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Three Trapped Tigers by Guillermo Cabrera…
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Three Trapped Tigers (original 1966; edition 2004)

by Guillermo Cabrera Infante, G, L

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4471023,394 (3.92)18
Member:EnriqueFreeque
Title:Three Trapped Tigers
Authors:Guillermo Cabrera Infante
Other authors:G, L
Info:Dalkey Archive Press (2004), Paperback, 487 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:dalkey archive

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Three Trapped Tigers by Guillermo Cabrera Infante (1966)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
The book is indescribable. The back jacket says something along the lines of it being a Cuban Ulysses. It's not really a book you can read; it's more of a book that you sink into and let the words swirl around you. I enjoyed much of it, was confounded by even more, and it's LONG. Reading it is a commitment. ( )
  ELiz_M | Apr 6, 2013 |
Tedious, drab, lifeless, insipid, vapid, tiresome, morose,exhausting, laborious, arduous, lacklustre, humourless and just plain boring.

The first line may give you a rough idea as to how much I enjoyed this book. In fact if I could have given it a minus score I probably would have, it gets 1 simply because it is finally over and done with.

The story such as it is, is little more than a group of friends recalling anecdotes about their late night jaunts around a Havana's pre-Castro nightclubs. OK I get that it is full of puns, allusions and clever word-games but it was just dull, dull,dull.

Why oh why did I not listen to that little voice that on page 10,20,50,75,100,130,200,343 said just give in because come the end of the book I was no wiser than when I first started just a lot greyer ( )
1 vote PilgrimJess | Mar 15, 2013 |
The glittering nightlife of three youngsters in Havana shortly after Castro's revolution. The book was classified as counterrevolutionary, its author as a traitor. He was excluded from the writer's organization and had to leave Cuba.
  hbergander | Apr 4, 2011 |
Tres Tristes Tigres, by Guillermo Cabrera Infante, is a book I´d been looking forward to reading. I checked it out from the library once, but didn´t get very far before I put it down and moved on to something else. I struggle sometimes entering into books that stray so far from the traditional narrative structure as this one. I did some research on this book after finishing it, and it´s often compared to James Joyce´s Ulysses, due to its emphasis on language rather than story. It´s essentially a series of conversations and monologues of different people in Cuba, and takes place in the years directly before the fall of Batista. Many of the characters are artists, members of the wealthy, cosmopolitan class of Cuban society. I especially enjoyed the story of Estrella, a big, black singer, and her entrance into the scene in Havana. Also, there was an essay told and retold from the perspective of a married couple that visits Havana for the weekend, first from the husband´s perspective, then corrected by the wife, then retold by the husband, and finally manipulated by the wife again. It was interesting to take an excursion to Havana from Miami by a rich American couple and examine it based on their different perceptions of the events. These stories were intermingled with the stories of a group of young artists, actors, photographers and so on, as they partied through the night; a series of conversations between a married woman and her psychiatrist, and the drunken wanderings of two of the artists, the actor and the photographer, during an afternoon and evening in and around Havana.

At times, reading this book felt like work rather than pleasure, because outside of Estrella, there were really no chararacters that I really gave a shit about. I understood why I was reading it, though, and am glad I did. It seems like it´s a book about language, more than a book that tells a story. It records the way people talked, and the ridiculous conversations that a group, or a social class, of creative people might have had in a specific moment in Cuban history. I think it represents the particular genius of 20th-century literature, that this too can be worthy of being written and recorded. Maybe I wasn´t always thrilled to be reading the drunken ramblings of two characters that I could care less about, but I did enjoy being made into an observer in their world. Maybe the distaste that I felt toward some of them was due to the fact that there they were, living it up in the twilight of a society that was about to be turned upside down by Fidel Castro and his fellow guerrilleros. They seemed opulent and ridiculously unconcerned with the precariousness of their place in the Cuban world. Still, though, it was really cool to enter into their conversations for a bit, and see and feel how Cuban people like them interacted in such a relatively authentic way. I´m glad I read this book, and I would recommend it, certainly not to everyone, but to those who think they would enjoy it as a study in the conversations that people had in 1950´s Cuba. Also, it contained lots of cool plays on words, and I learned the following palindrome: Dábale arroz a la zorra el abad. I really enjoy palindromes. ( )
  msjohns615 | Jan 6, 2010 |
Cuban Spanish
  Budzul | May 31, 2008 |
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". . . And she tried to fancy what the flame of a candle looks like after the candle is blown out."
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From the Publisher: Centering around the recollections of a man separated both from his country and his youth, Cabrera Infante creates a vision of life and the many colorful characters found in steamy Havana's pre-Castro cabaret society.

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