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Adiós Hemingway

(Mario Conde #5)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  1,143 ratings  ·  145 reviews
When the skeletal remains of a man brought down by shotgun surface on the Havana estate of Ernest Hemingway, writer, drinker, and ex-cop Mario Conte reluctantly accepts a reinstatement to investigate the forty-year-old crime. As the truth of the night of October 3, 1958, slowly reveals itself, Conte must come to terms with his idealistic memory of Papa Hemingway on Cuba's ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 8th 2005 by Canongate U.S. (first published January 1st 2001)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  1,143 ratings  ·  145 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cuba
”I would love to find out it was Hemingway who killed that guy. That bastard has been getting up my nose for years. But it pisses me off to think they might land him with a murder he didn’t commit. That’s why I’m going to look into it…”

Mario Conde retired from the police force to become a writer. When the call comes in from some friends still on the force to help investigate a 40 year old murder, Conde takes one look at the snow white sheet of paper in his “prehistoric Underwood typewriter” and
Jul 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is a brilliantly engaging novel about a retired Cuban detective called back to action to solve a forty-year old murder than no one knew about until a tropical storm unearthed a corpse on Hemingway’s former property in Havana, the Finca Vigia, now a museum. Fuentes’s has written four other mysteries featuring Mario Conde and, resurrecting him here, passed onto his fictional detective his own obsession with Hemingway. First it was one of deep admiration, even hero worship, then of deep resent ...more
May 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
You've got to be a Hemingway fanboy to be content with the crumbs thrown your way by this slight novella. Padura apes some of Hemingway's macho posturings and leitmotifs semiotics spread throughout E.H.'s canon. Some of it works and one becomes immersed in the Havana sweat, but most to the oblique narrative feels oddly wooden. The level of intrigue stays fairly mundane, and the author ultimately loses the big fish on its hook after a promising set-up. ...more
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cuba
The writing has lovely moments but this is my least favorite of the Havana detective Mario Conde books. A storm brings old bones to the surface on Hemingway's old Finca. Mario, now retired, dissolute and depressed, but with real friends he loves, is enlisted to figure it out. Police, he points out, become bastards, "when they should be making life difficult for the real bastards."

Hemingway, like Trump, seemed devoid of compassion for anything - any life form - human, animal, wild or domestic - e
Dec 09, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hemingway fans and foes.
More of an investigation of a man, than of a murder, this book is a insightful read for Hemingway fans or Hemingway-curious folk.
I hadn't picked up a mystery since my near-fanatical Agatha Christie days (circa pre-adolescene,) but this bad boy was on sale and it looked liked it involved rainstorms and Cuba, and that sounded good to me!
So I took a gamble and was actually quite surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.
As the protagonist, private detective Conde, dissects the dichotomy of Hemingwa
Jun 20, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd give it 3 1/2 stars if that were an option. I liked this book, but had to read some of it aloud to get what was going on. I think it might have been easier to read if I had read it in Spanish, the language I believe it was written in. But my Spanish is so bad these days, I would have missed so much.
I love the mystery, the shifting viewpoints, but I have no idea what the overall point of the novel was. I don't know what the protagonist learned at the end, other than our heroes always fall fr
Tad Richards
Jul 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good sense of contemporary Cuba from a non-political point of view, good sense of Hemingway in Cuba and what Hemingway means to a Cuban.
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am traveling to Cuba this spring. I wanted to read a book by a Cuban writer that takes place in Cuba, and I found a great one. A body is found buried on the property, the Finca, that Hemingway owned and where he stayed when he lived in Cuba. A retired detective, Mario Conde, who is a writer and who was highly influenced by Hemingway's writing but whose connection soured when he learned more about the man is called into help with the investigation. He has no qualms about discovering that Heming ...more
This book was something of a letdown compared to the other Conde/Padura books that I have read. What I think brings this book down is the weight of the other Conde books (I think this is the sixth novel with him as the protagonist)—there are so many references to other parts of the series that it distracted me from the Hemingway narrative. What seemed so poignant about Vientos de Cuaresma (the only other Conde novel I have read so far) is the feeling of betrayal and unfulfilled promises by the C ...more
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am confident that Padura's novel would serve as a wonderful introduction to Cuban culture through its use of the sort of Cuban vernacular (in language and thought) that anyone studying Spanish has got to love.

Deseos, hemingwayanismo, and humor are all inescapable Cuban themes that the novel presents wonderfully. The presence of deseos (wishes) is in the retrospective dialogue — that of the servants-turned-family under Hemingway — to the constant self-doubt of ex-detective Mario Conde in his se
Deon Stonehouse
Set in Cuba the mystery concerns Hemingway during the last years of his life, a man beset by ill health and the nagging suspicion that the FBI was following him. This suspicion of the FBI, the fear of being under surveillance contributed to Hemingway’s eventual downfall and led his doctors to believe he was paranoid. However in an article in the New York Times dated March 11, 1983 by Herbert Mitgang it states that the FBI did, in fact, have Hemingway under surveillance from WWII to as late as a ...more
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
A recent article in NY Times Magazine about this novel's Cuban author got me curious. Padura Fuentes, a life-long resident of Cuba, has gained an international following while steering a middle course between officially approved publication and unofficial.

