A Simple Habana Melody: (from when the world was good)

3.44 avg rating
( 325 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780060175696: A Simple Habana Melody: (from when the world was good)

It is 1947 and Israel Levis, a Cuban composer whose life had once been a dream of music, love and sadness, is returning to Habana, Cuba, from Spain, where he has just recovered from the physical and spiritual malaise resulting from his experiences in Paris, then Buchenwald, during the Nazi occupation of France. (A devout Catholic, Levis had been mistakenly identified as a Jew because of his name.)

When Levis arrives back in Habana, after an absence of many years, his mind is reeling with beautiful memories of his life in Cuba and in Paris before the war, a life of pleasure and excitement that he owes, in part, to an unrequited, nearly "chivalrous" romance with a certain Rita Valladares, a singer for whom Levis had written his most famous song, "Rosas Puras," or "Pretty Roses." This 1928 composition becomes the most famous rumba in the world and changes both American and European tastes in music and dance -- forever; and it is the song, symbolic of the composer's love for Rita Valladares, that sets Levis's life in Europe in motion.

This is at once a love story -- for art, family and country -- as well as a portrait of Habana at the turn of the last century, when "the world was good." A Simple Habana Melody is a virtuoso performance from one of our most important writers.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Oscar Hijuelos's sixth novel, A Simple Habana Melody, is as much a love song to prewar Cuba as the "simple melody" at the center of the book. That tune, named "Roses Puras," was written by Hijuelos's protagonist, the aging composer Israel Levis, in the 1920s for his protégé and secret love, the singer Rita Valladares. The novel is set just after World War II, when Levis has returned to his childhood home in Havana after many years in Europe, at first in Paris, then in Buchenwald, where he was interned by Nazis who ignored the crucifix around his neck and focused only on his Sephardic name. The bittersweet feelings Levis bears toward "Rosas Puras" ("Beautiful Roses"), his best-known song, were further complicated when a German officer, who had gathered some musically gifted inmates for a concert, asked him to play this catchy old tune, unaware that Levis had written it. But this is not primarily a war novel; it is a novel of memory, a series of visits to the beautiful, vanished world of Levis's childhood and youth seen through the lens of his later suffering. Written with the same richness of detail, sensuality, and musicality of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1990, A Simple Habana Melody contains even greater emotional depth and narrative complexity. --Regina Marler

About the Author:

Oscar Hijuelos was born of Cuban parentage in New York City in 1951. He is a recipient of the Rome Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, among others. His five previous novels have been translated into twenty-five languages.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Hijuelos, Oscar
Published by Harper
ISBN 10: 0060175699 ISBN 13: 9780060175696
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Your Online Bookstore
(Houston, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060175699. Bookseller Inventory # HGT5412.1SNMB031216H0132A

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 1.00
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 2.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Hijuelos, Oscar
Published by Harper
ISBN 10: 0060175699 ISBN 13: 9780060175696
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Orion Tech
(Grand Prairie, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060175699 . Bookseller Inventory # HGT4163LEAC081916H0566P

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 1.00
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 2.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Hijuelos, Oscar
Published by Harper
ISBN 10: 0060175699 ISBN 13: 9780060175696
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Nemax_CO
(Pompano Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060175699 In NEW, unread book in excellent condition. No nicks or tears on dust jacket that has clean, straight edges. MoNeY Back Guarantee!. Bookseller Inventory # A-5-455

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 1.04
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.80
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Hijuelos, Oscar
ISBN 10: 0060175699 ISBN 13: 9780060175696
New Hardcover Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 7320028

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 2.22
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Hijuelos, Oscar
ISBN 10: 0060175699 ISBN 13: 9780060175696
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
LVeritas
(Newton, MA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Gift Quality Book in Excellent Condition. Bookseller Inventory # 36S9KG001FS4

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 6.00
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Hijuelos, Oscar
Published by Harper (2002)
ISBN 10: 0060175699 ISBN 13: 9780060175696
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060175699

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.51
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Hijuelos, Oscar
ISBN 10: 0060175699 ISBN 13: 9780060175696
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Castle Rock
(Pittsford, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800601756961.0

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.62
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Hijuelos, Oscar
Published by Harper (2002)
ISBN 10: 0060175699 ISBN 13: 9780060175696
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060175699

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.00
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Hijuelos, Oscar
ISBN 10: 0060175699 ISBN 13: 9780060175696
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Rating
[?]

Book Description May 28, 2002. Book Condition: New. BEST BUY.BRAND NEW BOOK.OFX/120. Bookseller Inventory # 710468

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 15.00
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Hijuelos, Oscar
Published by Harper
ISBN 10: 0060175699 ISBN 13: 9780060175696
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
M and N Media
(Acworth, GA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060175699 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-0060175699

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 15.32
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book