Light-years away from the baroque narrative scrollwork of his earlier Three Trapped Tigers, Cabrera Infante's new book is a grave, unspecified, highly imagistic collage of his native Cuba's history from the Spanish destruction of the Indians, through the wars of independence, dictatorships, and the Castro revolution, to the thwarted freedom today. ""In what other country of the world is there a province named Matanzas, meaning 'Slaughter'?"" Spurred on by old maps, engravings, historical accounts, photographs, and modern testimonies, Cabrera Infante provides scenes of cruel uprisings, racism, coups d'Ã‰tat, and the prevailing Cuban sensualism that makes them all somehow connected. His own point-of-view: that of a disillusioned revolutionary, now anti-Castroist. With no continuing characters--not even any names--these terse vignettes are somewhat intriguing but move on to the next image before we've even begun to become involved. Thus, the book, with its air of ""historical intuition,"" is more that of a sniper than a marksman. Interesting--especially for observers of Latin American literary/ political interaction--but ultimately obscure and vague.