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Olas (Spanish Edition) Kindle Edition
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"Angel is the protagonist, a symbolic character whose hopes and dreams, despair and fears represent those of the millions of Cubans who are tired of living in their country. Angel sees no hope in his country. He is tired of everything - famished and uncertain - but he has a family to provide for and he's ready to do anything to create a future for them. The only problem is that he can't provide for his family while in Cuba. There is only one path to take, a treacherous path, filled with danger and uncertainty, but it's the only path: migration.
"José Ramón Torres immediately plunges readers into the heart of intense action with powerful descriptions of people flooding the embassy seeking protection. From the very first page, he chronicles the predicaments of "pilgrims of the earth," people who are ready to do just about anything to leave a country which is theirs. The writing is beautiful, at times evocative and highly descriptive, capturing the different emotions of the compelling characters and describing the intense conflict lived at different levels and stages by the characters. The story is laced with historical undertones and facts that will awaken readers to the immense suffering of many silent people. José Ramón Torres is a skilled writer, one who will be remembered as the "voice of the voiceless" in the tradition of Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentinian writer.
"Waves could have been just a book like many others, but it stands apart because it talks about crucial issues affecting the world's political landscape and it talks about them in a very compelling way." - Romuald Dzemo for SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW.
"'As the door clangs shut behind him with a rusty screech, Ángel remains motionless, sinking into darkness and a humid stench.'
"The history of Communist Cuba will always be compared to that of Capitalist America's, because of their conflicting ideologies and geographical proximity to one another. Set during the first months of 1980, this book follows the hopes, dreams, and fears of a family torn by the harsh conditions in their native Cuba and their yearning for a new life in America. Ángel, the father, is one of the thousands of people who crams into the Peruvian embassy looking for asylum in another land to get out, but he has his misgivings about what actually awaits him abroad and returns home. His children, on the other hand, are more optimistic about leaving. Emilia, his daughter, pays for passage on a yacht to Miami with her husband, while his son Eduardo, currently serving in the military, desires leaving but is duty-bound and compelled by a beautiful student to linger.
"The sharp contrast between not only the United States and Cuba is a prevailing theme of this story, but it also goes another layer deeper. The expectations of what America can offer Cuban refugees versus what conditions in the crowded cities will actually provide them are a serious concern for Ángel. Even as he is put in prison for involvement in illegal gambling and turns increasingly to drugs and alcohol, he has his misgivings about being separated from what family remains in Cuba, while others are desperate to leave by any means. Packed with drama, paranoia, and suspense, the author strongly develops compelling characters who just as easily serve as allegories for the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have lived the reality of this tale. A blend of well-crafted fiction and social history, this book thrives on the strength of its characters and the reality of its setting." - Michael Radon for THE US REVIEW OF BOOKS.
**** "José Ramón Torres's fictional work, Waves, captures a historical period when life in Cuba was extremely difficult, resulting in mass migration from the country. The novel begins in Havana in the early 1980s. Angel Ribot is the main protagonist, as he, family members and close friends struggle with daily life while under Fidel Castro's controlling regime. The most important decisions for all were whether or not to seek asylum at an embassy, try to leave the country by other means, or choose to stay in familiar surroundings. Different choices were made by Angel and the people he loved - some went to Peru; some made the treacherous crossing to Miami immediately, while others followed many years later; some stayed and endured harsh conditions. The day-to-day living conditions in Cuba, as well as the emotional toll felt by separated family members, are poignantly portrayed over fourteen years.
"In his historical novel, Waves, author José Ramón Torres uses wonderfully descriptive language to paint realistic scenarios. The reader will not forget the crowds at the Peruvian embassy, the smells of a crowded jail cell, nor the horrible sea crossings. The reader will feel the fright of being labeled a dissident, the elation of seeing the American coastline, and the love between father and children after many years of separation. Although the book is a novel, the author has expertly woven interesting, factual information throughout the story, teaching and engaging the reader simultaneously. This is a compelling and intriguing read; everyone who reads this book will gain a better understanding of the struggles in Cuba during recent decades." - Deborah Lloyd for READERS' FAVORITE.
About the Author
- Publication date : December 1, 2014
- File size : 3552 KB
- Print length : 203 pages
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Publisher : José Ramón Torres (December 1, 2014)
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0992968410
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Language: : Spanish
- ASIN : B00O0BV338
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,660,531 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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What Olas taught me was what people are willing to sacrifice so they can get out of their corrupt countries. Corrupt leadership is only interested in pay-off's and the bigger, better deal for themselves while all the time they are passing laws that restrict and hold citizen's hostage. This leaves them at the mercy of politicans who care nothing for them.
This family was willing to sacrifice their own lives fighting against sharks just to get out of Cuba; even if they lost their own lives in the jaws of said shark. Their situation must have been really dire to have to risk life and limb for a better life in a strange place that they have never seen. I have gotten pretty emotional while reading this book.
As an American, I would make two suggestions:
1) This book should be published in English so English-speaking people can understand what these people go through
2) To know just how blessed we are to live where we do because there is always someone out there who is struggling so much more than we are.
I do highly recommend this book because I want people to know that there are thousands and thousands of whole families looking to make a better life for themselves in a place where they are treated as valued citizens. My heart goes out to the people who have to suffer through the events laid out in this book.
Nos adentramos en la vida de los protagonistas del libro, personas sencillas pero a la vez llenas de los mismos conflictos que todos los cubanos de la era postcastrista cargamos a la espalda. Es unico en muchos aspectos...cada lector se llevara algo diferente. Yo pude oler las calles de Cuba en estas paginas. El olor de la Habana!!!
Gracias Jose Ramon.
Top reviews from other countries
Confieso que en varias ocasiones me perdí un poco, pero nunca más de un párrafo o una media página. Mi comprensión más lenta se limitó a los cubanismos de un contexto geográfico y cultural de La Habana. Dicha jerga coloquial nos invita a “oler” Cuba y a contemplar sus olas bellas y aterradoras. Obliga al lector no cubano a ponerse de puntillas, prestando una atención vital antes de pasar a la siguiente página y seguir desenrollando la madeja.
Es muy improbable que el lector piense: “menuda historia se ha inventado este tío”. Por el contrario, más de uno ponderará, como yo, si los pormenores de Olas denotan un matiz autobiográfico o por lo menos biográfico de alguien muy próximo al autor. De otra forma, ¿cómo describir esas escenas de la mar en esa singladura desesperada hacia la Florida? A diferencia de quienes somos aventureros de sillón, no concibo que semejante relato lo transmita un marinero de agua dulce, un alguien a quien se lo contaron de oídas en un bar de Cayo Hueso. Al contrario, este hombre ha vivido la insolación en la barca, las manos agarrotadas de tanto remar, y peor aún, la presencia de tiburones, literales y figurativos.
Una vez más vi confirmado el dicho de que se puede sacar a una persona de un país (Cuba en este caso) pero sacar al país del interior del individuo es harina de otra costa (o costal). Cueste lo que cueste, recomiendo adentrarse en este libro pues dudo que decepcione al lector, ya sea cubano o no. Cuando salí de Cuba….
Overall, this is a thoroughly enjoyable read and highly recommended – something in it for everyone, I think.