His police detective, Mario Conde, is a man hardened by his experience on the mean streets of Havana. He has been witness to the aftermath of revolución in Castro’s Cuba, faltering now with the end of Soviet support. Not proud of himself as a c
Nov 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of a retired detective-turned-writer coming out of retirement to investigate a case involving Ernest Hemingway intrigued me. Its movement back and forth between the present and 1958 allows the author to examine the famous author's character through the eyes and obsession of his protagonist. This is not your typical detective story but a character study centered on a 50-year old mystery. It raises questions of the source of a creative person's talent and the fascination we have with peo ...more
Patricia Baker
Winding story about a forty-year old mystery. Bones are found on the grounds where Hemingway last resided before moving to USA. a wantabe detective is on the case to solve whom bones are under the wood chips. the story weaves in and out of the past and back to the present investigating time making the story somewhat hard to read. did like the hints of Hemingway's writing life. his anger, his alcohol intoxication, his need to prove his manly prowess with any female. am glad that the story length ...more
A skeleton is found buried on the grounds of the Hemingway’s former home, Finca Vigía, outside Havana four decades after the author’s death. This is the premise for Leonardo Padura’s sumptuous thriller whose suspense is maintained to the very end. The narration of the murder investigation is alternated with the story narrated from Hemingway's point of view, converging to illuminate the events that supposedly occurred in 1958. ...more
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meld of biography, mystery, and fiction. I'm still trying to sort the strands of this noir about a Cuban cop turned writer who adored Hemingway as a young man then loathed the macho violence of the man. 40 years after Hemingway's death, the cop is called in on a cold case to find out why there is a corpse on Papa's estate. The book switches between the cop's POV and Hemingway's last days in Cuba. Great quick read. ...more
Charles Kerns
Padura struggles with his feelings toward Hemingway as he writes a mystery with his conscience-in-chief, ex-cop detective Conde, struggling with his feelings about Mr. H. A good back and forth (the book alternates between the past with H doing his Papa and Conde doing his detecting (and wearing Ava Gardner's tired old panties on his head at one point--is this a spoiler?) while rum drinking with another ode to his friendships with his long term comrades. ...more
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A murder mystery but so much more. Set in contemporary Cuba, a detective named Mario Conde who is also a writer, investigates a murder that took place on the Hemingway estate near the end of the time Hemingway was on the island. In the process he deconstructs and reconstructs his feelings about Hemingway.
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book. The main character is a retired policeman who wants now to be a writer but is also working as a private eye (there's a whole series of earlier books about him as a policeman in Havana). His feelings about Hemingway are conflicted, and they shift throughout this story. ...more
Jul 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fictional
Well I was looking for a book on Cuba and I got a book about Hemingway. Another hit piece on the old man? Or a fluff piece on the warrior poet? It was a little bit of both with a sort of mystery thrown in. It was a nice light read for a summer of quiet reflection.
Mar 12, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
fun, readable detective novel based about the mysteries of Ernest Hemingway's house in Cuba. ...more
Barrie Spang
A good fictional story about Cuba.
Jul 19, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A murder mystery set in Cuba with Hemingway as a possible suspect. It seems to be mostly an excuse for the writer to show off his Hemingway knowledge.
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Literary criticism was never like this. Was the Hemingway image largely self made myth? Reading this you would think so. Still a good read, and Conde an interesting character is his own right.
Carol Foisset
Enjoyed this book - don't know much about Hemingway and now I am quite curious. ...more
Matt Thompson
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoroughly odd book, but very enjoyable. It comes at Hemingway from a way I have never considered before.
Paul Secor
More of a love-hate-disappointment tribute to Hemingway than a detective novel. And it succeeds at that.
My rating would be 3 1/2 stars if it were possible to do that.
Rachel Nowakowski
Liked this, the cuba setting was wonderful. The history, the clever plotting, the protagonist and then the character of Hemingway. Well done.
Bayliss Camp
Not a classic, but a nice page-turner. Great for a lazy holiday weekend.
Nazmul Hasan
Aight. As far as Cuban writers go, I'll stick with Carpentier. ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Mario Conde (9 books)
  • Havana Blue (Mario Conde #1)
  • Havana Gold (Mario Conde #2)
  • Havana Red (Mario Conde #3)
  • Havana Black (Mario Conde #4)
  • Havana Fever (Mario Conde #6)
  • La cola de la serpiente (Mario Conde #7)
  • Herejes (Mario Conde #8)
  • La transparencia del tiempo (Mario Conde #9)

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