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Havana: An Earl Swagger Novel
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER85% (9)
Outgunning all others in the arena of razor-edged action and sheer guts, New York Times bestselling author Stephen Hunter plunges Earl Swagger deep into a steamy underworld of power, politics, and blood. . . .
Cuba, 1953: The island is on fire.
The Mafia-run casinos are rolling, and it’s just a 30-minute flight from Miami to a world of vice, gambling, sex, and drugs. The money is there for anyone who knows how to get it, including the Cuban government and the police, who want to keep their ally Uncle Sam happy. There’s only one threat to this corrupt utopia: a silver-tongued, daring young revolutionary named Fidel Castro. With the Cold War under way, the Soviet Union has sent a sophisticated veteran agent to find and support the young upstart. To counter, the CIA has summoned Medal of Honor–winning ex–Marine sergeant Earl Swagger, whose heroic exploits have earned him the reputation of a man who doesn’t know how to lose. But he’s not just going to find Castro. . . .
He’s going to kill him.
The field of male fantasy fiction receives a generous literary boost with the publication of Havana, Stephen Hunter's third novel (following Hot Springs and Pale Horse Coming) to feature straight-shooting ex-Marine and Arkansas state policeman Earl Swagger.
Reluctantly leaving his wife and hero-worshipping son at home, Swagger flies off to Cuba in 1953 to act as a bodyguard for "Boss" Harry Etheridge, a rainmaking Southern congressman who proposes investigating the influence of New York gangsters on the Guantanamo Naval Base. Almost as soon as his lungs fill with the humid Caribbean air, Swagger regrets accepting this assignment. Not only must he contend with posturing, backstabbing U.S. intelligence agents, but Boss Harry proves to be both incautiously lustful (forcing Earl to rescue him from a Havana brothel confrontation) and a big target for mobsters who don't want American politicians or anyone else upsetting the profitable criminal equilibrium of Batista-era Cuba. Swagger exacerbates the risk to his longevity by agreeing to help the U.S. government assassinate Cuba's revolutionary darling of the moment, Fidel Castro--a task that will pit this Arkansas lawman against a disenchanted Russian killer who's been charged with protecting and mentoring the 26-year-old agitator.
Given Swagger's well-established weaponry skills, it's hardly surprising that Havana is peppered with tightly choreographed shootouts, both on dusty country roads and in a Zanja Street porno theater full of moaning patrons. That's the male fantasy part; this novel's literary inclination shows in its portrayal of Havana as a richly decadent city full of shiny-fendered Cadillacs, jaded whores, and casinos flushing money onto Florida-bound boats. While Ernest Hemingway and mob boss Meyer Lansky make cameo appearances here, only Castro leaves much of an impression, whether he's bumbling through an attack on a military barracks or defending himself against a father who thinks him lazy, vain, and "womanly" ("I am between opportunities, but I swear to you, I am a man of destiny"). Although Swagger's climactic gunfight tests the limits of credibility, Havana remains an unusually substantive page-turner, expertly blending hostilities with humor and heart. --J. Kingston Pierce
Havana (spanelsky: San Cristobal de La Habana, obvykle zkracovano na La Habana, IPA: [la a??ana]) je hlavni mesto Kuby prezdivane jako Pariz Karibiku. Zaroven je 2,2 miliony obyvatel nejvetsim mestem teto zeme. Nachazi se pouze 160 km jizne od floridskeho Key Westu. Mesto Havana je jednou ze 14 kubanskych provincii. Podle udaju z roku 2002 ma 2 201 610 obyvatel. Mesto je na seznamu svetovych pamatek UNESCOHavana Café
Michelle apreciando meu Irish Coffee. Estavamos numa das franquias do Cafe Havana, no Porto Madero, Buenos Aires. Sim, e claro, acompanhado de um belo Alfajor..
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When Havana was released in 1990, a lot of reviewers unfavorably compared it to Casablanca, and those comparisons (in addition to audience indifference) turned the film into a box-office disaster. It deserved a better fate, because, while this is certainly no masterpiece, it's an intelligent and lavishly produced film about a chapter of history--the final days of Cuba under the collapsing Batista regime--that remains largely unfamiliar to the American mainstream. It's a compelling political backdrop for the story of a high-stakes gambler (Robert Redford) who comes to Cuba seeking the big score in poker games, following his expectation that high rollers will bet wildly as the Cuban government crashes around their heads. In Havana, Redford meets the wife (Lena Olin) of a Communist revolutionary (Raul Julia) with ties to Fidel Castro, and their attraction becomes powerfully mutual after her husband is presumed killed by Cuban police. What follows, as Cuba falls and Redford's character is forced into a crisis of conscience, is a mini-epic love story with tragic overtones, handled with great skill (albeit lagging pace) by long-time Redford collaborator Sydney Pollack. True, it's not nearly as memorable as Casablanca, but this is a worthwhile film, especially if you're interested in the political upheavals in pre-Castro Cuba. --Jeff Shannon
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