Having just returned from a trip to Cuba I was interested in learning more about the country, particularly as related to the US. This book provided a fascinating look at both, with wonderful detailed digressions and details about the various characters, both Cuban and the American gangsters. I thought the narrator was perfect for this story- it deserves a deep, full voice. Great descriptions of the action, the people and the surroundings.
Go on a trip to the golden days, swinging nightclubs, and luxurious casinos of Havana. The swirl of sex and music echo from the Tropicana, Riviera, and the Capri into the streets. The good times & money are flowing. Learn the true story of how the mob was behind the entire Cuban boom. Hear interesting stories of how Frank Sinatra, JFK, Pan Am airline, and Hilton all had connections to Lansky and his "Havana mob." - Interesting story that captivates the listener w/descriptions of a dazzling era, while still educating about the events leading to the revolution.
Full of interesting characters but a little repetitive and, while it may be accurate, a really jaded story of corruption in Cuba.
I would recommend for those of us who want to visit.
I didn't know what to expect, but this book exceeded my expectations. It's a detailed perspective rarely heard about the U.S. History in Cuba and the political and economic ties with the U.S. Mob.
I love just a few things... Family, Drumming, Baseball, and Intellect.
Very detailed information, at times far too detailed. Some of the tangents are a little too distant from the story line.
The narration is a little too slow. But that's rectified by playing the book at x1.25 speed.
This was good a good historical accounting of what happened in Cuba. I didn't know the history of the mob and Castro but I personally was hoping for a more salacious story.
Father of three with no time to actually read, but also a former history teacher and current attorney with a long commute-I love audiobooks.
no--I tend to only listen to books once
any mob history book....
solid, even performance
The Real Story of Godfather 2
Good listen, especially if you like history and the mob tales...
I would make it less about the facts and figures and more about the beauty of the island and the people, the night life, the glitz and glamour.
Something less historical. This makes two in a row about Latin countries that failed to bring the local feel I was after.
Stop reading it.
Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!
I love the word 'nocturne'. Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines it as "a work of art dealing with evening or night; especially a dreamy pensive composition for the piano." T. J. English uses the title "Havana Nocturne" to refer to the Havana that the American mob dreamed up, created and nourished, only to have it crushed by revolution.
If Havana from the end of World War II until 1959, was a work of art, Meyer Lansky was a mobster who didn't play games of chance, and the artist who gambled on building a Mecca the Pearl of the Antilles. Lansky was the money man who shrewdly pegged Fulgencio Batista, an up and coming Cuban military officer, as a potential ally in developing Havana. Batista was an elitist snob, easily corrupted - and became President and then military dictator of Cuba.
A more prescient man might have put his money on Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul. "Havana Nocturne" profiles Fidel's radicalization, imprisonment and release, and revolutionary rise. Fidel's ascent caused Batista's fall, and sent the mob scuttling out of Havana and back to Florida, leaving vast luxury state of the art hotels to decay in an era of embargo. Cuban sex workers, card sharps, and pit bosses stayed behind, too. Lansky literally lost his mistress in 1959 - as in, the revolution happened, she moved from the apartment he had her ensconced in, and he never found her again.
If Havana was a work of art, it was a tawdry, glitzy, sometimes crass nouveau riche creation of an accountant. Lansky may have had unorthodox methods to solve problems (he had muscle that straight businessmen only dream about) but he was essentially a CFO. He lacked an appreciation for a subtle, nuanced approach to tourism or business. Now that economic relationships are being normalized, it will be interesting to see what happens with former mob holdings that Fidel nationalized.
T. J. English's analysis of the rise and fall of mob gaming as it paralleled the rise of Cuban communism was an elegant study in contrasts."Havana Nocturne" sounds like a well researched work. Audible narrations don't generally have footnotes, but sources were referenced in the text.
The title of this review comes from a con game played in Havana: unsuspecting would-be gamblers were seduced into fraudulent bets by seemingly innocent but admiring and enthusiastic locals. Lansky thought he'd successfully run that show out of Cuba.
The narration was fine, but there's a pretty vexing editing problem. Chapters 6 and 7 repeat as Audible Chapters 8 and 9. It took me a bit to figure out what happened - I thought I'd somehow rewound. So, mentally knock off almost 2 hours from the book.
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