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Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, The tie-in: A Novel (P.S.)
by Oscar Hijuelos

Published: 2005-07-01
Paperback : 448 pages
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It's 1949, the era of the mambo, and two young Cuban musicians make their way from Havana to New York. The Castillo brothers, workers by day, become, by night, stars of the dance halls, where their orchestra plays the sensuous, pulsing music that earns them the title of the Mambo Kings. ...

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Introduction

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It's 1949, the era of the mambo, and two young Cuban musicians make their way from Havana to New York. The Castillo brothers, workers by day, become, by night, stars of the dance halls, where their orchestra plays the sensuous, pulsing music that earns them the title of the Mambo Kings. This is a golden time that thirty years later will be remembered with deep affection. In The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, Oscar Hijuelos has created an enthralling novel about passion and loss, memory and desire.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

Inspired by their heroes Xavier Cugat and Desi Arnaz, brothers Cesar and Nestor Castillo come to New York City from Cuba in 1949 with designs on becoming mambo stars. Eventually they do--performing with Arnaz on "I Love Lucy" in 1955 and recording 78s with their own band, the Mambo Kings. In his second novel, Hijuelos traces the lives of the flashy, guitar-strumming Cesar and the timid, lovelorn Nestor as they cruise the East Coast club circuit in a flamingo-pink bus. Enriching the story are the brothers' friends and family members--all driven by their own private dreams. The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love won a Pulitzer Prize in 1990.

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Is this story unique to the Cuban immigrant, or is it more universal?
Discuss the central women in the book - Maria, Vanna, Delores
by FTessa (see profile) 12/06/10

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Lots of sex
by FTessa (see profile) 12/06/10
There is a lot of sex in this book, but integral to the characters.

Member Reviews

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  "We LOVED this book"by FTessa (see profile) 12/06/10

Cesar Castillo, the Mambo King himself, is an old man, and is remembering his life (and loves) in Cuba and New York as he approaches death. In the middle of the book is a quote that perfectl... (read more)

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