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Adios Muchachos [Paperback]

Daniel Chavarría
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

24 April 2003
The beautiful Alicia hatches a plot to ensnare the wealthy foreign visitors to Castro?s Cuba through an elaborate scam involving a broken bicycle and her voluptuous charms. Taking choreographed spills in front of expensive foreign cars, Alicia squeezes the maximum sympathy and cash out of her clueless, sexually aroused, victims. Add to this mix the guile of her mother who is in on the scam, and the sky?s the limit for Alicia. However, when she attempts to trap Victor, a convicted bank robber masquerading as a Canadian businessman, they quickly realise each other?s nefarious motives and embark on a misadventure of sex, cross-dressing, kidnapping and death by olive. Adios Muchachos is an erotic, brutally funny romp through the underworld of post-revolutionary Cuba.

Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail; New edition edition (24 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852428295
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852428297
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'Pulp fiction in Castro's Cuba. A picaresque novel with sex, scheming, and, well, more sex.' Martin Cruz Smith, author of Gorky Park 'Daniel Chavarria is a prince of a fellow, larger than life and twice as much fun.' Lawrence Block, author of Eight Million Ways To Die

About the Author

Born in Uruguay, Daniel Chavarría was for many years Professor of Latin, Greek, and Classical literature, devoting much of his time and energy to researching the origins and evolution of prostitution. He has won numerous literary awards around the world including the 1992 Dashiell Hammett Award and the 2002 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Paperback Original for Adios Muchachos.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars call me calculating babe 25 Nov 2003
i won't reveal the plot too much - suffice to say that it revolves around the sensuous, lushous Alicia who is literally 'sex on legs.' she, for many years, has refused to become a boring unoriginal prostitute - it is definately not her style. Instead she invents this scam whereby she poses, lavisciously on a bicycle and learns how to fall off without hurting herself in the process. The scam involves falling off in front of wealth tourists who drive her home where she, always with style, seduces the man. Even her mother is involved who makes a fantastic meal and proves that a way to a mans heart is through his stomach. Alicia takes care of the physical side of things and lines up many potential men around the world one of whom she will marry and live the life of luxury.
all goes well until she falls in love with victor, who has a couple of secrets himself. now i will leave it there just telling you that its the plotting that makes this book fantastic, a heist that you'll never forget, erotic and humorous on every page, with as much cold calculating as you've ever wished for. my favourite bit is when "someone" must be defrosted and thawed out to take a picture for the ransom demands and theres this great diologue between two of the characters that hails right out of reservoir dogs or pulp fiction - the i'm hungry, lets get a taco bit - leave this dead decomposing guy thaw out etc.... read it - i'll never tell you the twists - not only is there a truckload but also they are meant only to be read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars . 19 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very pleased with my new book - excellent and prompt service! I can only wish that everything went as smoothly...
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3.0 out of 5 stars Funny Criminal Caper in Cuba 22 Jan 2010
By Feanor
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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite 2 Sep 2001
By F. G. Hamer - Published on
Of course it's pulp fiction. The huge majority of books published today are pulp fiction. And so what? The difference is that Adios Muchachos is WELL WRITTEN pulp fiction. I roared with laughter at the descriptions and at the nonesensical plot, and any book that can make me laugh is worth a good few stars.
Congratulations to Daniel Chavarria for writing a picaresque novel about a young lady whose aim in life is to please (in return for certain favours) without falling into the trap of writing pure pornography. I enjoyed the book, not only for the plot, but for the beauty of what was on the page. Chavarria covers many a 'sensitive' topic with a nod and a wink and a sentence structured in erotic innuendo. Brilliant.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sexy + Fun 5 May 2002
By "owillis" - Published on
Daniel Chavarria's Adios Muchachos is a fun little book exploring the world of prostitutes, unseemly businessmen and death in post-revolutionary Cuba. Uruguayan Daniel Chavarria seems mostly known for more literary work, but according to the bio on the inside flap he is said to have two passions: "classical literature and whores". Well, it shows.
Chavarria's main protagonist is Alicia, a high class prostitute who gets wealthy foreigners to buy her beautiful, expensive things so that she and her mother (a pre-revolutionary Cuban socialite) don't have to deal with the infirmities of life in Castro's Cuba. Alicia has an elaborate scam involving a bicycle accident that she works, along with her body, into an act of perfection. The precision timing is hilarious, as is the strategy her mother and her have worked out to squeeze the maximum sympathy out of their clueless (yet sexually aroused) victims. The crux of the story happens when Alicia's latest conquest, Victor, is not who he seems. Death and mayhem ensue.
The subject matter could easily be salacious, but Chavarria has a neat trick of using beautiful prose to describe people doing less-than-beautiful thing. He has a writing style that is simultaneously sophisticated, but not elitist. He's just telling a good story, and doing it in the best way possible.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun novel about a bicycle prostitute 13 Oct 2010
By TChris - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Alicia is a bicycle prostitute in Havana. She dresses in shorts and wiggles her butt as she pumps her pedals. One pedal is rigged to fall off, allowing her to tumble in front of the foreign men she seeks as customers. When one helps her up, she persuades him to give her a ride home where her mother makes dinner. The mother then leaves while Alicia seduces the man. Pretending to be too proud to accept money from him, she instead accepts gifts of air conditioners and motor scooters, which she stores in the garage until mother sells them. Because Alicia's wiggling butt is irresistible, she is confident that sooner or later the right man will fall in love with her -- the right man being the one who meets her high standards of wealth and virility.

