FLUSH TIMES by Warren Miller


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Warren Miller is the author of The Way We Live Now. The Cool World and 90 Miles From Home. Flush Times is set in Cuba just before the revolution and it is a novel of decadence. Jonathan Weller, a New Yorker of liberal instincts, comes to Havana accompanying his estranged wife who has arranged an abortion there. Afterwards he stays on out of lethargy and becomes involved with a group of moral and legal fugitives from the U.S. who are variously connected with gambling, narcotics and prostitution. Through these gangsters and degenerates Jonathan meets Celia, an 18 year old Chinese Cuban, with whom he falls in love though the future of the alliance is bleak. In spite of the racial difficulties, Celia becomes a lifeline for Jonathan and when she is kidnapped and executed by Batista's police he almost goes under. Spiritually, only half-alive, he is eventually killed himself, ludicrously, by the jealous lover of his new girl-friend. As a documentary of pre-Castro Cuba -- the ""whore-house of the Car"". Flush Times serves its purpose well. As for Jonathan Weller; there is nothing in his record to suggest that he ever had anything to lose. From the beginning he was just a guilty bystander.

Publisher: Little, Brown