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Our Man in Havana | [Graham Greene]

Our Man in Havana

In a legendary novel that appears to predict the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Graham Greene introduces James Wormold, a vacuum cleaner salesman whose life in transformed when he is asked to join the British Secret Service. He agrees, and finds himself with no information to offer, so begins to invent sources and agencies which do not exist, but which appear very real to his superiors.
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Publisher's Summary

In a legendary novel that appears to predict the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Graham Greene introduces James Wormold, a vacuum cleaner salesman whose life in transformed when he is asked to join the British Secret Service. He agrees, and finds himself with no information to offer, so begins to invent sources and agencies which do not exist, but which appear very real to his superiors.

Then follow some very real events, such as undercover work and even murder attempts, all backed up by phantom chains of information and invented covert agencies.

An often light-hearted but massively important complete and unabridged audiobook, which makes many comments on present-day life despite being published over 50 years ago. The book was also made into a hit film starring Carol Reed and Alec Guinness in 1959, and has recently (2007) been the subject of a play adaptation staged in Guildford to a enthusiastic public reception.

©2008 CSA Word; (P)2009 CSA Word

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (168 )
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4.1 (145 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Diana 09-16-13
    Diana 09-16-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just About Perfect"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Our Man in Havana to be better than the print version?

    Although I am a Graham Greene fan, I haven't read Our Man in Havana in print. This performance was so wonderful, I look forward to listening to it again, but I may never try the print version after this.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Our Man in Havana?

    In a book full of wonderful ironies, the vacuum cleaner diagram cum weapon of mass destruction was utterly delightful.


    Have you listened to any of Jeremy Northam’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    A masterwork. I'll be sure to look for Jeremy Northam from now on.


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

    Cold War farce.


    Any additional comments?

    I am adding this to my list of books to be treasured and re-read and re-heard.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole Flemington, Australia 07-09-12
    Nicole Flemington, Australia 07-09-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Our Man in Havana"

    This was an audiobook that I didn't want to end: the story is amusing and entertaining, well written and it really brought the time and place to life. Jeremy Northam does an excellent job reading it, I'd like to hear more of his books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-12-12 Member Since 2015

    Audio books changed my life and they become more important with each passing year for me. My favorite categories include history, biography, and both classic and modern police procedurals.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Adding My Two-Cents on the Music!"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Why on earth the loud, disruptive music! I thought those days were over!


    If you’ve listened to books by Graham Greene before, how does this one compare?

    I enjoyed the other two much more - sans music!


    What didn’t you like about Jeremy Northam’s performance?

    So many of your British men have deep, gravely voices that are hard on the ears and not clear. The women are fine and British men without the ancient whiskey voices are great! I love the accents, but not the tobacco-damaged sound.


    Was Our Man in Havana worth the listening time?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    It was better as a book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Lewis DC 04-24-12
    E. Lewis DC 04-24-12

    sometime critic

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    "Fun to listen to"
    Would you listen to Our Man in Havana again? Why?

    Possibly -- it is amusing. Well read, amusing characters, amusing story. Not serious but still not too light weight. Good book, good reader.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Somewhat -- I did wonder what would happen next.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Do not remember


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    NO -- it was all amusing, as it is meant to be.


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent for someone who wants an amusing book well read -- but not silly and with some interest in who the people are and what is happening in Havana and London.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex 03-23-12
    Alex 03-23-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent story ruined by horrible music choice"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Eliminate the bad Cuban themed music.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Classic Graham Greene.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Jeremy Northam’s performances?

    Yes, as long as it does not have the same producer, or whoever chose the music.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yes, Graham Greene is excellent this is one of his best stories.


    Any additional comments?

    Whoever chose the Cuban music has either no taste, no understanding of this book, or some combination of the two. Very intrusive, ruined the mood. I had to stop listening to it.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Stratford, CT, United States 03-10-12
    Stephen Stratford, CT, United States 03-10-12 Member Since 2014
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    "The music is incredibly annoying"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I love Graham Greene and the narration is excellent, but the tacky music has no place in this book and is so intrusive that I am about to stop listening. Audible should monitor this sort of stuff and reject versions like this. Very disappointed.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john 04-19-15
    john 04-19-15
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    "good story & performance"

    music was awful. too much, too long & too loud. and there was no easy way just get past it. If I had known about the music I would not have bought this audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank S. Saltiel 04-15-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Classic post war spy tale"

    This story transports you to a unique time in world history when former British agents used there war experience to frame successful careers as novelists. The best example of which is Ian Fleming.
    Well read with perfect dry English humor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vova Shklovsky Richmond, VA 02-09-15
    Vova Shklovsky Richmond, VA 02-09-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Terrible music added for no purpose"
    Any additional comments?

