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The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (Essential Penguin) Paperback – 22 Feb 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Paperback, 22 Feb 2001
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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (22 Feb. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140299572
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140299571
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 2.9 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,874,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"One lush, tipsy, all-night mambo of a novel about Cuban musicians in strange places like New York City". -- People

"By turns street-smart and lyrical, impassioned and reflective, "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love"is a rich and provocative book--a moving portrait of a man, his family, a community and a time."-- Michiko Kakutani, "New York Times""One lush, tipsy, all-night mambo of a novel about Cuban musicians in strange places like New York City."-- "People""Brilliant... memorable... a heady and powerful triumph... one of the most spectacularly vibrant and moving works by an American in years."-- Alice Metcalf Miller, "Cleveland Plain Dealer"

"A rich and sorrowful novel... that alternates crisp narrative with opulent musings--the language of everyday and the language of longing. You finish feeling... ready to throw up your arms and cry, Que bueno es! Mr. Hijuelos is writing music of the heart." "New York Times Book Review""

"Brilliant... memorable... a heady and powerful triumph... one of the most spectacularly vibrant and moving works by an American in years." "Alice Metcalf Miller, Cleveland Plain Dealer""

"By turns street-smart and lyrical, impassioned and reflective, "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love "is a rich and provocative book--a moving portrait of a man, his family, a community and a time." --"Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times"

"One lush, tipsy, all-night mambo of a novel about Cuban musicians in strange places like New York City. " --"People"

By turns street-smart and lyrical, impassioned and reflective, "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love "is a rich and provocative book--a moving portrait of a man, his family, a community and a time. "Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times"

One lush, tipsy, all-night mambo of a novel about Cuban musicians in strange places like New York City. "People"" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

It's 1949. It's the era of the mambo, and two young Cuban musicians make their way up from Havana to the grand stage of New York. The Castillo brothers, workers by day, become by night stars of the dance halls, where their orchestra plays the lush, sensuous, pulsing music that earns them the title of the Mambo Kings. This is their moment of youth -- a golden time that thirty years later will be remembered with nostalgia and deep affection. In The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, Oscar Hijuelos has created a rich and enthralling novel about passion and loss, memory and desire. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I first read this book in 1990 and have read it pretty much every year since then. Never before have I been so drawn into a novel, so much so that it's easy to imagine myself as a "friend" of the Castillo brothers who visits their world from time to time. Every scene and every character is described in exquisite detail along with a fabulous reconstruction of the spirit of the era. The book has an uncanny rhythm, just like like music which constantly plays in the background of every page. Do yourself a favour and read it too!
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Format: Paperback
I read this on holiday in France in 1993 and simply "couldn't put it down". A book to savour, Hijuelos' eye for 50's detail is as great as his skill in plotting the lives of Nestor and Cesar, two brothers who couldn't be more different but who spend their too-short lives each wishing they were more like the other. Moving, funny and sexy, the addictive storyline belies it's simplicity. Read it, then turn to page 1 and read it again.
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By A Customer on 6 Jan. 2003
Format: Paperback
What a fabulous book - the story of two brothers, who emigrate to the US from Cuba seeking fame and fortune - sounds like a cliché, but this is one American dream that jumps off the page. It's a beautifully bittersweet tale; Hijuelos is a master of crafting a story of love, tragedy, passion - transforming the mundane into the sublime, and illustrating the moments of the brothers' lives so vividly that you can smell the rum, taste the kisses and hear the songs in one of the most lyrical books I've ever read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Overall score: 4.1/10
Choice comments: "I love salsa music, so wanted to like this book but it quickly got old reading about what a stud Cesar was, and his big mamba." "Reasonably entertaining. Too much unhappy sex going on though."
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Format: Paperback
well, i wanted to read this book after having watched and liked the beautiful movie, But as for the book, it's mostly not about love as I assumed, but about sex with many details. You also get an idea of Cuban immigration and musical life in NY in those years.
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