On a hot night in Havana Harbor, U.S. marines sleep on the deck of the USS Maine as the sound of rumba music drifts across the water. Then, in a flash, the Maine is blown to pieces. Now a bloody carnaval of war, nations, and schemers is exploding on the dusty, sugar-rich island of Cuba.
Master storyteller Elmore Leonard breaks new ground in this rip-roaring novel, a rollicking jaunt into history that sizzles with the passion of lovers, the violence of nations, and the courage of freedom fighters crying out to their firing squads: "Viva Cuba Libre!"
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Elmore Leonard has a long track record of creating memorable characters--enough to bring life to many movies, the two most notable being Get Shorty and Jackie Brown(based on Leonard's Rum Punch). Both are pretty good movies, but the novels are much better. Today Leonard writes mostly "crime" novels, labeled as such because his characters struggle to be good in a world so full of temptation that some kind of crime is always involved.
Cuba Libre finds Leonard reaching for a broader audience than those which appreciated either his crime novels or the westerns he once wrote, which he accomplishes by combining elements of both. Ben Tyler is a cowboy who robs banks, but only those that contain money of people who owe but won't pay him--he only takes what they owe. Charlie Burke is a businessman who buys horses cheap in the west, then sells them to exporters, while heroine Amelia Brown is the mistress of one of the truly bad men in the novel and struggles with dilemmas similar to those endured by other cast members.
Begining around the time that the Maine is sunk in Havana Harbor and ending when Teddy and others storm San Juan Hill, the story is at its best when its colorful characters are turned loose in one of the novel's colorful settings. If you like Leonard, you'll love Cuba Libre, and if--for some reason--you haven't yet discovered the author, prepare for a real treat.From the Back Cover:
"Explosive...exciting...keeps the reader glued to the pages."
"There is so much good storytelling in this novel...there are few writers who can match Leonard when it comes to narrative moves, none who write dialogues that say so little and mean so much."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"Elmore Leonard's most exciting book in years."
--The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times Bestseller
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Book Description Apr 01, 1999. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # cubalibre