Retail pak Harper Audio 2002
CS ISBN 006009480X $34.95 Seven cassettes
Hijuelos's novel presents a mildly fascinating look at a self-absorbed Cuban composer of worldwide fame, Israel Levis. It opens with Levis's return to Cuba after being gone for fifteen years, two of which were spent in Buchenwald. (Though a Catholic living in Paris at the time of his arrest, Levis's name convinced the Nazis that he was Jewish.) Flashbacks then tell Levis's life story from his birth in 1890 through the great acclaim for his musicianship. Actor Jimmy Smits is a good, not great, reader of this good, not great, book. He does merit high marks for the frequent Spanish phrases, but listeners will wish for more character differentiation and more drama. T.H. (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT/ NOV 02]
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