King of Cuba

Cristina Garcia. Scribner, $25 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4767-1024-2
In her fun new novel, Garcia (Dreaming in Cuban) explores the hatred Goyo Herrera, an expatriate geriatric Cuban, harbors toward his arch enemy El Comandante, a contemporary who still wields formidable power in their homeland. El Comandante reminisces about the bygone days of revolutionary glory while expressing disgust for the current state of Cuba. In contrast, the widower Goyo lives in Miami with his daughter and takes phone calls from his depressed son, a man of almost 60 with a brain “irremediably fried by cocaine,” meanwhile concocting revenge schemes against his nemesis. Goyo doesn’t realize El Comandante also reels from the effects of aging, enduring denture pain and suffering other indignities in effort to make himself appear robust for a television appearance. For both men, Cuba has become legendary in its own way. El Comandante contemplates what he considers victories while Goyo remembers a land that has faded in his memory—“perhaps Cuba had become nothing but an imaginary place unrelated to any truth.” Interspersed with short narratives by Cubans from various walks of life, Garcia’s writing is laced with candor and wit as she portrays the lives of two men united by the past. Agent: Ellen Levine, Trident Media Group. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/08/2013
Release date: 05/21/2013
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4767-1453-0
Paperback - 235 pages - 978-1-4767-2566-6
Ebook - 275 pages - 978-1-908737-60-1
Ebook - 479 pages - 978-1-908737-56-4
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!