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Three Trapped Tigers (Latin American Literature Series) Paperback – January 20, 2015
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"With Three Trapped Tigers Cabrera Infante enters the front rank of Latin American novelists. The book belongs with Cortazar's Hopscotch, Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, and Donoso's The Obscure Bird of Night." --New York Review of Books
[A] playful, witty, experimental, and thoroughly modern novel.(Bookmarks)
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Top Customer Reviews
The English version of "Tres tristes tigres" is where Cabrera Infante is most at liberty to describe that reality he wishes to convey in his work. He is no longer hindered by censorship so that he is free to use the language and descriptions he desires, making the English version closer to his original intent.
"Three Trapped Tigers" offers a dizzying experience of nocturnal Havana, of language, and of intimacy.
Using puns, tongue twisters, palindromes and wisecracks, they retell their own adventures and comment on their friends`, and make jokes by constantly twisting out the meaning of each word or phrase they say. They engage in parodying episodes and quotations from world literature (English & American influences include Shakespeare, Sterne, Poe, Melville, Carrol, Hemingway, Faulkner, Eliot, Joyce, and many others) and scenes from popular films (the novel itself is an attempt to reconstruct a film "P.M.", by Cabrera`s brother, destroyed by Cuban censorship). They turn all these upside down, creating a hilariously funny novel whose language is always on the move and where every word has at least a double meaning.
Underlying their humour, however, is a bitter feeling of emptiness and deprivation, inability to understand others and be understood. Faced with a paradox that you cannot talk about serious things in a serious way without taking a risk of being funny, you come to realize that humor is our only weapon on "...an island of double or tripple entendres told by a drunk idiot signifying everything."
When people say a book is laugh-out-loud funny, they generally don't mean it, but lovers of wordplay and who have even a vague understanding of mid-20th Century North American popular culture will freak over this book.
A punny, dense, eclectic, raunchy, filthy, swinging rhumba of a novel. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Imagine, if you will, a book that could be the love child between James Joyce and Gertrude Stein; better yet of a ménage a trois including Lewis Carroll; no, even better yet, an orgy including the three above along with William Faulkner, Virginia Wolfe, Papa Hemingway, Christopher Marlowe and/or William Shakespeare, T. S. Eliot, Alejo Carpentier, and a legion of many other legendary writers as well.
Then imagine Finnegans Wake (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin) set in Havana. Yes, and what James Joyce's Ulysses did for Dublin, G. Cabrera Infante's Three Trapped Tigers (Latin American Literature Series) does for pre-revolutionary Havana, Cuba.
First published in Spain in 1964, TRES TRISTES TIGRES was translated in 1970 in collaboration with the author from the original Cuban into English by Donald Gardner and Suzanne Jill Levine. Even in translation every word not only comes alive but dances the Mambo from one uncontained, dizzying page to the next.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
place a grenade, dictionary and list of creative people in a box. Pull the pin, (standing well back!). Read morePublished on October 7, 2013 by M. Parker
Why is it that the title of this book in English is Three TRAPPED Tigers? It should be Three SAD Tigers! Please, there is a long distance in any language between trapped and sad. Read morePublished on May 29, 2012 by nicanora
I am reading Tres Tristes Tigres and Three Trapped Tigers simultaneously. The Spanish version is a literary gem. Read morePublished on July 28, 2009 by Hola Susie
It reminded me of what Lord Tennyson said about Ben Jonson: "Reading him is like wading through glue. Read morePublished on July 6, 2008 by Kelster
I recently read this book again this time in English. I forgot how phenomenal Cabrera Infante writes and he is my all time favorite exile novelist. Read morePublished on May 23, 2005 by Xavier