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Havana Blue Paperback


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Havana Blue + Havana Gold: The Havana Quartet + Havana Red
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press (June 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904738222
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904738220
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Blending noirish police procedural with vivid images of life in contemporary Cuba, Padura has produced another gem in the third of his Havana Quartet (after Havana Black and Havana Red). Police lieutenant Mario Conde is roused from a post–New Year's Eve hangover by a call from his superior reporting the disappearance of Rafael Morín Rodríguez, a high-level official in the ministry for industry. By chance, Rodríguez and his gorgeous wife, Tamara, were high school classmates of Conde, who carried a torch for Tamara for many years. While she claims to be mystified by her husband vanishing, swearing that he was an honest public servant, Tamara remains high on Conde's list of suspects even as he struggles to master his desire for her. That desire threatens to compromise an already sensitive investigation. Padura's taut writing and lyrical images will impress even newcomers to the series. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Praise for the Havana Quartet "Overlaid with a rich smoky patina, an atmosphere that reeks of slums and riches, cigar smoke and exotic perfumes. Havana Black is a strong tasting book, a rich feast of wit and feeling." Independent "Drenched with that beguiling otherness so appealing to fans of mysteries of other cultures, it will also appeal to those who appreciate the sultry lyricism of James Lee Burke. " Booklist "Well-plotted second volume of the seething, steaming Havana Quartet... a densely packed mystery." Publishers Weekly

More About the Author

Leonardo Padura was born in Havana in 1955 and lives there today. A novelist, journalist, and critic, he is the author of several novels, one collection of essays, and a volume of short stories. Leonardo Padura is the most internationally successful Cuban novelist of the revolutionary era and responsible for renovating the Cuban detective narrative in the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union.His Havana series crime novels featuring the detective Mario Conde, published in English by Bitter Lemon Press, have been translated into many languages and have won literary prizes around the world. In January 2014 his historical novel about Trotsky's assassin, The Man Who Loved Dogs, will be published in English.

Customer Reviews

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This entire series (the Mario Conde character) is very highly recommended.
Charlie Stella
I've pre-ordered The Man Who Loved Dogs, and I will read as many of the Mario Conde novels as I can get from my library.
Marc Lichtman
Padura has a wry sense of humor that alleviates the gritty quality of the narrative.
Patto

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Stella on July 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
I picked up Havana Blue in a small bookshop in NY a few weeks ago and was so impressed with the writing, I ordered the rest of the series plus Adios Hemingway from amazon (to get them as fast as possible). Padura is an incredibly gifted writer. The sensuality of his prose is visceral. I literally brewed coffee when reading about Lt. Mario Conde's attempts to get a good cup from his boss. I craved cigars again ... I took my wife out to a Cuban joint in Brooklyn for red beans and rice. I want to visit/live in Havana, at least for a while.

Padura has a genuine obsession (or was strongly influenced) with/by both Hemingway and Salinger and his writing is every bit as wonderful. He's a genuine wordsmith who I couldn't read fast enough. This entire series (the Mario Conde character) is very highly recommended. I hope Padura keeps going ... and Adios Hemingway--absolutely masterful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marc Lichtman on November 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I rarely read fiction these days, but I wanted to read the man who many consider is Cuba's best living novelist. You know early on what the mystery is about, and the details aren't that important. The excitement is in his writing style, not in the plot, and the rest of what's interesting is his view of Cuban society, his characters, and so on.

Cuba went through a period roughly from 1970-75 of mostly ceasing their criticism of the Soviet Union, and it seemed like Stalinist elements from the old Popular Socialist Party were gaining strength in many areas of life. This was reflected in the amount of censorship of art and literature, and is called by many Cubans "the five gray years." That situation began to end with the Cuban involvement in Angola, which was started, without consulting the Soviet Union, who would have tried to limit it. Then Armando Hart, who is very open politically and artistically was named the first Minister of Culture. I don't know what the title of his predecessor was, but he's hated by the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), who are a pro-revolution, but non-governmental organization looking after the interests of artists and writers.

I mention this, because an event connected with such censorship is a central point in the lives of some of the main characters. And it's probably not a coincidence that he has a character, only mentioned in passing, who is named "Norberto Codina." There is a real person by that name who is a poet and the editor of La Gaceta de Cuba, which is the publication of UNEAC.

Leonardo Padura pushes the boundaries of what you can criticize in Cuba, and so does Norberto Codina.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
Havana police lieutenant Mario Conde enjoyed the New Year's Eve celebration but he drank too much as he expected the day off to recover. Instead in spite of a four poster headache, his superior calls to tell him that Ministry for Industry official and party VIP Rafael Morin Rodriguez vanished.

Mario knew Rafael and the man's wife Tamara when the trio attended high school together and the cop was in unrequited puppy love for her. Hangover aside, Mario interviews Tamara, who offers nothing about what happened or why; instead she insists her loving spouse is an honest civil servant working for the benefit of the people. Although he prefers otherwise, Mario assumes either Rafael is dead or fled before a scandal destroyed him; either way the case has political ramifications that he knows he must gingerly walk carefully. However, the biggest issue in Mario's mind is not those looking at his every step in the investigation, but that the prime suspect is Tamara, who he still wants.

The third colorful Havana police procedural (see HAVANA BLACK and HAVANA RED) is a terrific whodunit starring a likable dedicated cop trying to investigate a maybe crime in a totalitarian society where he can easily follow a clue across a forbidden zone. Mario's investigation is top rate as he struggles with his feelings for the prime suspect and has even more trouble dealing with officialdom as the potential victim is a highly ranked bureaucrat. Readers will appreciate Leonardo Padura's tense Cuban mystery starring a great detective in a superior tale.

Harriet Klausner
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This was the first police/crime novel that I've read by a Cuban author, so the look into Cuban culture was quite interesting. The actual story was just so-so.
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This is Padura's second book in his series about The Count, an obstreperous Havana detective wrestling with life questions during the Castro era. Havana Red was meant to be shocking. Blue is more sly, probing the dirty little secrets of communism--graft, favoritism, social climbing--every society has issues with its 1%. Like all great detectives, The Count plays his hunches and wrestles them to the ground, but Padura transcends the genre with superb internal dialogue as the detective comes to grips with himself and his failings. Read Red first to understand the man, the place and the time, then devour Blue.
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