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Caracol Beach by Eliseo Alberto

Caracol Beach (1998)

by Eliseo Alberto

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unfortunately, i read this book with great (mental) distraction, and therefore didn't appreciate it nearly as much as i think i would have in other circumstances. it's a bit hard and confusing at the beginning (and remains a little tough, both in the writing and in the magical realism), but ends up being a beautifully written tapestry, pretty impressive in its scope. ( )
  elisa.saphier | Apr 2, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eliseo Albertoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Grossman, EdithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375405402, Hardcover)

Winner of Spain's prestigious Alfaguara Prize in Fiction, Caracol Beach is a gripping, kaleidoscopic novel about isolation, love, fear, and the collision of strangers' lives on one fateful night in a Florida town.

On the outskirts of the quiet resort community of Caracol Beach, its unlikeliest--and perhaps most dangerous--resident plots his own demise. A Cuban veteran of the war in Angola, the sole survivor of an ambush that killed off the rest of his platoon, Beto Milanés has for eighteen years been racked with guilt and grief and tormented by terrible visions. Determined to end his suffering but unable to take his own life, he sets out to find someone who will do it for him.

So begins a night of madness, violence, and, ultimately, redemption. Drawn into the soldier's nightmare world are an improbable group of men and women, whose lives will never again be the same: an aging police chief with a penchant for pizza; a foulmouthed prostitute; a transvestite with a killer judo chop; a beautiful student haunted by her own ghosts; and two ill-fated would-be heroes.

With audacity, humor, and deep insight into the human condition, Eliseo Alberto explores the horror of war, the pain of exile, the power of forgiveness, and the inescapable, sometimes cruel toll of destiny. The story that unfolds is at once shocking and comic, surprising and poignant, evoking classic tragedy and the absurdity of modern life.

Combining the narrative power of a master storyteller with the phantasmagoric vision of a filmmaker, Eliseo Alberto has created a literary tour de force.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:00 -0400)

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