Adios Muchachos - Daniel Chavarría, Daniel Chavarría, Carlos Lopez

Overall impression: This would be a great Tarantino movie.


The first character introduced is Alicia who is refreshingly pragmatic to the point of potentially discomfiting the reader. She engages in a clever form of prostitution, using a unique ploy involving a combination of the bicycle, outfit, and natural assets as shown in the cover picture, accepting only practical gifts like air conditioners or the like from her lovers, then selling the items on the black market for cash. Her ultimate goal is to pick the richest and most tolerable of her lovers to marry and live the rest of her life in luxury. One of the great things about her character is how close she is to her mother to the point that her mom is part of her scheme and later she refuses to leave her mother behind when an opportunity for a better life comes up.


The other main characters include a businessman (read: conman) going by the name Victor King (which is a GREAT name for a criminal, by the way) and a character so defined by his peculiarly large facial trait that he is frequently referred to as The Nose. Clearly, I was not as impressed by them as the character of Alicia.


I would be interested in reading this in the original Spanish, partially because I'm sure the jokes about Victor King's Mexican accent would be hilarious. That aside, trigger warnings apply. This is also not a novel for the faint of heart because the sex scenes are graphic and, er, creative.


-- "When her clients were around, Alicia made a point of using strategic bits of profanity. Two elegant women who knew how to employ timely profanities gave the impression of being above it all, emancipated, liberal, chic. No decent woman of humble origins would ever curse in the presence of someone she was trying to impress. And these foreigners, accustomed as they were to the subjugation of prostitutes in the Third World, found the offhand use of obscenity by these two Cuban women surprising and, ultimately, captivating."


-- "Damn, she's good, Alicia thought. The old bird is not going to try to convince me not to do it; she's making me convince her that I shouldn't go through with it.Reverse psychology for the win.


-- "The foreign tourists lounging around the pool who saw the maneuver were all from countries where it was very unseemly for people to notice or comment on other people's affairs. There were some Cuban witnesses, of course, but they figured that as long as these foreigners kept the tips coming in and did nothing openly offensive, well, they could have their luggage delivered to their rooms any way they wished." This is probably my most favorite line in the whole book because of how many things it summarizes in such a perfectly concise way.