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Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2004-01-15)
ISBN-10/ISBN-13: 0374299862 / 9780374299866
Amazon.com Sales Rank: 735051
A 2004 Vacation Reading (selected by The New York Times)
“Bill Wyeth, hero of this thriller-cum-social-satire novel, is a rising young New York lawyer and master of the universe when an accident ruins his prospects; disgraced and out of work, he becomes involved in a peculiar real estate deal and (eventually) in a subterranean private bar, the Havana Room, where strange goings-on go on.”
The Havana Room is the tale of a man from his fall from the heights of power and wealth in New York to the moment where he might well die.
Bill Wyeth is a successful real-estate attorney in his late thirties with a wife and son, who, by the merest chance, loses everything: family, job, status. Unmoored and alone, Wyeth drifts toward the city's darker corners. Restoration seems unlikely, redemption impossible, when Wyeth finds himself in an old-time Manhattan steakhouse. He is intrigued by the manager, Allison Sparks--sexy, complicated, and independent in all ways. She also controls access to the restaurant's private bar. This is the Havana Room, and what goes on in there, he's told, is secret.
Wyeth agrees to help Alison's friend, Jay Rainey, in concluding a last-minute midnight real-estate transaction. As soon as he sees the players and the paperwork, Wyeth knows something is wrong.
Within hours, Wyeth finds himself tangled in Rainey's peculiar obsessions, which involve a Chilean businessman who feels he's been swindled, an old farmer frozen dead to a bulldozer, an outrageous black owner of a downtown hiphop club, and a fourteen-year-old English girl. Only Rainey knows the connections among these people, which are revealed when Wyeth is finally admitted to the Havana Room--where the survival of its inhabitants is most uncertain.
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