The Cuba Bookshelf has been updated…
I’ve just whipped through and given a quick update to the Cuba Shelf over at the Packabook Store and can reveal my top choice of the new novels that have been added. It’s now downloaded to my kindle and I will give you a proper review once I’ve had a read – if you’d like to join me, here it is…
Pig’s Foot by Carlos Acosta
You may already have heard of Carlos Acosta from his work in an entirely non-literary field. He is one of the world’s pre-eminent ballet dancers, making his way up from a breakdancer on the streets of Havana to the principal dancer in many of the world’s leading ballet companies.
So you could be forgiven for thinking this makes someone an unlikely candidate for writing fiction, but Mr Acosta is obviously multi-talented as his debut novel has attracted rave reviews.
“Dancing off the page, Acosta’s prose dazzles and certainly commands its audience.” – The Observer
“Despite my fears, this multi-talented individual turns out to be infuriatingly good at writing fiction, too.” – The Independent
“Cuban star Carlos Acosta does, indeed, barely put a step wrong in his debut novel, Pig’s Foot, an exuberantly enjoyable tale tracing a dysfunctional dynasty from slavery in the 1850s to Cuba’s “special period” in the 1990s.” – The Financial Times
“It may not seem quite fair that Acosta, who danced Spartacus and so many other roles with such grace, power and majestic artistry, should now also write a lively, delightfully engaging novel, yet he has. Pig’s Foot is as catchy as a piece of Cuban music, defers to Latin America’s literary tradition and shimmers with a likable swagger all its own.” – The Irish Times
Told in the magic realist style, Pig’s Foot brings us the story of Oscar Kortico, who wakes up one day to find himself utterly alone in the world. He decides to set off to his ancestral village of Pata de Puerco (Pig’s Foot) in Cuba’s south-east. Once there he, as an unreliable narrator, gives us the story of his ancestors and that of Cuba itself – bringing to life the country’s turbulent history.
While I’m not the world’s greatest fan of magic realism, I think there’s enough in this novel for me to give it a go. And if I had any doubts, this Amazon review has sold it to me.
“The book gathers and slows pace in all the right places, has rhythm and timbre, wonderful characterisation and laugh-out-loud moments. Dare I say it, he’s possibly wasted as a ballet dancer!!” – Amazon
I actually love ballet, so I’d prefer he did not give up his dancing career just yet! If you’d like to know more about Acosta and the world he came from, this documentary/interview with David Frost is fabulous and shares lots about Cuba as well.
Or you could just read Acosta’s autobiography, which he’s also somehow managed to find time to write, despite his incredibly busy lifestyle – I tell you, the man must have lots of downtime at rehearsals to get all this done!
PS – I’d love to share a lot more reviews with you and ideas for enhancing your travel with novels. If you’d like to be kept in the loop, then why not join the Packabook adventure here…