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on 8 November 2016
A lovely autobiography from a great dancer. Very vivid but very simple and truthful. He creates the atmosphere of Cuba and what it was like to grow up there and what its like to move to a new country when you can't speak the language. It shows you how far Carlos has travelled, both literally and metaphorically. Carlos wanted to be a footballer but his father forced him to practice ballet. He was a bit of a rebel and managed to get him himself expelled from the ballet school. Its funny and moving, especially when Carlos met the Queen before he became fluent in English. It needs to be made into a film which could see him return to Cuba where he is setting up a ballet school. Perhaps Helen Mirren could play the Queen!
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on 3 January 2018
Good read, interesting story and a very good insight into life in Cuba 40 years ago, Acosta tells it light and entertaining and his life is as extraordinary as his dancing skills. I laughed out loud several times and smiled throughout, it truly is the story of a boy becoming a man, and a world famous principal ballet dancer. Even if you are not a fan of Carlos or ballet, you will find it interesting and a joy to read!
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on 18 January 2015
This book has put me through so many emotions upon reading it.. Upset, shock, empathy and jubilation for the different moments of Carlos Acosta's life.. It was shocking in parts due to the realities of life in Cuba... And also comical with the stories of Opito and the breakdance gang and the 'Eat Mud' game and stealing mangoes.. Then there was the difficult relationship with his father, who pushed him into Ballet classes, calling it the 'parasol dance'.. I identified so many similarities with his life and mine.. The main difference was the abstract poverty that his family lived in.. I have known people with Schizophrenia and that experience was paralleled by the story of his sister Berta and Aunty and their struggle with this debilitating illness.. This book was honest and showed Carlos' own demons and simply put, missing his home comforts and having a talent that he sees as a blessing and a burden. Very good read and I would recommend it!
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on 21 January 2017
Easy to read and very informative.Great book to read as a fan. I enjoyed learning about the beginnings of his career, his upbringing and hardship suffered by his family due to poverty, health problems and the Cuban Government. I find it amazing how people are/were so critical of Castro but Cuba manage to produce Great Ballet dancers who managed.to get visas to travel!!??. My only sadness having learnt more about Carlos Acosta is I found my love of ballet so late and I didn't see him perform live in the great productions during his historical career. I will always suffer that lost. His farewell concert at.the Royal Albert Hall was exactly that, a goodbye.....
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on 21 January 2014
I have always been intrigued by Carlos Acosta but didn't know much about him, apart from him being from Cuba. Having now read his story, I am even more impressed with his achievements and what a role model he is for black men both in the arts and generally because they too are Princes & Kings in their own right. This book is an open, honest reflection of a life that demonstrates sincerity, hurt, love, family values, all things that we can relate to in our personal lives. The insight into the exotic, colourful & rhythmic Cuban life was so mesmerising that I could even imagine myself playing the "eating mud game" and nicking the neighbours mangoes!

Well done Carlos...... I hope you have finally achieved the contentment that you so truly deserve!
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on 10 December 2016
An amazing man. What an interning life he has had so far. He must be an amazing ballet dancer to come through what he had to go through. He had one or two stead fast people who help on his way.
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on 22 March 2014
If you had no idea of the dedication and commitment that goes into the making of a star, this is the place to start.
Acosta's rise from the humblest of beginnings to the very top of his profession is achieved only through the toughest discipline
He paints his native Cuba in the brightest and truest of colours, always basing his family and his country at the heart of his ambition.
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on 26 January 2018
Present for my sister-in-law, she absolutely loves it
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on 25 May 2017
Very small print. This would be best read on a Kindle if your sight is not tot good.
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on 29 September 2014
This is such a refreshing book. Happily it isn't a list of 'roles I have danced' but a loving appreciation of his Cuban roots, family and neighbourhood and how this has influenced his life. The insight and understanding was moving and in my view makes this an exceptional biography and a very endearing portrait of a fantastic dancer. Well done Carlos!
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