    The book itself is good, and I liked the narrator.

    However, the bad music throughout the audiobook disrupted the experience. To reiterate, it is bad. It is repetitive. It is louder than the narration, so I had to change my volume back and forth. There is no reason for this to happen. Audible should push producers to fix such obnoxious mistakes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Laudig na 02-04-15
    Stephen Laudig na 02-04-15 Member Since 2014

    SteveLaudig

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    "Three times five stars but."

    They meant well with the music but it was jarring and clichéd and distracting. I would like to have an off music option.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 22 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Amazon Customer
    2/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Enjoyable"

    Not really sure where it was going to begin with but only complaint, too short.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dr Richard L Peacocke
    Poole, Dorset, UK
    2/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic pleasure"

    You can't get better than Graham Greene's Classic. A real pleasure beautifully voiced.

    This convoluted tale of self-serving manipulation and struggle loses none of its drive and appeal for being interpreted and voiced instead of read internally. Characters and situations are all faintly Caribbean-sweaty, redolent with memories for readers who have visited Cuba, as the struggle spirals and develops around them.

    It remains very relevant to the 21st Century. It is a powerful critique of the ruling cabal of the 1950s Civil Service from one of our Angry Young Men that has echoed down the years to find our country still held tight by Old Etonians, both in power and behind the scenes.

    Buy, listen, learn and, of course, enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John
    11/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Too many musical interludes!"
    What made the experience of listening to Our Man in Havana the most enjoyable?

    This excellent book is spoilt by the continual musical interlude after almost every change of scene/topic.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Our Man in Havana?

    None because of the annoying music


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes the repetitive music 'moved' me to switch off!


    Any additional comments?

    The book and the narration was excellent spoilt by that awful music. Can a version be done with the narration only?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sheena
    11/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable"
    If you could sum up Our Man in Havana in three words, what would they be?

    Amusing spy satire


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Our Man in Havana?

    Dr. Hasselbacher's drunken conversation with the American whom he decides is a figment of his imagination.


    Have you listened to any of Jeremy Northam’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I haven't.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it's not compulsive.


    Any additional comments?

    The music is TERRIBLE and I think it was the main reason I listened to it in stops and starts. It's used to signal the end of each chapter, and it gets repetitive very quickly, plus, it doesn't suit the mood a lot of the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Crispin
    Tufnell Park, United Kingdom
    11/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Entertainment"

    I love the vivid characters and humour. Very atmospheric and romantic, like a great black and white movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Helena
    SHEFFIELD, United Kingdom
    7/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quintessential Greene well read"

    Great story which I have read myself some years ago. Well read in style suited to Greene's writing. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Iain
    Altrincham, United Kingdom
    6/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thoroughly enjoyable."
    Would you listen to Our Man in Havana again? Why?

    Yes. Some of the language is brilliant and the characters are wonderfully realised.


    What about Jeremy Northam’s performance did you like?

    Well matched to the text.


    Any additional comments?

    The musical interludes used to indicate the settings in each chapter (Havana or London) were rather long, and jarred slightly, but this is a very minor issue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • FIona
    London, United Kingdom
    12/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Please cut the horrendous music"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I would have done anything to get rid of the hideous music that intruded loudly between every chapter & sometimes in the middle of chapters. Really awful.


    Have you listened to any of Jeremy Northam’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    He is absolutely brilliant. The book is beautifully read.


    Any additional comments?

    A brilliant book, superbly read. But dear god, whose idea was that GHASTLY music???

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    Sherburn Village, United Kingdom
    12/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unbearable music"

    Performance ruined by stupid musical interludes every few minutes that take you out of the story and disrupt the flow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • NH Stevens
    South Devon
    2/26/13
    Overall
    "The music helps a lot"

    Am I the only person who loved the musical intervals which distinguished events in London and Havana? Maybe because I was brought up on Cuban music (growing up near Miami) I thought it

    added mood and flavour to Jeremy Northam's brilliant reading of this hilarious satire. I'd love to know who composed the Cuban music.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 23 results PREVIOUS123NEXT

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