Released on 01 January 2015.

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Dancing to 'Almendra'

3.06 based on 221 ratings & 36 reviews on


Havana 1957.

On the same day that the Mafia capo Umberto Anastasia is assassinated in a barber’s chair in New York, a hippopotamus escapes from Havana Zoo. Joaquin Porrata is the young Cuban journalist assigned to cover the latter story but, told by a secretive zookeeper that he ‘knows too much’, he soon discovers that the two events are not as unconnected as they might initially seem.

An ardent and thrilling tale of innocence lost, of Havana’s secret one-time world of violence, fantastic characters and extravagant crimes, Dancing to ‘Almendra’ is a triumph of story-telling from one of Latin America’s most impassioned and intoxicating voices.

‘Brilliant . . . Montero moves her story along at a lick, but in the giddy swirl of events she leaves plenty of space for absurdist humour. She handles this blend of fact and fiction with brio’ Observer

‘Combining the dangerous world of violence with the glittering surface of Havana’s nightlife, this is an intoxicating tale’ Metro

‘A sensitive and touching novel’ Big Issue

‘Brilliant . . . Dancing to ‘Almendra’ is an exuberant must-read’ Observer