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Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba... and Then Lost It to the Revolution Paperback – 1 Jun 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 396 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; Reprint edition (Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061712744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061712746
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 381,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"Spellbinding prose.Havana Nocturne is a powerful reminder of how the mob nearly achieved its biggest payday and how Castro beat the house, forever changing the course of history." -- San Antonio Express-News

"[An] entertaining new book.by veteran crime writer T.J. English" -- New York Post

"All the razzle-dazzle is here-Sinatra, the black sedans, the showgirls-but English goes further, to show how gangsterismo permeated the politics of Cuba and influenced its destiny." -- The Scotsman

"Engaging..English's brand of narrative is history, and he aims to set the record straight." -- Miami Herald

"[An] excellent new book.. [English] provides a detailed account of the personalities and elements that made up Cuban life. His well-researched descriptions of how business, gambling, politics, revolution, music and religion all played off each other give Havana Nocturne a broad context and a knowledgeable edge." -- Washington Post

"Crime writer English (Paddy Whacked) 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

"[An] excellent new book.... [English] provides a detailed account of the personalities and elements that made up Cuban life. His well-researched descriptions of how business, gambling, politics, revolution, music and religion all played off each other give Havana Nocturne a broad context and a knowledgeable edge."--Washington Post

"English's engaging narrative reads with the gripping quality of fiction: the dark underworld of Havana comes to life....Highly recommended."--Library Journal

"It's a roaring story, equal parts fact and myth, and for the first time, it gets told in its violent entirety by no less a crime scribe than T.J. English...compellingly telling."--Miami Sun Post

"Finally, the definitive book has been written on the Mob's heyday in Cuba. Havana Nocturne is at once compelling and incisive--an entertaining page-tuner that will both shock and inform."--Sam Giancana, author of Double Cross

"Sex and drugs and rockin' mambo! Havana Nocturne is a dazzling parade through the Mob's interests in Cuba. A must for Mob fans everywhere."--Legs McNeil, author of The Other Hollywood and Please Kill Me

"All the razzle-dazzle is here--Sinatra, the black sedans, the showgirls--but English goes further, to show how gangsterismo permeated the politics of Cuba and influenced its destiny."--The Scotsman

"A tight storyteller, English provides a juicy mix of true crime and political intrigue, all set against the sexy sizzle of Havana nightlife."--San Francisco Chronicle

"Spellbinding prose...Havana Nocturne is a powerful reminder of how the mob nearly achieved its biggest payday and how Castro beat the house, forever changing the course of history."--San Antonio Express-News

"Engaging....English's brand of narrative is history, and he aims to set the record straight."--Miami Herald

"[An] entertaining new book...by veteran crime writer T.J. English"--New York Post

"A whiz-bang account of the Mafia's short-lived romp through 1950s Cuba."--New York Times Book Review

"While Havana Nocturne makes you glad that Batista and his gangster pals ultimately got what they deserved, it also makes you regret never having gotten the chance to soak up a few mojitos while catching the floor show at the old Tropicana."--Village Voice

"True-crime writer English (Paddy Whacked) presents an empire-building saga in which the "Havana Mob" of American gangsters, led by visionary financier Meyer Lansky, controlled Cuba."--Publishers Weekly

A whiz-bang account of the Mafia s short-lived romp through 1950s Cuba. --New York Times Book Review"

While Havana Nocturne makes you glad that Batista and his gangster pals ultimately got what they deserved, it also makes you regret never having gotten the chance to soak up a few mojitos while catching the floor show at the old Tropicana. --Village Voice"

A tight storyteller, English provides a juicy mix of true crime and political intrigue, all set against the sexy sizzle of Havana nightlife. --San Francisco Chronicle"

[An] excellent new book. [English] provides a detailed account of the personalities and elements that made up Cuban life. His well-researched descriptions of how business, gambling, politics, revolution, music and religion all played off each other give Havana Nocturne a broad context and a knowledgeable edge. --Washington Post"

Engaging .English s brand of narrative is history, and he aims to set the record straight. --Miami Herald"

