Daily life in revolutionary Cuba has become a test of physical endurance in the face of a national economic and social crisis. Cuban exile Jacobo-Doger (Los cinco nudos [The Five Knots], Cr!ticas, Winter 2001) approaches Cuba's current political ruin through the plight of a former university professor who is being held under house arrest. His only connection with the outside world is the cleaning woman, who comes to his apartment and tells him of the appalling conditions that common citizens have to endure under the regime, such as standing in line for countless hours to purchase low-quality goods. The professor also recounts his experiences with an array of devious characters, mainly former friends who achieved high-ranking political positions through corruption and seedy neighbors who turned into spies in exchange for better goods. Jacobo-Doger suggests that these kinds of political machinations have ultimately tainted Castro's revolutionary ideals. Writing in a straightforward style, he also stresses the futility of the lives of his characters, even those affiliated with the government and benefiting from the regime. In the end, however, this critical yet simplistic approach to Cuban reality results in a fairly predictable plot, as the protagonist commits suicide because he feels hopeless about his future on the island. The novel's schematic approach to key revolutionary events, however, will appeal to Cuban American readers. Recommended for public libraries with large Cuban fiction collections. Rafael Ocasio, Agnes Scott College, GA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.