Bringing together long-buried historical information and English's own research in Havana - including interviews with the era's key survivors - Havana Nocturne takes listeners back to Cuba in the years when it was a veritable devil's playground for mob leaders Meyer Lansky and Charles "Lucky" Luciano. Thanks to strong ties with the island's brutal dictator, President Batista, the mob soon owned the biggest luxury hotels and casinos and launched an unprecedented tourist boom.
But their dreams collided with those of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and others who would lead the country's disenfranchised to overthrow their corrupt government and its foreign partners - an epic cultural battle that English captures in all its sexy, decadent, ugly glory.
©2008 T. J. English; (P)2008 Tantor
"English's engaging narrative reads with the gripping quality of fiction: the dark underworld of Havana comes to life....Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
"Crime writer English...unfolds a story whose main outline will be familiar to any fan of The Godfather: Part II, but whose twists and turns no screenplay could keep up with." (Kirkus Reviews)
One great book!
not overly dramatic
Audible customers should not worry about the comments about the reader. I found him to be fine, not overly dramatic, which fits the book precisely, since it IS dramatic. This book is excellent- so well written and so fascinating. It kept me company on a long road trip, and I could not wait to get back behind the wheel. This story has it all: high drama, mob, politics, sex, money, and the assassination of JFK. And so well put together and researched. I'm recommending it to everyone.
Jeremy S. Williams
great read love the book and would definitely recommend it has great information and a good narrator
There is a version of Cuba, and over all the players in this part of Cuba's history, that is crafted and told as gospel by US media and culture; this book peals back that story and looks at how it all went down in the eyes of those who were there.
Not in an overly sympathetic way, nor overly critical, but with fascinating characters and in a way that makes unique connections between events that I thought I knew about.
I will admit that I'm a little embarrassed that I don't know much about u.s. and cuba relationship and this book provided a very interesting perspective that has stirred my interest and has prompted me to listen to more books concerning the history of Cuba and it's relationship to the U.S.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
Before this book I had, of course, heard that the Mob once had ties to Cuba, but I never realized the extent of that involvement. I found this historical account to be very engaging and, at times, even quite exciting. The most interesting element is the business acumen exercised by the mob bosses who ran the casinos in Cuba as lucrative profit making ventures; staying within the local laws and customs. Their skills, garnered through years of illegal operations in the United States, served them well in dealing with the warlords of the Cuban dictatorship. Had it not been for the revolution of Fidel Castro the mob may have built a Caribbean empire; a sovereign underworld nation.
Mel Foster’s narration is quite dramatic and many of the people are given accents that help to keep the figures straight.
I have listened to it again. Several times. Primarily for the analysis and opinion about an incredible, misunderstood period of American History. I felt enriched by knowing new things.
This was a story about the US Mafia, a dictator and the rise of Fidel Castro. It explains Cuba's unique evolution towards communism, some of the unknown story of Fidel, and the unbelievably ambitious activities of the Mafia. I really enjoyed the characters and the story. It's one of the real Gems of US history. You should not miss out on a good long gawk at this one. The portrayal of all the colorful/horrible mobsters can't be missed either. It's like Game of Thrones, except it's all real.
When Castro was tried in secret, and turned it to his advantage. He was (at that moment) possibly the cleverest lawyer on earth. Also: Brave as Hell. It does not surprise me at all he is Cuba's most notable leader.
Everything you need to know about what happened in Cuba, and the people who did it.
It never fails to impress me how intertwined we are with the culture and history of the nations that bound us. We believe ourselves to be an island, but we're not. This is one story is about the Americas - America in the larger sense - the company of nations.
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.
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