Four storylines in different periods that show the global impact of the English comedian Charles Chaplin, specifically in the history of the twentieth century: the time of Hitler in Germany, 1941; Miami city and the unknown Che Guevara in 1952; Switzerland in 1978 during the theft of the Chaplin’s corpse and the Neo-nazi movement in Germany today; coincidences surrounding the film “the great Dictator” and historical links between the characters are part of this captivating tale of intrigue.
David is a Cuban who has had a hard life like his beloved sister. They have suffered sexual abuse, hunger, deprivation, lack of freedom and all that implies living under a totalitarian system, watching his dreams before his eyes but could not catch them. They survive on illegal businesses and practicing prostitution. Disgusted of everything in Cuba, they tried and gain a new life in Europe, in democracy. But all is not as they imagined.
Three young Spanish tourists in Havana suffer persecution and punishment for what a powerful drug trafficker considers a stupidity that endangers his business. Alex Varga, the old Mayor of the Marginal World of Havana, and Alain Bec, a police lieutenant, join forces to protect the only survivor: Flavia, a beautiful woman from Madrid, also destined to die if she falls into the hands of the sinister criminal, who fancies himself a great capo, and who has very strong relations with the hidden and public powers of the island.
After her husband loses his grip on political power, Loretta sees her privileged life slowly vanishing. Apart from serving as a sexual plaything for Raynell, her spouse, Loretta also submits to the silent humiliation of serving her father-in-law in the same way. Out of options, and obeying her mother’s words (“You have to make your own way in life”), the protagonist of Tattoos is, in the words of the author himself, “a prostitute who discovers the mistakes she has made in her life and begins to search for an unrealizable dream.”
The Words and the Dead is a rare historical novel warmly praised by the renowned Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa. Rare, because it is not (according to the definition of historical authenticity) a true historical novel; and yet, there has been no Cuban novel written in the last 50 years that has been so faithful to the country’s history. Beginning with the death of Fidel Castro, the man who has been closest to him, his favorite bodyguard, reminisces about the past 40 years.
Recounting the actual testimony of survivors, Amir Valle introduces us to a hallucinatory world of murder, treachery and criminal manipulation of the hopes of thousands of Cubans trying to escape their terrible reality, and he brings to light the terrible social and human trauma of the exodus: the cold assassination of illegal immigrants, who pay the traffickers enormous sums of money to realize their dreams of achieving liberty in the United States, only to be hurled into the Caribbean Sea.
The beautiful friendship of Alex Varga with a transvestite in the 1950s involves police investigator Alain Bec in a macabre plot in which one of the most hidden and dismal sides of intolerance on the island comes to light: the silent world of transvestites and homosexual tourism. Crime, friendship, hatreds, ethical values and a cry for unconventional justice in the poor neighborhoods of the city are elements of this story.
An erotic manuscript written by an extraordinary kind of Amazon in the Mexico of the Aztecs, the Paris of the fifties, Cuba in the seventies and nineties, and writers of the stature of Henry Miller, Anäis Nin, Julio Cortázar and José Lezama Lima, as well as a present-day Cuban prostitute, are the ingredients of this new approach to the erotic novel, in which the modern-day characters suffer the arrival of an ancient curse because of human reverence for promiscuous sexual behavior.
A complicated investigation by the well-known character, Alex Varga (the protagonist, along with Alain Bec, in the author’s detective series) leads the reader down secret paths into the Cuban black market for drugs, and to murky connections with certain spheres of power in this country and their relationship with the Latin American market for narcotics. The moral and social implications of all this, transferred to the environment of poverty on the margins of Havana society, constitute the central axis of this novel.
Beginning with the appearance of two cadavers in a miserable hovel in a poor Havana neighborhood, Lieutenant Alain Bec’s investigation takes him once again to an unknown world, something also hidden from view for the majority of Cubans: homosexual and transvestite prostitution directed at foreign tourists, as a form of survival in the face of the economic and social debacle that exists in the country at the time of the plot.