Frequently Auto-Approved
Reviews Published Challenge Participant

Sunday, July 10, 2011

No Way Home by Carlos Acosta

The troubles of Lee Cunxin (Mao's Last Dancer) were bad, but seem like almost nothing when they are compared with those of the famous ballet star, Carlos Acosta.  This book made my hair stand on end!<br/><br/>Born in a poor area of Havana, Acosta overcame terrible conditions to become a ballet dancer.  He really wanted to be a footballer so he played truant from his first school and played football and joined breakdancing groups.  His father gave him a good thrashing when he found out.  Luckily, another school accepted him.  Once Acosta was inspired by going to the ballet, he decided to put up with his coackroach-ridden shed in a swamp, absence from his family, and long bus-rides to school. His teachers saw his potential and helped begin to achieve his ambitions.

These weren't his only problems.  His father was injured in a car accident which worsened his already bad temper.  His mother suffered a stroke at only 35 and one of his sisters was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia.  It was almost too much for anyone to cope with.  Acosta must have had supreme inner strength and determination, however.  He was also spurred on by his father who wanted to help him get ahead.

This is probably the most miserable book that I've ever read! It becomes somewhat happier when Acosta starts becoming successful.  It's interesting to see how he copes with life in the wealthy West and isolation.  He describes the contrast between Cuba and the West well. In spite of the poverty of Cuba and his father's bad temper, Acosta  longs for his family and his country, but he wants to become famous in other countries.

It's certainly an emotionally powerful story and it's well-written and easy to read.  Acosta's very honest as well.  He gives a lot of details about his love life which makes the book spicier and even more interesting.

No comments: