Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
May 02, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Monkey Hunting

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Cristina Garcia
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B-

The author of Dreaming in Cuban begins with the promise of an epic. After all, only a full-blown saga would open with a family tree to help readers keep all the characters straight; only an enormously ambitious tale would span a century, interweaving the lives of a Chinese emigre in Cuba rising from slavery to riches, his forgotten granddaughter (raised as a boy in China), and his great-grandson, serving in the Vietnam War. But while Hunting is imaginative and well-written, Garcia allows herself only 251 pages to tell her story, which makes this feel less like a big, important novel than a beautifully rendered outline for one.

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