The Last Masquerade: A Novel

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9780060586331: The Last Masquerade: A Novel
From Publishers Weekly:

Like a circus barker, Rodríguez touts 1920s Latin America in an ambitious tome, featuring a six-page cast of characters rivaling any Russian novel. Lucho Belalcázar Reyes hails from a wealthy and distinguished Conservative family in Bogotá whose mother, La Generala, rules the roost with "on her left hand a lace glove, on her right, an iron mitt." She accepts that her son is gay as long as he is discreet and promises not to " 'pair up' with a liberal." Lucho's beloved of five years is Wenceslao Hoyos, whose obsession with the legendary actress Eleonora Duse takes the couple on a whirlwind odyssey to see her perform. This goal is not easily attained as the duo run into several snafus, but they eventually catch her in Havana, the setting for the remainder of the novel. Along the way, Lucho, an admitted "enthusiast of the flesh," and Wen participate in orgies of food, drugs, drink and sex; search for Lucho's mysterious prodigal uncle; and consider the universe ("Fate is a cat and we are the mice with which she amuses herself"). Drenched in Hemingwayesque detail—bullfight included—and painting an elaborate picture of the cities' political climates, this is a roller-coaster ride of a novel. Readers will either love every minute of it or just feel overwhelmed by Rodríguez's overreaching endeavor. Agent, Tom Colchie. (Apr. 1)
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Antonio Orlando Rodriguez
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