Leo's Reviews > Dancing to "Almendra"

Dancing to "Almendra" by Mayra Montero
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's review
Jan 22, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: spanish-literature
Read from January 22 to 29, 2011

The plot, a well paced narrative, is set in Cuba during its golden years. Fulgencio Batista was the dictator and ruled with strong fist. The setting is 1957 and Fidel Castro had started the revolution in Sierra Maestra. A journalist is sent to cover the story of a hippopotamus that escaped from the zoo and was shot. The death of the hippo is connected to the death of mobster Umberto Anastasia. The journalist keeps investigating and comes accross information of the mobsters controling the gambling and other rackets in Cuba and backed by goverment agents. Meyer Lanski and Santo Traficante were in control and they were sending millions of dollars in cash to Miami where they were banking it safely. There is counter story of Yolanda, who was sort of a contortionist and had lost an arm, of her love to Roderico, the great Rodney. Between 1960-1963 I hapen to have spoken to many Cubans that were lucky to get out of Cuba and they gave me a good idea of how things were with the Batista regime and mobsters with their casinos.
I forgot to mention that "Almendra" is a danzon. The music is more likea waltz of minuette. They dance in a very formal way which is beautiful to watch but much better to dance.

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