It s a roaring story, equal parts fact and myth, and for the first time, it gets told in its violent entirety by no less a crime scribe than T.J. English compellingly telling. --Miami Sun Post"

Spellbinding prose Havana Nocturne is a powerful reminder of how the mob nearly achieved its biggest payday and how Castro beat the house, forever changing the course of history. --San Antonio Express-News"

[An] entertaining new book by veteran crime writer T.J. English --New York Post"

Crime writer English (Paddy Whacked) 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"

True-crime writer English (Paddy Whacked) presents an empire-building saga in which the Havana Mob of American gangsters, led by visionary financier Meyer Lansky, controlled Cuba. --Publishers Weekly"

English s engaging narrative reads with the gripping quality of fiction: the dark underworld of Havana comes to life....Highly recommended. --Library Journal"

Sex and drugs and rockin mambo! Havana Nocturne is a dazzling parade through the Mob s interests in Cuba. A must for Mob fans everywhere. --Legs McNeil, author of The Other Hollywood and Please Kill Me"

All the razzle-dazzle is hereSinatra, the black sedans, the showgirlsbut English goes further, to show how gangsterismo permeated the politics of Cuba and influenced its destiny. --The Scotsman"

Finally, the definitive book has been written on the Mob s heyday in Cuba. Havana Nocturne is at once compelling and incisive an entertaining page-tuner that will both shock and inform. --Sam Giancana, author of Double Cross"

All the razzle-dazzle is here Sinatra, the black sedans, the showgirls but English goes further, to show how gangsterismo permeated the politics of Cuba and influenced its destiny. --The Scotsman"

About the Author

T. J. English is a noted journalist, a screenwriter, and the author of the New York Times bestsellers Havana Nocturne, Paddy Whacked, and The Savage City, as well as of The Westies, a national bestseller, and Born to Kill, which was nominated for an Edgar Award. He has written for Vanity Fair, Playboy, and Esquire, among other publications. His screenwriting credits include episodes of the television crime dramas NYPD Blue and Homicide, for which he was awarded the Humanitas Prize. He lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first visited Havana in 1988 and was lucky enough to live their for most of the 1990's and the spirit of the 1950's was everywhere. Due to the lack of modern consumer goods during that time household items, furniture, cars, and many other things from before the revolution were still in use. Older Cubans told me stories of the casinos, movie stars, gangsters and the pleasures and horrors of life under the dictator Batista. I remember attending a party once in Frank Sinatra's former house in Miramar, seeing a storeroom where hundreds of old slot machines were held, reading old copies of the Havana Post... I lived in the Vedado district very close to the hotels which housed the casinos which were the focal point of the gambling industry. Nearly all of Havana's older hotels - Nacional, Riviera, Capri, Havana Libre - feature heavily in this book. These are the places where the gangsters lived and conducted their business and are still popular today with tourists.

So I have always had a great interest in this period of Cuban history and was very keen to read this book. I was not to be disappointed as the book is well researched and very readable marred only by a few out of place turns of phrase (why use profanity in serious work of non fiction?) and some evidence of padding. The account of the events of January 1st 1959, when Batista fled the island, are particularly compelling.

If you have an interest in the American gangsters, Cuba, or have lived in Havana, or stayed in the hotels featured then I can heartily recommend this book. When it comes out in paperback this would be a great read for the flight to your next Cuban holiday!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
..a great book and well researched with plenty of interesting accounts by the people that lived through this exciting time in Cubas turbulent history ! A fantastic insight !
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very intereting if one iwants to learn about Cuba before Castro. Also very well written and entertaining.I recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Engaging and informative. The research that supports this work is impressive. A page turning piece of not so distant history where many of the places mentioned can still be found in one form or another.
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Bought a this book after a holiday to Cuba and stayed at the Hotel Nacional in Havana. Very interested in the history of this hotel and of Cuba & the Mafia. Have quickly read parts of interest and now starting at the beginning, of what I think will be a very enjoyable read.
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