Humour abounds in the Uruguayan-Cuban author Daniel Chavarría's Adios Muchachos: a rollicking dissection of Cuban life, where years of Communism have only served to drive the capitalist fervour of the masses to feverish pitch, and materialism rules above all. Unlike the corruption and drug-addled misery limned in Leonardo Padura's Havana series, Chavarría's book is far too good-humoured. It is also a sexy romp with the pneumatic bottom of the wondrously bright and beautiful Alicia running riot, trying to ensnare rich foreigners who might then take her away to their own rich lands where she could lead a life of luxury. Her modus operandi is to ride her bike, wiggling her alluring bottom to attract a rich man in a fancy car, and then falling spectacularly before the sucker, prompting him to come to her rescue. Her mother aids and abets her schemes, providing fancy food and culture to the man, causing him to get more and more besotted by Alicia. Unfortunately, Alicia then falls in with a Canadian ex-con whom she mistakes for her latest wealthy conquest. He is leading a double-life himself, trying to persuade a multinational corporation to fund marine archaeology (to make money out of selling salvaged treasure) while also hiding his less than salubrious past from his employers. An accidental death sparks panic in Alicia and Victor, but also hands them possibility to make large amounts of money, and at this point, Chavarría's grip over the plot begins to loosen, and confusion takes over. In the classic manoeuvre of the author who's lost interest in the proceedings, there's a final roundup of what happens in the subsequent lives of the various characters. I've often wondered what purpose such a roundup serves: it's as though the story somehow were unable to close by itself, and so an artificial conclusion is forced on the reader. Still, a decent read for a lazy afternoon.