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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 1 September 2012
if you are looking for an author who writes in poetic prose and does so so excellently then this is your book! He writes in a meandering and day dreamingly way that a lot of children think and I loved reading his insight into an unusual childhood to say the least. You can argue that he was just some rich kid who lost everything, but this book isn't about that... Without a doubt, Carlos Eire more than any other writer has influenced the way I write. Just read the opening paragraph and you'll be hooked... the finishing paragraph is also just as daydreaming-ly good!
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on 7 November 2003
Having been to Cuba earlier this year, I read this book whilst on holiday. You can see both sides to the story - the way property and possession were taken for the more affluent of society for what was meant to be for the good of the poorer people, although I am sure they never saw any of the worth. Having visited the museum of the revolution (now I might have been brain washed here so forgive me) you can understand why the revolution took place. Carlos Eire wrote this book in such a way that you know him and his family and you can empathise with them all. I was truely saddened when he and his brother where shipped off to a cold heartless America and saddened for him that he is unable to return to Cuba whilst Fidel is still in existance. I loved the book and I missed Carlos when I had finished it.
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'Waiting For Snow in Havana' is the disjointed memoir of Carlos Eire. Although it is marketed as a Cuban memoir, it is more about childhood in general, in a Cuban setting. A great deal of the events told here could be from any childhood, in any country. Things like throwing stones at each other and fighting in school could come from any boys childhood. Saying that, the aspects of Cuban life that are touched upon, more so in the second half of the book, are insightful into life in Cuba when Fidel took control and the revolution changed life in Cuba forever. The reason why I say this is disjointed is because it flicks back and forth in time and thus the chronology gets confusing at times. Never the less, this is an interesting book, written in a unique style that will keep you engaged with what is being told and gives some idea of life in revolutionary Cuba, especially from a young boys point of view. A solid three stars, good, but not excellent.

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on 7 October 2007
Carlos Eire wrote an extremely well written memoir. He write's about his childhood in Havana. He gives us vivid pictures of Havana at the time and of the colorful inhabitants of his neighborhood. The world of Havana through the eyes of a child.

The wide eyed wonder in which we see this marvelous world called Havana, makes us stop and wonder. Is this a memoir or novel. The writting of child like innocence is so real. How can we remember it. Of course, this is about Mr. Erie's childhood, during the 50's and 60's. So we also get to see the growing darkness and fear brought about by the great revolution brought about by Fidel Castro...and how all their lives were changed.

It will also let you see why so many Cuban's fled that beautiful island for the USA. Most hoping it would only be a temporary seperation from family and homeland. I not only understood what life was like both before and after Castro...I could actually understand the emotion he felt as a child. And now as an adult looking back upon his past. This is a great read.
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on 27 February 2014
I'm only 70 pages into it but he describes beautifully his own strange upbringing with a whole coterie of strange people around him beginning with his delusional father who just happened to be a judge. Apart from the bribes he would receive death and Voodoo curses as part of the job.
Eire is writing about the time of the revolution so he saw and heard the torture and bloodshed around him, something which seems to have rubbed off on his friends who practised unspeakable cruelty against dumb animals. Blowing up and electrocuting animals was just oh so normal.
And people were treated no better by the regime. An escaped prisoner his father refused to help was murdered by police along with a dozen of his friends, with the pictures shown in the media with all the gore.

Times might have changed but Cuba is no less cruel now. I have only just heard first hand from a cuban woman detailing all the horrors of the Cuban regime committed against her and her friends, of police who rape, and beat to death, even of policewomen who insert the tips of their shoes into political dissident women's vaginas as part of the humiliation and desecration of women prisoners' bodies and minds.

The Cuban people suffered under Battista, and they are suffering no less under this horrendous regime.

I am not a natural enemy of the Cuban revolution. I am of the left and feel Cuban socialism could have been something beautiful, but as with all communist regimes, it became so distorted, so inhumane that the sooner that it is uprooted the better.

Western liberal democracy might be very imperfect, but at least citizens of the EU and the USA never experience the horrors committed in the name of communism and socialism. It's a sad fact.
It's time for the Castro dynasty (some socialism) to bow out, and free their people.
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on 10 July 2003
Waiting for Snow in Havana is a beautiful and lyrical book that gives true insight into what it was like to live in Cuba during the early days of Fidel's Revolution. This novel has captures the true essence of what it means to be Cuban and gives a deep understanding of the exile community in the States.
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on 5 September 2014
This seemed to be an expose of the effects of the teaching of the Christian Brothers and the phobias of his Catholic upbringing. The brutality of his group of upper class school friends was worthy of ASBO after ASBO. The second half of the book was more relevant to anyone interested in the effects of the revolution.
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on 10 May 2010
This book is a fascinating insight into life during a most difficult period in Cuba's recent history.It helps to place the current situation in context and serves to help the reader to understand something of the trauma associated with living in Cuba during the revolution.An ideal way to try to get a grip on the country before you go there.
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This is an achingly poignant memoir, written with much feeling and angst. The author, who, at the age of eleven, took part in Operation Pedro Pan, which airlifted Cuban children to the United States from the hell that would become known as Castro's Cuba, remembers what it was like to be a child growing up in Cuba. His life would never again be the same.

The author's wistful, lyrical recollections of his life in Havana in pre-1962 Cuba are a birds-eye view into a bygone era and the lives that were dramatically changed by political vicissitudes. Redolent with vivid imagery and palpable longing, this book is a moving tribute to a way of life that has since gone by the wayside. It is a profoundly moving, beautifully written memoir that will linger in the reader's mind long after the last page is turned, as well as a brilliant testament to the deep love that the author still has for the land of his birth.
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on 29 June 2003
Y
es- I admit it. I have read WAITING FOR SNOW IN HAVANA and have returned to those days when I could finish a book at one sitting, not caring if that meant I had to read through the night and early morning hours .
Picture a Cuban ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER OR HUCKLEBERRY FINN with the beautiful, tropical, picturesque setting of 1950's Cuba as the background AND THEN envision the beginnings and first stirrings of government upheaval(the Cuban Revolution). THROW into the mix an eccentric father and family members, private catholic schools taught by strict Jesuit priests who cater to the wealthy and elite families of Havana and you have the beginnings of a great new autobiography out now in hardback by a wonderful new Latin American Writer by the name of Carlos Eire. EIRE, a professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University is no stranger to the world of writing but as he says himself and says it best ,"This is my first book without footnotes".
While all of this may be considered interesting enough it is the warm charming tone of the writer himself that grabs you and takes you under his spell weaving in and out with tales and images that are SO vivid in his memory that you start to think that YOU were also there!! At times hilariously funny and sometimes achingly sad one runs the full gamut of emotions in one sitting.
Taking into account the current news stories of the day with the identification of an island nation(so close in proximity to the U.S.) that is in its last desperate gasps of survival in an increasingly anti-dictatorship tolerant world one is well served by reading WAITING FOR SNOW IN HAVANA
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