Holy Smoke

Guillermo Cabrena Infante, Author, G. Cabrera Infante, Author HarperCollins Publishers $16.95 (329p) ISBN 978-0-06-015432-5
This curious volume is a potpourri of information and lore about cigars, their smokers from Rodrigo de Xeres of Columbus's crew to Winston Churchill and Castro, their manufacture, their sale and their appearance in song and story. All this is presented in a style brim full of literary referencesto Congreve, Conan Doyle, Ogden Nash, Italo Calvino and other writersthrough every paragraph. The cigar-smoking on-screen images of W. C. Fields, Groucho Marx, Orson Welles and Gary Cooper are evoked; the author also considers cigarettes and their contrasting Hollywood image. The word play is sometimes clever, sometimes weak, but Infante keeps adding puns until the practice becomes wearing. His erudition is impressive, though, and his topic entertaining, so readers interested in the subject should find the book enjoyable. Infante's earlier books include Three Trapped Tigers and Infante's Inferno. February 13
Reviewed on: 02/01/1986
Release date: 02/01/1986
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 329 pages - 978-0-87951-888-2
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-0-87951-765-6
Paperback - 329 pages - 978-0-571-14594-2
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