Retired Political Science professor from a community college. Especially like Legal Thrillers.
Although I had lived during the Cuban Revolution, I had only a vague understanding of its circumstances. I was unaware that organized crime was really running the economy of the island. I had heard that Meyer Lansky was the Jewish Treasurer of the mob but didn't know how much of his influence was centered on Cuba. I also was unaware of the rivalry between Havana and Las Vegas.
I found the book well researched and entertaining. It is too bad that Fidel Castro didn't take his fortunate opportunity to turn the island into a true democracy. Unfortunately he turned out to be little better than his predecessor, although he did get rid of the Mob influence. Havana, the Mob, gambling and sex are the main themes of the book.
Fascinating subject matter turned largely in to a dry slog.
The last 1/3 of the book salvages the rest. As the threat of revolution becomes real, Castro is closing in and the mob is imploding-it all makes for an exciting story. The prior 2/3 felt largely like a dry inventory of facts and figures.
ANYONE. Absolutely no sense of drama. And his voice grates-the guy needs a cough drop and an espresso.
I will go out of my way to avoid this narrator in the future. The last 1/3 of the book tips the scales to make it worth while.
This is an amazing and unusual story. It is primarily about how the mob ran Havana's casino business, but this story is inseparable from the story of the Cuban Revolution that ended it all. It's a great piece of history to learn about, especially given recent events between the US and Cuba.
Some listeners complained about the plain delivery style. I would agree that it is pretty dry, but it didn't bother me. It is non-fiction, after all.
My only complaint about the narration is that it was not done by a native Spanish speaker. The narrator learned the basic rules, so it wasn't the worst I've heard. But can be a little challenging to unravel some of the the names of songs and people (for example, in the song title "Como Fue", somehow "fue" ends up having two syllables).
Overall, I highly recommend it. The subject matter is of course, at least R-rated. It would not be a good choice for your family vacation with elementary-school kids.
This is a well told historical narrative of the American mobs involvement in Cuba following WWII, and goes up until the Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro. I enjoyed the entire book.
I decided to use my time being laid up to get smarter! In 18 months I've listened to over 200 books, mostly history, literature & biography.
Cuban mafia vs Fidel Castro
So much to learn. The last line said the mobsters wanted Havana to be a party that never ended but turned out to be a hangover.
The narrator butchered both the Spanish and the English, but other than that was passable as a storyteller.