Jose Latour Outcast

ISBN 13: 9780007111619

Outcast

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9780007111619: Outcast

The Edgar Award-nominated Outcast is a sophisticated, brutally honest, and gripping suspense novel that delves into the highly charged underworlds of modern-day Havana and Miami.

Elliot Steil, the son of a Cuban mother and an American-born laborer living on the island before the revolution, is a down-on-his-luck schoolteacher in Havana. Like so many of his fellow Havanans, he has come to accept his rather dull life and for the most part has given up hoping for a better future. But unexpectedly he is offered the opportunity to escape when a man appears on the island, claiming to be an old friend of Elliot's deceased father. The man offers to take Elliot to the United States, but it isn't long before he reveals his ulterior motives and Elliot is left to die in the dangerous waters of the Florida Straits. It is there that Elliot begins to relive the events of his life that have haunted him since his childhood. He is miraculously rescued by a family onboard a makeshift raft and soon after arriving in Miami begins his search for the man who betrayed him. As the search immerses him deeper and deeper into Miami's darker side of crime and corruption, he slowly unravels the mystery of his bicultural past and its links to the man who knew his father many decades earlier.

Outcast is at once a brilliantly atmospheric and stunningly written literary achievement and the dazzling American debut of one of Latin America's most accomplished crime writers.

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Review:

The recent explosion of Cuba-mania means that people who don't speak a word of Spanish are singing along with Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, and the rest of the Buena Vista wunder-octogenarians; that Cuban cigars are more chic than clichéd; and that José Latour, popular Cuban thriller writer, is publishing his first English-language novel. Set partly in Havana and partly in Miami, Outcast will provide many Anglophone noir fans with their first glimpse of that genre as practiced in a country still largely tantalizing in its inaccessibility.

Elliot Steil, born of a Cuban mother to a long-vanished American father, may not love his life in Havana (as an English teacher earning the equivalent of $2 a month, who would?), but he loves the city itself for its tattered elegance and the warmth of its people. His response to the communist political philosophy that underpins and overlies Cuba is one of generally resigned apathy. The arrival of Dan Gastler, who claims to be an old friend of Elliot's father, catapults Elliot from apathy to action when Gastler offers the teacher a chance to escape to the U.S. on his sailboat.

But Gastler shoves Elliot overboard mid-journey, leaving him to die in the Florida Straits. The serendipitous arrival of a family of Cuban rafters prevents him from drowning, but does little to assuage Elliot's baffled fury. The answers come slowly, as the teacher tackles a dual mission: to survive financially and psychologically as a Cuban refugee in Miami, and to uncover the identity and motive of his attacker. The former pulls him gradually into the city's grungy criminal underbelly, and the latter entangles him in a treacherous web of bitter family history and political machinations--with deadly consequences.

Though Latour is no Vladimir Nabokov (his grasp of English, while certainly commendable, doesn't prevent a host of bizarre phrasings from jarring the reader's eye and ear), Outcast is at heart a workmanlike thriller. Its innate straightforwardness, however, is often at odds with Latour's efforts to fancy things up with arbitrary chronological leaps and shifts in narrative perspective, which undermine the novel's pacing and plot. But for readers looking for a glimpse into Cuban American life through a rarely used prism, Outcast will deliver the goods. --Kelly Flynn

About the Author:

Jose Latour was born in 1940 in Havana, Cuba, where he won his first literary prize at the age of thirteen.Outcast is his seventh novel and the first written in English.He is the vice president of the Latin American division of the International Association of Crime Writers.He has two sons and a daughter and lives in Havan with his wife.

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Book Description -. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Outcast This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780007111619

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