hace ...more
Paperback, Colección Andanzas, #700, 765 pages
Published February 2010 by Tusquets (first published 2009)
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Infada Spain
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, 2018-5stars
***** stars, though not a perfect 5 due to the strenuous effort needed to conclude some of the genuinely historical monologues.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
While I was reading, I passed through different and conflicting emotions. From passion to compassion and empathy, from anger, frustration, futility and vanity to relief but always with a bitter taste in my mouth. I was present all the time, I was always there! I am not sure if I could introduce this book to many. It is mainly for " tous kalws gnwrizontes". I would like to thank a good friend of mine who suggested that to me. Amazing Book! ...more
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
El hombre que amaba este libro!

What can one say after reading this 761-page epic tale about the assassination of Leon Trotski? Breathless in scope, wondrous in telling the tale and so very much human in scale. I would rank this as one of my favourite books read in a long time. If Goodreads had a special ranking of 6-stars, this would be one.

The book tells the story of the famous killing from three view points: Trotski, his Catalan assassin Ramón Mercader and the Cuban writer Iván Cárdenas Mature
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the better written books I have read in a long time. You do not have to be in lockstep with the authors ideas and beliefs to appreciate what he has to say and how he says it. I will say that his portrayal of the betrayal of the Revolution, the darkness of Stalin, the impact of dogmatism run amuck is more than enough to demand a reading. Trotsky is portrayed in a sympathetic manner, but not idealized so far that the reader is unable to realize that if he had replaced Stalin upon Lenin's de ...more
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Two things undermine this historical novel about the assassination of Trotsky: ponderous obviousness and complete a-historicism. We can guess, almost immediately, the identities of the narrators of the chapters other than Trotsky himself. And, contrary to the author's gauzy belief, Trotsky the writer existed side-by-side with Trotsky the mass-murderer--and Trotsky never regretted the murders. What's more, the author has Trotsky ascribe to Stalin precisely the essential quality that made Trotsky ...more
The assassin and his prey...

The story of three men whose lives become intertwined across decades and continents, the book primarily tells of the assassination of Trotsky in Mexico in 1940. Its purpose runs deeper though: to look at the corruption and failure of the utopian dream of communism and to inspire compassion for the people caught up in this vast and dreadful experiment.

Iván is a failed writer living in Cuba under Castro. Having inadvertently crossed the regime in his youth, he has lost
TBV (on hiatus)
(No spoilers here; except for the Cuban narrators, this is mostly history.)

“I wanted to use the story of Trotsky’s murder to reflect on how the twentieth century’s great utopia was corrupted, that process in which so many invested their hopes and in which so many of us lost dreams, years, and even blood and lives.”

So says award winning Cuban author Leonardo Padura Fuentes. Known for his Mario Conde* series of crime novels, this is a total departure from that genre. It is excellent historical
Robert Wechsler
At first, I greatly admired this novel, and its translation. There was something about the measured, calmly passionate way the three stories were told that grabbed me for some time. But I became progressively less interested in the two stories other than the one about Trotsky, to the point that I started just reading the Trotsky chapters. And then, about halfway through, I reached a point where I lost interest even in them, not so much in Trotsky himself as in what had become an endlessly measur ...more
An impressive book on the biggest revolution of the XXth century, how it was betrayed and it finally betrayed those who believed in it.

Told through the prism of Trotsky and Mercader's stories, leading to this fateful day of august 1940 in Mexico, the book shows the appropriation and corruption of the communist ideal by Stalin, defining a new system that'll redefine worldwide politics long after his death. Through intricate webs of lies and deceptions, through hate and paranoia.
It shows how Trots
Aaron Arnold
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2015
I'm not much of an expert of Cuban literature, so I can't offer much contextual insight on where this fits into the island's broader literary traditions other than it's not very surprising to me that a Cuban author would find some interest in the theme of the downsides of socialism. While there are the expected resonances with other works like Orwell's 1984 or Koestler's Darkness at Noon, Padura's novel deliberately aims for broader, more literary heights: it's longer, it has more characters, an ...more
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Dystopian novels tend to be cautionary tales set in some realistically or fantastically imagined future. The Man Who Loved Dogs is a dystopian novel grounded in the history of the 20th century. Written by the Cuban writer Leonardo Padura, whose early work includes a well-regarded series of crime novels, this well conceived, expertly crafted novel is absorbing, horrific, and insightful. Its characters, historic and fictional, are convincing and compelling. There are three primary protagonists and ...more
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The blurb of this book described it as a novel on Stalinism by a Cuban writer who lives in Cuba. It is an epic at 574 pages exploring the events surrounding Leon Trotsky’s eleven-year exile from the USSR and his eventual murder in Mexico. I was skeptical about reading it, as I doubted it can bring anything new to the subject. Historian Isaac Deutscher had already delved deeply into it in his monumental biography of Trotsky. Besides, Cuban communism restricted artistic freedom and compelled artis ...more
Dec 30, 2013 marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: Bettie
After have read The Obedient Assassin by John P. Davidson, I must read this book.

