Book - 2017
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"A sweeping novel of art theft, anti-Semitism, contemporary Cuba, and crime from a renowned Cuban author. In 1939, the Saint Louis sails from Hamburg into Havana's port with hundreds of Jewish refugees seeking asylum from the Nazi regime. From the docks, nine-year-old Daniel Kaminsky watches as the passengers, including his mother, father, and sister, become embroiled in a fiasco of Cuban corruption. But the Kaminskys have a treasure that they hope will save them: a small Rembrandt portrait of Christ. Yet six days later the vessel is forced to leave the harbor with the family, bound for the horrors of Europe. The Kaminskys, along with their priceless heirloom, disappear. Nearly seven decades later, the Rembrandt reappears in an auction house in London, prompting Daniel's son to travel to Cuba to track down the story of his family's lost masterpiece. He hires the down-on-his-luck private detective Mario Conde, and together they navigate a web of deception and violence in the morally complex city of Havana. In Heretics, Leonardo Padura takes us from the tenements and beaches of Cuba to Rembrandt's gloomy studio in seventeenth-century Amsterdam, telling the story of people forced to choose between the tenets of their faith and the realities of the world, between their personal desires and the demands of their times. A grand detective story and a moving historical drama, Padura's novel is as compelling, mysterious, and enduring as the painting at its center."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017
Edition: First American edition.
ISBN: 9780374168858
Call Number: PADURA
Characteristics: 528 pages ; 24 cm
Subjects: Conde, Mario -- Fiction.
Jewish refugees -- Germany -- Fiction.
Art thefts -- Investigation -- Fiction.
Private investigators -- Cuba -- Havana -- Fiction.
Detective and mystery fiction.
Historical fiction.
Additional Contributors: Kushner, Anna - Translator


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FPL_ThomasF Dec 05, 2019

Grab a strong coffee, put on the Rolling Stones' Let it Bleed album, get in a comfy chair, and read a modern work of mastery- by a writer all but unknown to most circles in the US.

Aug 28, 2017

Fascinating book in many ways. but, way too long for me!

Aug 04, 2017

If you are a Cuban, a Jew, an emo, a history buff, a wannabe painter or just a mystery lover, you will enjoy this long, long tale revolving around a Rembrandt painting; its conception and execution in 16th century Amsterdam, its vagaries in Poland during the Cossack and Tatar pogroms, its adventures in Havana, Venezuela and Miami. It is extensively researched and full of period atmosphere and lively social and personal detail; some interior monologues are a bit lengthy but the suspense makes up for it. A highly recommended discovery.

Apr 19, 2017

An interesting hybrid of historical novel and detective story, as if a Cuban Travis McGee wound up in "Girl with a Pearl Earring." It was hard to follow at times, but I learned a lot about modern Cuba, 17th century Holland, and the ages-long Jewish diaspora. Warning: the Polish pogroms at the end are truly horrific reading and don't really affect the plot, so the squeamish may want to skip this part. Otherwise I enjoyed it.


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