Juan, a Cuban refugee working as a doorman at a Manhattan apartment building holds a bizarre court with the tenants' pets--an Egyptian dog, a rattlesnake, a bear, and others--who discuss their grievances and plan their liberation
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Spanish
An affecting parable of a modern knight-errant's search for the ``true door to happiness,'' and the first story by the late Cuban writer and exile Arenas (The Palace of the White Skunks, 1990, etc.) to be set in the US. Young Juan, a refugee from Cuba, is the doorman of a Manhattan apartment house--home to a disappointed and eclectic group of men and women, and to their even more unhappy pets. There are, among others: an aging leftist who keeps a polar bear to serve her (when she isn't in Cuba buying desperate young men with cheap trinkets); a suicidal young woman, beloved by Juan, whose pet is a rattlesnake; an impotent and aging lover-boy whose pet orangutan helps him out on dates; the nearly identical gay couple Oscar One and Two, with their terrified rabbit and fierce bulldog; the Supreme Pastor of the Church of Love through Constant Contact and his menagerie; and the millionaire family that owns the remarkable dog Cleopatra. As Juan opens the door for them and their pets, he always tries to please, hoping that they may know of the door he is looking for. His helpfulness is increasingly abused, and poor Juan despairs. But Cleopatra and the other animals have been watching him, and they appoint him their leader. Thought now to be mad, Juan is consigned to a psychiatric ward, but the animals rescue him and together set off across the country to California, where they find the doors to the lands and waters of their dreams. But Juan--the ``only hope'' and ``great weapon'' of outsiders and the persecuted--can find no door. The parallels to Arenas's own life are obvious, but this richly imagined story--often witty despite the tragic undertones- -transcends such limits as it celebrates the defender of ideals, Juan the doorman. A fine memorial. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Buchbeschreibung New York, Grove Weidenfeld., 1991. First American Edition. 22cm x 15cm. 191 pages. Original hardcover with dustjacket in protective Mylar. Excellent condition. Arenas’s first work set in the United States breaks new ground with the story of a young Cuban refugee who becomes a doorman at a luxury apartment building. Oddly alienated from the tenants, he is seduced by their pets, who are determined to revolt against humans and human society. (Goodreads). Artikel-Nr. 81429AB