Molly's Reviews

The Music of The StraitsThe Music of the Straits, Life as a Cuban Movie
Raul E Jimenez
Virtualbookworm.comPublishing Inc, 2002

Unusual writing format
recommended 4 stars

Gabriel Arturo Ulises Medina is dead. Gabriel explains he had been on a journey to seek a long lost friend and he died. His friend and mentor Walker explains to Gabe that he is infinite time. He was trying to swim to Cuba to find Isabel Montesinos. Isabel and he were chums long ago in the little Cuban village of Villa Barién. When Gabe realizes he is dead he finds himself in a replica of that small community where music always is playing. Walker explains the music in his head. Now that Gabriel is dead he can wish himself into another bodily form.

He begins the telling of the story of himself in 1955 when he was 17 and first met Isabel. Gabe and Isabel considered themselves to be going steady when she was told she must break up with Gabe in 1957. Chapter 3 backtracks to 1953 and Gabe as an 11 year old in Cuba and then to age 10 when Walker persuades Gabriel's father that he should take his family away from Cuba where danger threatens. And the story continues.

In his work "The Music of the Straits, Life as a Cuban Movie Writer" Jimenez has produced an interesting, fanciful tale told in a most unusual format. Each chapter is stand alone and touches on a different time period, age or occurrence in the life of Gabriel and Walker his guiding guru. As a tribute to Jimenez' talent as a writer "The Music of the Straits, Life as a Cuban Movie" is neither disjointed nor difficult to follow.

I liked the concept of the mentor presented in "The Music of the Straits, Life as a Cuban Movie". Walker is not your average coach. The narrative built around the life of Gabriel is told in the first person. This is not an easy technique to master however writer Jimenez does it with aplomb. "The Music of the Straits, Life as a Cuban Movie" grabs the reader from the outset with the blunt statement "First, believe me when I say I am dead! I actually drowned!" I don't think I have ever read a book with exactly this opening line. The reader's interest is held fast as writer Jimenez weaves a nicely crafted tale filled with exciting characters, well developed scenes, snappy dialogue and an absorbing plot thesis.

Enjoyed the read.




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