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Havana Nocturne Audiobook

Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba...and Then Lost It to the Revolution

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.
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Publisher's Summary

In Havana Nocturne, T. J. English offers a riveting, multifaceted true tale of organized crime, political corruption, roaring nightlife, revolution, and international conflict that interweaves the dual stories of the mob in Havana and the event that would overshadow it: the Cuban Revolution.

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Allan 07-01-15
    Allan 07-01-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Need-to-know Cuban-American history"
    Would you listen to Havana Nocturne again? Why?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Everything you need to know about what happened in Cuba, and the people who did it.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn 06-11-15
    Marilyn 06-11-15
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    9
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    "Covers both the Mob and Cuban history"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 05-25-15
    David 05-25-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Havana daydream"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Whitaker 05-11-15 Member Since 2013
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    8
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    "One history of Cuba"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HT 05-09-15
    HT 05-09-15
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    "Fascinating and entertaining history"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    1DrummingAddict Mount Juliet, TN 04-05-15
    1DrummingAddict Mount Juliet, TN 04-05-15 Member Since 2014

    I love just a few things... Family, Drumming, Baseball, and Intellect.

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    "Interesting story, VERY DETAILED!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rarosage 03-05-15
    rarosage 03-05-15 Member Since 2014
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    "great "

    so much detailed information. I will listen again! very interesting historical account of American/Cuban history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    samantha 03-04-15
    samantha 03-04-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Well written but not thrilling"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jeffrey 02-27-15
    jeffrey 02-27-15 Member Since 2014

    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.

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    "if you like history and mob tales, it's great"
    Would you listen to Havana Nocturne again? Why?

    no--I tend to only listen to books once


    What other book might you compare Havana Nocturne to and why?

    any mob history book....


    What about Mel Foster’s performance did you like?

    solid, even performance


    If you could give Havana Nocturne a new subtitle, what would it be?

    The Real Story of Godfather 2


    Any additional comments?

    Good listen, especially if you like history and the mob tales...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray West Deptford, NJ, United States 02-12-15
    Ray West Deptford, NJ, United States 02-12-15 Member Since 2013

    Retired Political Science professor from a community college. Especially like Legal Thrillers.

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    "GOOD HISTORICAL LOOK WELL WRITTEN"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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