From this premise, written in prose that borders on hilarity, Daniel Chavvaria crafts a novel that is more a comedy than a mystery -- and a very funny comedy it is. Alicia is hired to have sex with men while a couple watch from behind a mirror. The arrangement leads to prosperity for Alicia, but unfortunate circumstances involve her in what seems to be a kidnapping scheme that goes awry. Alicia maintains her cheery self-confidence throughout the novel, an attribute that makes her a very likable character. The phrase "wickedly funny" could have been invented to describe this book. It isn't deep, it isn't a traditional mystery, but it's loads of fun.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A definite winner 9 Mar 2004
By Larry - Published on
It seems like every year the Edgar committees nominate one book that is so unusual that it stands out amongst the usual fare. Sometimes these books are excellent and would otherwise have remained undiscovered. For example, immediately comes to mind OUTCAST by Jose Latour, which was first published in English by the same publisher as this book. ADIOS MUCHACHOS is a black comedy that also could be considered a noir fiction. Characters are quite wacky and the plot extremely clever.
In Havana, Cuba, Alicia literally pedals her wares as a bicycle hooker. However, she isn�t simply out for money. She views each �client� as a prospective ticket out of her poverty-laden life via marriage or a long-term commitment. With the help of her pragmatic mother, Margarita, she seduces her johns with food and drink prior to their sampling of her sexual wares. Into this set up wanders her latest john, Victor King. Victor is involved in hunting for treasures on shipwrecks around the island. The people backing him are extremely wealthy. At first Victor uses Alicia for his own purposes. Later he proposes using her for his plan entailing voyeurism. However, a very unfortunate accident might possibly, with a bit of scheming, leave Alicia and Victor extremely wealthy. The question is, can they pull it off by outwitting the wealthy backers?
The rampant descriptions of blatant sex would preclude placing this book among the ranks of the cozies. For those who enjoy hard edged humor, this book will very well fit the bill. The characters, all despicable creations are a pure delight. In spite of their immorality, the reader will find them quite sympathetic. Interest never wanes as the reader roots for Victor and Alicia to succeed in their deception. The book never tries to be a social commentary in that the living conditions in Havana never plays a central role. ADIOS MUCHACHOS is a definite winner and is my pick as the best of the paperback original nominees. However, I really don�t think it will win in that it is too unconventional.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are thinking about it, do it. 3 Sep 2002
By B. R. Palmer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm only 1/3 of the way through this but already I know that I'll be buying this for lots of friends. Simply outstanding. There are no great shakes here but as a book to simply amuse and enjoy it can't be beat. Adios Muchachos is so well writen that I have lost all desire to look for deep meaning. It's that rare book that can be simply enjoyed just for the craft that is displayed. Lots of laughs everywhere and quite informative if I'm ever looking for a hooker in Havana. ;-)
I'm looking forward to trying something else from Daniel Chavarria and I feel very sorry for all the folks who gave this book only 1 or 2 stars. I suspect they were offended by some of the setting.
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