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The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love – Oscar Hijuelos

The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos


I do not really know what I was thinking when I picked up this book. Antonio Banderas? No, I am not a fan. The book cover? Not really. The Pulitzer? Could be.

This is the first Pulitzer winner that fell short of my expectations. I found it a huge drag. Read on if you are interested to find out why and if you wish to prove me wrong.

The Rhapsody

It’s such a struggle for me to write about something that I am either not fond of or not totally against. As far as I can recall, the novel is about two brothers who rise amidst various adversities to become musicians. I do not remember if they ever get a record deal, but I am sure that the novel is mostly about memoirs.

I think one of the brothers recently died while the other one is contemplating suicide inside a hotel room. Do not trust me with these details because I cannot clearly remember. I do not even remember their names. I could always use search engines to help me out, but that would defeat the purpose of this blog.

But there’s one thing that I am sure of. Thanks to this book, I learned the Spanish word for penis. Pinga. Pinga, pinga, pinga. Well, that is the vulgar translation, and this vulgar translation is peppered on the novel every after two pages or so. Everyone in this novel is obsessed with pinga, particularly the size of one’s pinga. Of course, the two brothers are well-endowed. I am not sure who has the longer one, but yes, one can get a mouthful. Or fistful, assful, vaginaful, if there are such words.

And I could go on and on about pingas. There’s sex here, there, in the car, in multitudes of hotel rooms, in dressing rooms, I think. I do not even recall who these girls are and what are they to the characters. I do remember one scene about the boys’ mother. No, this is not incestuous, but it’s something that disturbs me up to now. One of the brothers showed his erect penis to the unsuspecting mom during his pubertal stage. The mother feigned anger and chased that son to give him a spanking. Deep inside though, the mother was happy and proud, muttering that her son is already a man.

Huh? I know that this sense of happiness and pride exhibited by the mom is purely filial, but I still get bothered. I cannot ever show my erect penis to my mom and sisters. Well, me and my male cousins used to swap penis sizes when we were kids, but that’s it. That I understand, the curiosity with one’s sexuality, but not the act of showing a boner to your parents.

And another scene where one of the boys was masturbating in a bath tub filled with clear water. The semen spurted underneath the water’s surface like white octopus ink. White octopus ink. Those were the exact words. I might have disarranged them, like octopus ink in white or white ink of an octopus. Those three words are engraved in my mind, and the truth is, I am always reminded of this scene when I see porn in the shower or any body of water.

Perhaps that’s the only effect that this novel has on me.

1 star - didn't like itFinal Notes

Why are people obsessed with penis size? A lot of people always say that size does not matter. Performance does.

Performance does? Well, size does matter. People, particularly women with loving yet poorly endowed partners and men who were spared such a gift, resort to that excuse about performing above anything else. This issue on size should have been mundane long, long time ago, but since it matters, people cannot put it to rest. Even fictional heroes are portrayed with huge penises. I cannot think of any example, but I’m sure they are.

Can anyone even say without shame that hey, I’ve got a small dick? I do not think so, especially for the sake of telling the truth. And really, who, among all the men of the world, doesn’t want to have a good-sized penis?

Do you see now how this book affects me?


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