It is "amazing" how some authors are regaining ideas from their books based on books which have been already published. A similar case happen with Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan and published in 2014 compared to Fanny Stevenson by Alexandra Lapierre which was published in 1993.
Cecil Paddywagon
Might've been a translation issue but the book was terribly dry and didactic; aside from the parts about the narrator and Ramón, I felt like I was reading a history textbook that assumes a wealth of prior knowledge from the reader. Don't get me wrong, I *want* to learn more about this stuff, but this might not be the most productive way to do it. And at ~600 pp, it's... too much. ...more
Deena Scintilla
ABANDONED. I really wish GOODREADS had an "abandoned" option. I prob won't go back to this because it jumped around too much for my short attention span during this pandemic. Not only did it jump from character to character but from decades. I started reading....or trying to read...some of the 4 and 5 Star reviews but they were in Russian, German, Arabic, etc. ...more
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Man Who Loved Dogs
by Leonardo Padura

Discovered on a Kindle Deal —not familiar with Padura— certainly the cover did not draw my eye but the title ... THAT stirred my curiosity enough to check into what Kirkus called

“...philosophically charged but swiftly moving. A superb intellectual mystery”, and of course the very mention of the Trotsky /Stalin ‘strain’ snagged me. This one surprised me friends.

Definitely complex:
multiple storylines, each with it’s own protagonist and multiple settings a
Sam Marlowe
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A semi fictional retelling of Trotsky's exile and his death at the hands of assassin Ramon Mercader. That's what the premise is about. But the book goes deeper into the lives of the hunted and the hunter, and the thread that connects the two of them - Stalin, who antagonizes the former and indoctrinates the latter. The spectre of stalinism which the book largely critiques runs through every page of the book, haunting the characters and the reader alike with its inescapable tentacles. In short, i ...more
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With no previous knowledge of this book or its author, I picked up The Man Who Loved Dogs from the store shelf because I thought: “Huh, with a name like that, this ought to be good.” Fortunately, this was a case where my book intuition (yes, you can judge a book by its cover) served me well, as the blurbs on the covers promised that this would indulge two of my biggest literary interests: Latin-American literature, and Communist regimes. And satisfy me, it did.

The Man Who Loved Dogs is a histori
4.5 stars. This was amazing.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Selma Strublic
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very very good book!
And.... I strongly recommend others from Padura.
Apr 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Like others, I find the book brilliant. Padura, perhaps one of the most highly successful authors in Cuba, has written a novel explicitly critical of Stalinism (and hence of Fidel Castro too) that I wondered how the text got past the censors.

The narrator, Padura's older alter-ego, recounts his own exuberance and then disillusion with the Revolution, coming into contact with the enigmatic "man who loved dogs." Along the way we are treated to a narrator-less account of Trotsky's life (often in ago
Jason Furman
Dec 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, novel
A decent novel, feels a little like lesser Mario Vargas Llosa. The Man Who Loved Dogs mostly centers around two parallel stories--Trotsky in exile as he moves from Siberia to Turkey to Norway to Mexico to his death. And his assassin who is recruited by his hard-core believer mother in the Spanish Civil War, is trained in Russia for years just for this mission, practices in Paris and is ultimately deployed to Mexico where he infiltrates the Trotsky household and ultimately kills him. A lesser str ...more
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is more than two months, since the day I finished this book. And I still have the taste of this great book I read. I feel I need to spend a few words because it deserves it. More than all Leonardo Padura deserves a lot of congrats for this monumental piece of work. He probably spent hours and hours of research and writing but he finally did it. The result is absolutely magnificent. It can be considered as a historical novel, or a political novel, or both of these. Even though the whole plot i ...more
Maria Fernanda
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is overpowering, marvelous and shocking, and also very well written.
Slow in the first two chapters, cause you don't know how the story is going to go, but them it just unfolds itself and you're hoocked.
Great for everyone interested in history, politics and understanding the world we live in.
I strongly feel this is how we should learn history in schools since it mentions and reveals facts my history teachers never even spoke about.
I strongly recommend it to everyone, EVERYONE.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to write a review of this book but I'm not sure where to start...
it's a tough one... more than anything that this book might reveal about key historical players, the stories in this book actually all reflect back to the author... this sense of frustration, anguish and above all his total disdain for women... it's written in a way that all the characters are not based on archetypes but two dimensional stereotypes... everyone's personality is superficially glossed over...
Simon Hollway
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: latin-america, 2017
The most definitely not a five star but most definitely not less than a four star book I've read since Vasily Grossman's 'Life and Fate'... I also have a funny feeling that the translation might be a bit ropey. Still, recommended for Trotskyites with stamina and General Francophobes. ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leonardo Padura's writing is impressive. The way he precisely weaves words into a novel about lives affected by history that is melancholic, tragic, and hopeful all at once, without ever being dogmatic, is masterful. ...more
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A most excellent read, of the politics, machinations of the factions involved, the lengths and sacrifices one will go thru to reach their goal.
James F
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Leonardo Padura is one of the best-known writers of present-day Cuba. He is particularly known for his series of "police procedurals" with the character Mario Conde, which I am not familiar with (it's not a genre I normally read, although I gather from some of the reviews of the present book that they somewhat transcend the usual limits of the genre.) This seems to be his first "literary" novel, a historical novel dealing with the assassination of Leon Trotsky. I realized when I reached the last ...more
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Up to what point is this book historically accurate? 1 31 Feb 04, 2016 01:48PM  

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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

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119 likes · 37 comments
“true human grandeur lay in the practice of kindness without conditions, in the capacity of giving to those who had nothing, but not what we have left over but rather a part of what little we have—giving until it hurts without practicing the deceitful philosophy of forcing others to accept our concepts of good and truth because (we believe) they’re the only possible ones and because, besides, they should be grateful for what we give them, even when they didn’t ask for it.” 6 likes
“la verdadera grandeza humana está en la práctica de la bondad sin condiciones, en la capacidad de dar a los que nada tienen, pero no lo que nos sobra, sino una parte de lo poco que tenemos.” 4 likes
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