We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Waiting for Snow in Havana Audiobook

Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy

Regular Price:$34.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

National Book Award, Nonfiction, 2003

A childhood in a privileged household in 1950s Havana was joyous and cruel, like any other - but with certain differences. The neighbor's monkey was liable to escape and run across your roof. Surfing was conducted by driving cars across the breakwater. Lizards and firecrackers made frequent contact.

Carlos Eire's childhood was a little different from most. His father was convinced he had been Louis XVI in a past life. At school, classmates with fathers in the Batista government were attended by chauffeurs and bodyguards. At a home crammed with artifacts and paintings, portraits of Jesus spoke to him in dreams and nightmares. Then, in January 1959, the world changed: Batista was suddenly gone, a cigar-smoking guerrilla took his place, and Christmas was cancelled. The echo of firing squads was everywhere. And, one by one, the author's schoolmates begin to disappear - spirited away to the United States. Carlos would end up there himself, without his parents, never to see his father again.

Narrated with the urgency of a confession, Waiting for Snow in Havana is both an ode to a paradise lost and an exorcism. More than that, it captures the terrible beauty of those times when we are certain we have died - and then are somehow, miraculously, reborn.

©2003 Carlos Eire (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"As painful as Eire's journey has been, his ability to see tragedy and suffering as a constant source of redemption is what makes this book so powerful." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (120 )
5 star
 (44)
4 star
 (33)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (12)
Overall
3.8 (102 )
5 star
 (39)
4 star
 (29)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (11)
Story
3.9 (100 )
5 star
 (44)
4 star
 (28)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (12)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    J Conifer 06-25-13
    J Conifer 06-25-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    70
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing narrator"

    This National Book Award-winning memoir is a delight. Eire's observations of his time in Havana as a young boy growing up in a well-to-do family, before the revolution, reflect the unique perspective of youth on family and daily events yet also reveal glimpses into the future as a "lost boy" evacuated from Cuba shortly after Castro came into power. I loved his "voice" as the author, but I did not care at all for the reader's interpretation of the book. His mostly flat, predictably metered reading I found tedious. He did manage some different voices for the female characters and the odd sound effects. But I don't think he did the story justice. I would still recommend the book, just listen to a sample first to see if you're willing to spend so many hours with that voice.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ernie Bloomington, IL, United States 03-10-12
    Ernie Bloomington, IL, United States 03-10-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful"
    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Both, and for the same reasons... The people, the country, the times and the culture.


    Any additional comments?

    Just wonderful, I can finally recommend a book to my American friends that explains what we Cuban American immigrants really experienced in pre and post-revolutionary Cuba. I am so glad that this story is finally being told and hopefully understood.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LS Berkeley, CA. USA 02-10-16
    LS Berkeley, CA. USA 02-10-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poorly chosen narrator"

    I am the child of a Cuban immigrant and was very excited to listen to this book. The story is very different from my family's, as is every immigrant story. It was interesting, but I really struggled with the narrator. I'm sure he's great when imparting another story, but this one is told in the first person by someone who not only speaks Spanish as a first language, but throws Spanish words in throughout the story. Listening to a non-Spanish speaker say Spanish words with an audible American accent when playing the role of a native Spanish speaker was terrible. It constantly broke down the 4th wall and, for me, made the story difficult to listen to. Bad casting!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dataman 06-27-12
    Dataman 06-27-12

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    366
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    773
    41
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    29
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Like Watching a Stranger's Home Videos"
    Any additional comments?

    I have read numerous books on Cuba, the Cuban Revolution, the principle players at the time and the part America played in it. While mildly amusing at times, I found this book to be historically incorrect at times and just plain boring. After struggling to the end of the book, I was just glad it was over.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pippin 06-07-16
    pippin 06-07-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "disappointing narrator"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I had trouble with the narration style and found myself constantly getting pulled out of the story by the overly theatrical narrator.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I am very interested in Cuban history, so probably another book within this genre.


    What didn’t you like about David Drummond’s performance?

    His narration style is overly theatrical and does not capture the magic of the Spanish language.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I didn't listen to the whole book, I found it to be very slow.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.C.D. 07-09-16
    J.C.D. 07-09-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    240
    214
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A POIGNANT RICHES TO RAGS STORY"
    What did you love best about Waiting for Snow in Havana?

    The glimpse of what life was like for the upper class living in Havana before Castro took over. Carlos believed his life was beautiful and would stay that way. It dramatically changed when he left Cuba with nothing.


    What other book might you compare Waiting for Snow in Havana to and why?

    This book could be the Latino version of Angela's Ashes except the story is in reverse. First he enjoys a great life only to leave cuba to be thrown to the bottom of the heap. Treated with deference in his own country, Carlos is greeted in Florida by being called "spic."


    Which character – as performed by David Drummond – was your favorite?

    Carlos - he grew, he suffered, but he retained his sense of humor.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There were some touching parts. He never really explained the hold Ernesto had over their father. If it was blackmail. he should have said so. Although his story is touching, it certainly could have survived without a lot of the philosophizing. that seemed to increase as the the story progressed.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheridan 06-01-16
    Sheridan 06-01-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    "Good, not great. "

    It was good. A little hard to follow at times because he would jump from memory to memory. I also wish he would have talked more about leaving Cuba but that might be the next book. my husband's family is Cuban so I love this kind of stuff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn 07-25-15
    Marilyn 07-25-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I liked it more as it went along."

    This is the third book on Cuba I have read since my recent trip there. I thought the narration was excellent, both for the first person and the voices of the other characters. I don't really see why others did not like the narrator.

    At times the story wandered a bit, but I am sure it was intentional to illustrate the wandering of the boy's mind. I am not able to comment on the historical accuracy, but since this is a memoir, I take it to be the way the author remembers it. Lots of funny and interesting personal stories set within the larger issue of Cuba. Nostalgic for anyone brought up in the 1950's. It covers a lot of ground in the author's life, and does jump back and forth a bit, but there is no problem following what is going on. Definitely entertaining and a wonderful peek into the past of the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rose White Weston, Florida 02-10-15
    Rose White Weston, Florida 02-10-15 Member Since 2012

    Rose

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Reliving my lost childhood"

    Thank you Carlos for making me go deep into my Cuban Abyss.... I loved how you described in vivid detail our childhood, the lost and gain ..... I left in 1961 and have never returned. Your book is beautifully written

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan J. Bethanis San Francisco, CA USA 01-21-15
    Susan J. Bethanis San Francisco, CA USA 01-21-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So poetic!"

    Very much was moved by this book. So many juicy metaphors and the reading was terrific!

    I binged listened, and can't wait to go to Cuba in two months!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.