Dancing to 'Almendra'

Front Cover
Pan Macmillan, 2008 - Havana (Cuba) - 264 pages
13 Reviews

Havana 1957.

On the same day that the Mafia capo Umberto Anastasia is assassinated in a barber’s chair in New York, a hippopotamus escapes from Havana Zoo. Joaquin Porrata is the young Cuban journalist assigned to cover the latter story but, told by a secretive zookeeper that he ‘knows too much’, he soon discovers that the two events are not as unconnected as they might initially seem.

An ardent and thrilling tale of innocence lost, of Havana’s secret one-time world of violence, fantastic characters and extravagant crimes, Dancing to ‘Almendra’ is a triumph of story-telling from one of Latin America’s most impassioned and intoxicating voices.

‘Brilliant . . . Montero moves her story along at a lick, but in the giddy swirl of events she leaves plenty of space for absurdist humour. She handles this blend of fact and fiction with brio’ Observer

‘Combining the dangerous world of violence with the glittering surface of Havana’s nightlife, this is an intoxicating tale’ Metro

‘A sensitive and touching novel’ Big Issue

‘Brilliant . . . Dancing to ‘Almendra’ is an exuberant must-read’ Observer

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rmharris - LibraryThing

Very enjoyable mix of mobsters, romance, magicians and the press set in pre-Castro Cuba. Small time journalist Joaquin Porrata hopes to make it into the big leagues when he discovers a connection ... Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Organized crime and disorganized personal relations are tightly intertwined in the prolific Cuban-born Puerto Rican author's latest (The Captain of the Sleepers, 2005, etc.).It begins most ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Mayra Montero is the author of a collection of short stories and eight novels. She was born in Cuba and lives in Puerto Rico, where she writes a weekly column for the newspaper El Nuevo Dia.

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