Essay, Research Paper: Mambo Kings Play

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The book that I read was rather pornographic. It was a story about 2 brothers
and 6 other people who put together a band and played in clubs almost every
night. After playing their gigs, they’d go off and get drunk and then go sleep
with about 4 different girls every night. None of them were settled down because
they always were going places and meeting new people. They started their band in
a place called Havana, Cuba. They were very unknown until they met a guy at a
bar one night named Desi Arnaz. He offered them a contract and signed them with
jobs in the United States. So being young and free, they left with almost
nothing to start their new life in the states. The first place they went to,
which was later their favorite place, was Miami, Florida. They played in clubs
late at night still bringing girls back to their hotel rooms. They started to
get noticed. Oscar Hijuelos was the author of the book The Mambo Kings Play
Songs of Love and also the book called Our House in the Last World. Oscar was
born in 1951 in the city of Havana, Cuba and was born to both Cuban parents. He
now currently lives in New York. I do like how the author wrote this book
basically because it was easy reading. It was very long in some parts, but you
could understand it easily. It never left you feeling as if you didn’t
understand a part. He wrote in sections and not chapters. There were only 3
sections in the book and so it was easier to follow because he didn’t have to
keep starting a new chapter. I read this book by dividing it into how many pages
I’d read each day. I had to read about 28 pages in it a day and I kept that
promise to myself. I read every day and I got the book done on time. In each
section of the book, the author started off in a new club. He started it off at
a different time every time. He had it start off one time at 11:23pm in a
nightclub in Miami, and the other ones at 11:57pm and 12:02am. The brothers
always seemed to be at a nightclub whether or not they were playing that night.
The always got drunk and I liked how the author would show you just how drunk
they were by their actions. I believe that there are actually two stories going
on in this book. And they are about the same group of people. Because one of the
stories is being told to you as the lives of musicians who go about their daily
lives in the daytime, but then become drunk and sleazy at night when they go off
and play in clubs. They always talk about wanting to settle down with a woman
and have a family, but then at night, they go off and stay out until about 4am
with a bunch of girls after playing in a smoke-filled room with a bunch of
drunken men. “Like his music, the Mambo King was very direct in those days. He
and Vanna Vane had just been out to dinner at the club Babalu and Cesar said to
her, as she chewed on a piece of plantain fritter, “Vanna, I’m in love with
you, and I want a chance to show you what it’s like to be with a man like
me.”” Just on that quote, it initiates the fact that even the Mambo King
wanted to get settled down. But right after that quote, she said no to him and
so he went and slept with some stripper he met in a bar that night. Another
quote that describes how they are at night is this one, “I saw her. A woman
with a broken leg in a cast, standing up in a phone booth during a rainstorm in
Atlantic City, the gales whipping against the glass, things so dark around them
nobody could see, so that in the ferocity of the winds they started to kiss, his
knee pressing between her legs, and this woman saying to hell with it and
pulling up her sun skirt and down with her panties, down over her legs and down
over the thick plaster cast, so that he lifted her up onto him and she leaned
back against the wall, laughing and thinking, This man is insane, laughing and
seeing stars while people outside looked like zigzagged pencil doodles running
through the deluge.” The boys acted like this every night. I don’t really
like how this whole book was basically nothing but sex talk. This author must
have had a lot on his mind while writing it, because he wrote very seldom about
the daytime and when he did, he’d write about the Mambo King and his band
finding some girl in an alleyway that they’d like to have sex with later that
night. And when he was writing about the nighttime, he’d give these very
clear-imaged details that I really didn’t want to hear about. I can’t really
say as to why I think he wrote about all of this because I couldn’t find
barely any information on him except what I already knew. He grew up in a good
household with good parents as what I’ve heard, so I’m not really sure as to
how he got so much “sex-influencing talk” inside of him. I didn’t really
learn much from this book just because it was a fiction story. It started off in
the city of Havana, Cuba, but the Mambo King and his band then left shortly
after to go to the United States, and so they were in the states most of the
time. Also, they didn’t talk much about their locations. They stayed in Miami
for a really long time and when they did travel, Oscar just said that they were
traveling on “the road.” But other than that, I know a little bit about the
culture of Havana now because he talked about his homeland a few times, and the
culture of it.

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