The Music of the Straits, Life
as a Cuban Movie
Raul E Jimenez
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.