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As the police boat speeds across Miami's Biscayne Bay, the scene is set for Officer Nestor Camacho's great moment of heroism.

Except that in this feverous melting pot of a city, Nestor's one act of heroism can be seen as an utter betrayal of his Cuban roots. As Nestor's world disintegrates - his family disowns him, he can't get a Cuban coffee without ugly stares, and his girlfriend Magdalena leaves him for her sex-addiction psychiatrist boss - his quest to right the wrongs brings him into contact with the full panorama of modern Miami.

The Cuban mayor, a Yale-marinated journalist, the black police chief, a Haitian professor whose ambitions to be French are thwarted by his Creole-spouting son, the clueless baying art-buyers and an Anglo billionaire porn addict all come up for scrutiny in Tom Wolfe's high-energy, scrupulous and hilarious reckoning with our times.

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