.............................................. ...............................................

CRIME FICTION:Jose Latour's old time Havana cesspool

Havana World Series: A Novel Havana World Series: A Novel by José Latour

Latour is a skilled storyteller and seems to bring a fresh POV to all his novels. While known as a crime fiction writer the excuses deployed on the wrong side of the law seem always formatted by a pragmatic approach -- despite what may be the consequences, the crimes always seems like a good idea at the time.

In this case, the 1958 Baseball World Series is a element and backdrop to a heist executed a few months before the victory of the Cuban Revolution. With the Batista dictatorship in hock to the Mob, and real life crim,Meyer Lansky,reaping a windfall from his Havana casino investments, the fly in the ointment isn't just the guerrillas in the Sierra mountains.

Because he keeps competitors out of Cuba, inter mob rivalries look upon relieving Lansky of some of his largesse as an investment worth the risk. So a heist, in Danny Ocean style, seems like a good idea.

Developing a fictional story at such a historical cusp seems a stunning dramatic ploy but the advancing revolution is nonetheless relegated to background fill. Latour utilizes the Cuba of a past epoch as an excuse to explore crime interaction in a Caribbean sin hole with very little dynamic , aside from atmosphere and corruptable government, driven from the historical circumstance.

That wasn't what I was expecting. You have to read novels like James Elroy's American Tabloid to be served political intrigue obsessed with the old regime in Havana as Latour's story could comfortably sit in isolation among the any one of the Oceans Eleven franchises -- prettified with rum and Cuban cigars-- but set in Las Vegas.

Why Latour avoided the import of the impending revolution in his story seems a bit strange as he is now, after emigrating to Spain and more recently to Canada, hostile to the revolution from which he has turned his back. So the self evident question of whether the 1959 Revolution was a good idea or not is simply left hanging and the only happiness pending is the prospect of escaping the Mob's revenge or Batista's torturers.

What a cop out! But one thing's certain: Old Havana -- as run by the likes of Lansky and Batista's cronies -- like any cesspool, needed a thorough cleansing.

0 Com:

Post a Comment