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The Silver Cloud Cafe

Vea, Alfredo

86 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0525940774 / ISBN 13: 9780525940777
Published by E P Dutton, U.S.A., 1996
Condition: As New Hardcover
From Jack Skylark's Books (West Covina, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

This is the author's follow-up offering to his first novel, "La Maravilla". It is set in a cafe in San Francisco; beyond and beneath the glossy surface of this great American city. Fine jacket reviews form Carolyn See and Isabel Allende. Signed and dated on the title page (10-25-96). Book and BroDart protected jacket are fine, without faults. This unread copy is gift quality. First edition / first printing. Ships in bubble wrap in box. Bookseller Inventory # BX13-11

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Silver Cloud Cafe

Publisher: E P Dutton, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:As New

Dust Jacket Condition: As New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


The Silver Cloud Cafe is a novel that goes beyond and beneath. Beyond and beneath the glossy surface of San Francisco. Beyond and beneath the clean-scrubbed image of American life. It goes to the Mission District, where two neon angels stand watch over the ramshackle cantina known as Raphael's Silver Cloud Cafe and where the lost and lonely, desperate and dispossessed, come for a meager portion of solace and salvation in the form of companionship, drink, and sex. It goes to the dark waters under the Fourth Street Bridge, where the corpse of a failed priest surfaces, and to the jailhouse, where a nattily dressed midget takes credit and demands punishment for the crime.
This amazing novel is at once a gripping murder mystery that probes two macabre killings forty years apart and a panoramic meditation on the magical, mystical mix of race and culture in America. Its spellbinding story of intertwining guilt and innocence, crime and punishment, ranges over the century, from the bloody Christero Wars of the Mexican Revolution to the stifling rigidities of class and caste in the Philippines to the bitter harvests of migrants in the California farmlands to the feeding frenzy and human downsizing of the 1990s. Its characters include a Chicano lawyer and a Jewish investigator who have seen too much and believe too little; a Mexican priest torn by twin lusts for sex and vengeance; a black ex-boxer who is down but not out; a bar owner with a sense of divine mission; and a host of other unforgettable men and women who join in a superbly orchestrated symphony of voices and visions.


Fans of the deadpan darkness of Raymond Chandler who are also interested in the magic realism of Gabriel García M´rquez should enjoy this unusual but highly effective mixture of both styles by the author of La Maravilla. Born into a family of migrant workers in Arizona, Alfredo Véa Jr. was a soldier in Vietnam and put himself through law school by working at a series of grueling jobs. That background plays a part in this intriguing story set in the Hispanic underworld of San Francisco's Mission District, where two killings 40 years apart are linked by chains of blood and history.

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