THREE TRAPPED TIGER BY G CABRERA INFANTE

source –  library

Guillermo Infante was one of the leading Cuban writers ,essayists and translator ,he was an early supportER of Castro but fell out with the regime and lived in London in Exile .The book Tres tristes tigres (three sad tigers ) or as it has been retitle three trapped tigers is considered his best book and described as the Cuban Ulysses (oh that’s going to worry some ,but stick along it is only 400 pages long ).

The book looks back to the Cuba before the revolution in the 50’s  the time of Jazz clubs loose ,morals and a laid back way of life .,we find the night life of the Cuban capital described involved via various people ,this is a modernist work so the narrative Jumps but you get the sense of the Jazz beat in the background ,in places books are discussed there are blank pages ,Pharses are repeated over the course of the page ,Can see people worrying ,don’t this book when it is straight narrative reads like short stories jammed together in a small space ,his prose style is readable ,There is a new film Just been made animated film called Chico and Rita I heard about this film and saw a number of clips just before I read this book and it wonderfully gave me the vision of the male and female characters we jump in and out of through the book.there are times you can almost feel the whispers of jazz and cuban cigars flow out of the page .Infante’s writing is adventurous but on whole readable ,the translation seems to work wonderfully.

I knew la Estrella when she was only Estrella Rodriguez ,a poor drunk  incredibly fat negro maid ,long before she died ,when none of those who know her well had the vaguest idea she was capable of killing herself  but then of course nobody would have been sorry if she did .

opening of a chapter about a nightclub singer .

This is an era and place I know little about this book made me want to know more about pre revolution Cuba .I can see why it is called the Cuban Ulysses but it can be off-putting  ,putting it on the cover thou it is a wonderful journey but near end wanders a little but I viewed it like an evening in Havana although it isn,t over an evening like a long evening you get a bit tipsy and wander in your thoughts near the end of the night .

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. amymckie
    Dec 03, 2010 @ 23:12:19

    This sounds like a really good book Stu. I’ll add it to my wish list 🙂

    Reply

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