Adios Muchachos

Adios Muchachos

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by Daniel Chavarria
     
 

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Alicia is a smart, confident and gorgeous prostitute in Havana. She is not a street-walker. Rather, she displays her wares on bicycle, seducing men through the irresistible pull of her fine derrière. John King, her new client, is a Canadian businessman with a striking resemblance to movie star Alain Delon. This is no ordinary “John” and

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Overview

Alicia is a smart, confident and gorgeous prostitute in Havana. She is not a street-walker. Rather, she displays her wares on bicycle, seducing men through the irresistible pull of her fine derrière. John King, her new client, is a Canadian businessman with a striking resemblance to movie star Alain Delon. This is no ordinary “John” and Alicia's feelings for him grow; she sees in their relationship the possibility of escape from her dead-end life in a Havana plagued with scarcity. When John King’s wealthy and sexually deviant boss is suddenly killed, Alicia and John hatch a get-rich-quick scheme. A web of deception is woven, but just as quickly unraveled disastrously, and only one person is able to say "adiós” to the dilapidated island of Cuba.

Daniel Chavarría was born in Uruguay in 1933. He spent the 1960s involved in several South American liberation struggles. He fled the continent and settled in Havana, Cuba, where he has resided since 1969. From 1975 to 1986, Chavarría worked as a translator of literature into Spanish, and taught Latin, Greek and Classical Literature at the University of Havana. His novels, short stories, literary journalism, and screenplays have reached audiences across Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Chavarría has won numerous literary awards around the world, including a 1992 Dashiell Hammett Award. Adiós Muchachos is his first novel to be translated into English. In 2002, Akashic Books will publish his mystery novel, The Eye of Cybele, set in ancient Greece.

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Editorial Reviews

Andrea Caron Kempf
Celebrated in Latin America for his noir detective fiction, Uruguayan author Chavarría makes his English-language debut with this fast-paced novel, set in Cuba. Featuring Alicia, a bicycle-riding prostitute, and Victor, a Canadian financier with a shady past and a few current secrets, Adios Muchachos spins the tale of a caper gone awry, where no one is particularly bad and everyone is on the take. Castro's Havana has not appeared this sunny in many years, nor have its crooks been this good-natured. There is an accidentally dead Dutch millionaire, a man with a nose so large that he wears a mask to hide it when he makes love, a recipe for smoked eels in mango sauce, and a defective Chinese bicycle. Mixed together, these ingredients make a zesty Cuban paella of a novel that's impossible to put down. This is a great read, recommended for public libraries.
Library Journal
Library Journal
Celebrated in Latin America for his noir detective fiction, Uruguayan author Chavarr a makes his English-language debut with this fast-paced novel, set in Cuba. Featuring Alicia, a bicycle-riding prostitute, and Victor, a Canadian financier with a shady past and a few current secrets, Adi s Muchachos spins the tale of a caper gone awry, where no one is particularly bad and everyone is on the take. Castro's Havana has not appeared this sunny in many years, nor have its crooks been this good-natured. There is an accidentally dead Dutch millionaire, a man with a nose so large that he wears a mask to hide it when he makes love, a recipe for smoked eels in mango sauce, and a defective Chinese bicycle. Mixed together, these ingredients make a zesty Cuban paella of a novel that's impossible to put down. This is a great read, recommended for public libraries. Andrea Caron Kempf, Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, KS Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781888451160
Publisher:
Akashic Books
Publication date:
05/01/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
290
Sales rank:
1,393,283
Product dimensions:
4.50(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

When Alicia decided to become a bicycle hooker, her mother agreed to sell a ring that had been in the family for five generations. She got $350 for it, and for $280 they bought an English mountain-bike, one of those with wide tires and lots of speeds, on which Alicia launched her hunt for moneyed foreigners.

It was not until two months later, however, that Alicia perfected her technique. She got rid of the English bike, for which she got $120 and a heavy old Chinese bike on which she developed her "lost pedal" routine. That was when her real success began.

The hoax was conceived and executed in the inner courtyard of an old building on Amargura Street. The author was Pepone, a bicycle genius who specialized in SUBSTITUTIVE CYCLOMECHANICS, according to the sheet of aluminum lettered in red lead hanging at the entrance to the tenement to advertise his craft.

For two bottles of aguardiente rum, Pepone fixed the locknut on the pedal with a lynchpin which Alicia could easily remove. All she had to do was lean over a little, without stopping her pedaling, and, with a slight tug, bring about, whenever she felt like it, the spectacular loss of a pedal.

The next step in her routine was to clamp on the brakes, which sent her flying into a face-down (ass up) landing on the pavement. With a good pair of gloves and a lot of practice, Alicia had the fall down to a science and was ultimately able to get through it without a scratch.

The accident would always take place about sixty yards in front of some expensive car whose foreign driver had already been put into a trance by the rhythmic gyrations of that—oh so maximus!—gluteus churning on the seat she had purposely set much too high on the frame.

It was simple. Whenever a car that would normally have passed her actually reduced speed and fell in behind, that was a sure sign that the fish was on the hook.

What People are saying about this

Daniel Westlake
Out of the mystery wrapped in an enigma that, over the last forty years, has been Cuba for the US, comes a Uruguayan voice so cheerful, a face so laughing, and a mind so deviously optimistic that we can only hope this is but the beginning of a flood of Latin America’s indomitable novelists, playwrights, storytellers. Welcome, Daniel Chavarría.
—(Donald Westlake, author of Trust Me on This)
Martin Cruz Smith
Pulp fiction in Castro's Cuba. A picaresque novel with sex, scheming, and, well, more sex.
—(Martin Cruz Smith, author of Havana Bay)
Lawrence Block
Daniel Chavarría is a prince of a fellow, larger than life and twice as much fun.
—(Lawrence Block, author of Eight Million Ways to Die)
William Heffernan
Daniel Chavarría has long been recognized as one of Latin America’s finest writers. Now he again proves why with Adios Muchachos, a comic mystery peopled by a delightfully mad band of miscreants, all of them led by a woman you will not soon forget—Alicia, the loveliest bicycle whore in all Havana.
—(William Heffernan, author of Beulah Hill)
Thomas Adcock
If for no other reason than Daniel Chavarría and his picaresque novels of money, sex, and crime in Havana, this U.S. embargo against Cuba must end forthwith. In Adios Muchachos, Señor Chavarría offers up European millionaires grubbing for ever more riches, wily ocean salvers hunting for gold in long-sunken Spanish galleons, and murder most foul and deliciously bloody. For extra measure, there is the considerable charm and ingenuity of an erotic scamp by the name of Alicia. I recommend that we all do as Fidel likely does: light up a cigar and turn Chavarría’s pages, with pleasure.
—(Thomas Adcock, Edgar Award-winning author of Grief Street)

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Adios Muchachos 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent book that is not, like most mystery novels, a hit and miss; it's worth the money. Some really good chartacters (prostitute and Victor King are the best 2 paired characters i've seen in a long time) and a flawless, timeless setting. (CUBA)I gave 4 out of five stars because I enjoy long books; this as bn.com indicates, is only 150pp.