Testifying to the squalor and sensuality of contemporary Cuba with bold simplicity and sharp humor, Pedro Juan Gutiérrez's semi-autobiographical fiction tells the story of Pedro Juan, an ex-radio journalist who wanders from one odd job to the next, half disgusted and half fascinated by the depths to which he has sunk. Survival-and sex-are all that matters in the crumbling city of Havana, and Pedro Juan throws himself wholeheartedly into the pursuit of both. Working as a garbageman, dealing on the black market, clearing undesirables off the streets, selling marijuana, or hustling old lady tourists, Pedro Juan struggles just to feed himself. (Sex comes more easily, since no one has anything better to do.) In between adventures, up in his ramshackle room on the rooftop of a building overlooking the Caribbean, Pedro Juan contemplates his fate and that of the city around him. Chronicling his protagonist's exploits in a novel made up of interconnected short stories, Gutiérrez's episodic picaresque brings Havana electrically to life.