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Winner of the International Alfaguara Novel Prize
A thriller, a tragedy, a perfectly timed farce—Eliseo Alberto’s tale of a mad Cuban war veteran who plots his own extermination is all this more.
Beto Milanés, the night watchman at a graveyard in the Florida resort town of Caracol Beach, is a guilt-ridden Cuban war veteran. Tormented by memories and hallucinations, he yearns to die but is unable to take his own life. Instead, he decides to force someone—anyone—to kill him. That decision sets in motion a night of violence that draws an odd assortment of characters into Beto's orbit. In scenes that range from the jungles of Angola to a seedy Florida bar, Alberto explores war, madness, exile, and the redemptive power of love.
“Storytelling magic—powerful imagery, page-turning subplots, complicated characters who surprise.”—The Miami Herald
“Magic realism is in flower, but beneath [Caracol Beach's] extravagant exaggerations lie serious observations about human nature.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A brilliant well-structured novel that draws the reader into its world of love, dementia, and death.... A modern tragedy where madness goes hand in hand with the absurd.”—El País
Translated by Edith Grossman.