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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings


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Must Read if going to Cuba

What did you love best about Havana Nocturne?

I wanted some background history of Cuba before I travel there but sometimes history can be dry. This book was fascinating--well written and well orated. It gave me a great perspective on the convoluted relationship the US and Cuba have had for decades. I had no previous idea of the role the American Mob played in their history. I have recommended this book to several friends.

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

Haven't but will in the future.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Marc
  • La Verkin, UT, United States
  • 12-05-12

Mob in Cuba, and how they where destroyed byEl Che

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes the mobs payoffs to goverment

What was one of the most memorable moments of Havana Nocturne?

JFK's time in Cuba

Which scene was your favorite?

the meeting Charlie lucky and friends

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


Any additional comments?

a great book about Cuba

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting history of gang mobsters in Havana

Would you listen to Havana Nocturne again? Why?

Would have to wait for couple months.

What did you like best about this story?

In depth background history of gang mobsters from 20s throujgh early 50s.

What does Mel Foster bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Pulls relationship of Myer Lansky et al with Fidel Castro. Very interesting dual path within one story

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

Havana rock n' roll, sex and drugs of the 30s-through 50s

Any additional comments?


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Craig
  • Tacoma, WA, United States
  • 08-09-10

Those of us who never saw this era, Mesmerizing!

I have always heard of the Cuban society as a mix of legend, cliche and myth and it was fascinating to me to get a glimpse of what the life and lifestyle was like.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fascinating American history

The book read like an engrossing novel. My husband and I read it together. Our dinner conversations became enjoyable mini-book club discussions. I highly recommend this book to those who are fascinated with the seamier side of Ameican history, and, of course, the American mob. Great book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Sun City, AZ, United States
  • 12-29-08

Excellent book on the Mob

It was a dream that almost came true for organized crime - a country of there own that could of opened the door to the rest of the world.
Like most people, my view of the near take over of Cuba by the Mob, was what I saw in the Godfather Part II. It's a case of the real events being ever better than that great movie. This book is an easy and powerful listen, that is loaded with all kinds of interesting tidbits that keeps you wanting to find more - and the author delivers. This is a very good listen, enjoy!

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Laurie
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 01-07-09

too long and pompous

The narrator's voice is irritating and he sounds like he is pontificating.
The english grammar and use of language is poor; original work needs to be better written and more importantly, better edited. A third could have been cut which would have greatly improved the story. As a Canadian, I don't mind the left wing point of view but the author throws statements out without sufficient detail to support his arguments or further his story. This can be very irritating.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • cort
  • Kensington, CA, United States
  • 03-21-09

An excellent history lesson

Offers a fascinating look into an interesting and important period, and provides a real challenge to those who think Castro is evil.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Havane Nocturne

“Havane Nocturne” is a very entertaining account of Havana mob and all intrigues that were going on in Cuba during the 50-es. It reads like Godfather. However, as far as political analysis of Castro revolution is concern, it is either very na?ve or misleading on purpose. There is no mention of the fact that revolution in Cuba was a communist revolution from the beginning. The author stubbornly avoids the reality that from the beginning Castro movement was supported by KGB both with money and arms and that Soviet advisors trained and advised Castro and his adherents. It is really indigenous that the author did not mention even once a huge role that the Soviet Union played in Cuban revolution. It is sad that the only word of wisdom in this book was spoken by old Meyer Lansky who realized right away that Castro regime would be a communist regime which would bring a lot of suffering, death, hunger, and economic disaster to the country. He said it based on his own experience.

26 of 44 people found this review helpful

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a good read before heading to Havana

fascinating story that captures the period and has lots of behind the scenes anecdotes. I would recommend it.