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)
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.
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...
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.
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