Pedro Juan was a reporter in Havana, but as existence in Cuba and his own life begin to collapse around him, he gives up the farce of a daily job, and begins to train himself to take nothing seriously. His training involves lots of sex, drugs, rum, jazz, beat literature and street philosophy.
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(198mm x 126mm x 24mm)
Faber & Faber
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Fidel Castro is reputed to have turned apoplectic on having this novel brought to his attention by Cubas thought police. One can understand why. This is not the Cuba he would wish the world to read about. Rather than a land of proletarian bliss and wholesomeness, it is hell on earth. Guti?rrez has written a semi-autobiographical work that exposes what he claims is the pit of vice and poverty into which Cuba has sunk under Castro. Havana, the capital, is portrayed as a city seething in sleaze and moral squalor, where perversion is rampant and brainwashing is routine. And we see it all through the eyes of a sexual degenerate with a penchant for booze. The sexual images are graphic, the characters behaviour stunningly warped. The protagonist, Pedro Juan (it is surely no accident that these are Guti?rrezs own forenames) lurches from one odd job to another, full of loathing for himself and the sordid mess he has become. His sole thoughts are of survival and sex. He throws himself wholeheartedly into both, while encountering along the way a myriad misfits whom we are asked by inference to believe form the bedrock of Havana society today. Guti?rrez's unpolished style is well suited to his squalid tale. This is a bitter and humorous account of a self-absorbed and sex-crazed obsessive wandering through the wreckage of a broken society. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Pedro Juan Gutierrez
Pedro Juan Gutierrez began his working life at the age of eleven, as an ice-cream vendor and newsboy. He is the author of Dirty Havana Trilogy, Tropical Animal and The Insatiable Spider Man, and several works of poetry. His latest novel, Our GG in Havana, was published by Faber in 2010.