Caracol Beach

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Alfred Knopf, 2000 - Fiction - 286 pages
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Winner of Spain's prestigious Alfaguara Prize in Fiction, Caracol Beach is a gripping, kaleidoscopic novel about isolation, love, fear, and the collision of strangers' lives on one fateful night in a Florida town.
On the outskirts of the quiet resort community of Caracol Beach, its unlikeliest--and perhaps most dangerous--resident plots his own demise. A Cuban veteran of the war in Angola, the sole survivor of an ambush that killed off the rest of his platoon, Beto Milanes has for eighteen years been racked with guilt and grief and tormented by terrible visions. Determined to end his suffering but unable to take his own life, he sets out to find someone who will do it for him.
So begins a night of madness, violence, and, ultimately, redemption. Drawn into the soldier's nightmare world are an improbable group of men and women, whose lives will never again be the same: an aging police chief with a penchant for pizza; a foulmouthed prostitute; a transvestite with a killer judo chop; a beautiful student haunted by her own ghosts; and two ill-fated would-be heroes.
With audacity, humor, and deep insight into the human condition, Eliseo Alberto explores the horror of war, the pain of exile, the power of forgiveness, and the inescapable, sometimes cruel toll of destiny. The story that unfolds is at once shocking and comic, surprising and poignant, evoking classic tragedy and the absurdity of modern life.
Combining the narrative power of a master storyteller with the phantasmagoric vision of a filmmaker, Eliseo Alberto has created a literary tour de force.

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Caracol Beach

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Beto Milanes, a Cuban veteran of the Angolan War who survived an ambush that wiped out his entire platoon, is plagued by visions of pouncing tigers. With a host of strangers, he contrives to bring ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

Eliseo Alberto, winner of the first International Alfaguara Prize in Fiction (1998), was born in Arroyo Naranjo, Cuba. He received a degree in journalism from the University of Havana, and was editor in chief of the literary gazette El Caiman Barbudo and assistant director of the magazine Cine Cubano. He has published three books of poems, Importará el trueno, Las cosas que yo amo, and Un instante en cada cosa, and is the author of La fogata roja, a book for young adults that won the Cuban National Critics Prize; a novel, La eternidad por fin comienza un lunes; and a memoir, Informe contra mí mismo, winner of the Gabino Palma Prize in Spain. He has written screenplays for film and television, and has taught at the International Film School in San Antonio

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