Sunday, August 12, 2007

Adios Hemingway ~ by Leonardo Padura Fuentes

Title, author, date of book, and genre?
Adios Hemingway, by Leonardo Padura Fuentes, 2005, mystery

What made you want to read this book? Did it live up to your expectations?
I was looking for a book that took me to Cuba; this one did but, other than its connection to a literary personage, it isn't my kind of book. I did, however, see something of Cuba, which was what I wanted. Surely, though, there's more to Cuba than this.

Summarize the book without giving away the ending.
Adios Hemingway has two protagonists: ex-cop Mario Conde and Ernest Hemingway. When a body slain about 40 years ago is found buried on the grounds of Hemingway's Cuban estate, Conde is called in to investigate. As Conde uncovers Hemingway's last years in Cuba, Conde (now a frustrated writer) is also musing about his own life and Hemingway's writing. Since both men drink a lot, the whole book takes place in a sort of heat-and-rum haze.

Did you think the characters and their problems were believable?
The problem was to solve a murder case. The dead man is apparently an FBI agent, deduced because there was an FBI badge found in the grave with him. Except for Conde, no one in the book seems particularly concerned about solving the murder, since it is, after all, more than four decades old.

Share a quote from the book.
Hemingway thinks:
To kill while running the risk of dying is one of the apprenticeships indispensable for a man, he thought, and he was sorry that this expression, precisely as he had just formulated it, was not included in any of his stories of hunting, death and war. (p. 166)
Share a favorite scene from the book.
I didn't find one.

What about the ending?
Convenient, to be expected.

What do you think will be your lasting impression of this book?
Probably ... "the manly stench of grease and gunpowder" (p. 165), wine, whisky, gin, balls, piss, and semen ... and maybe, Ava Gardner's knickers.

How would you rate the book?
Rated: 5/10, average.


Margreet said...

Bonnie, I hope you don't mind me using this way to announce that I closed my blog today. My heart just isn't in it anymore. I am fine, don't worry, just finding new ways to enjoy LIFE.
I know your blog is visited by many who know me too. So this is for them too.

Love, Margreet

CJ said...

Ava Gardner's knickers? Now that's something to remember a book for!

And let's face it, not many cops are going to get all that excited about solving a 40 year old homicide. The FBI might want to know who killed their agent, but given that his body was found in Cuba, there wouldn't be much they could do about it.

Congrats on completing the challenge. It looks like you read some great books.