Cuba Libre

Cuba Libre

Book - 1998
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Set on the eve of the Spanish-American War, Elmore Leonard's electrifying novel takes off like a shot.  A spellbinding journey into the heart and soul of the Cuban revolution of a hundred years ago,Cuba Libreis an explosive mix of high adventure, history brought to life, and a honey of a love story--all with the dead-on dialogue and unforgettable characters that mark Elmore Leonard as an American original. Just three days after the sinking of the battleship Maine in Havana harbor, Ben Tyler arrives with a string of horses to sell--cover for a boatload of guns he's running to Cuban insurgents, risking a firing squad if he's caught. This cowboy's first day ashore sets the pace for a wild ride to come.  He sells the horses to an American planter, Roland Boudreaux, who's making a killing in Cuba...meets the man's sparkly New Orleans-born mistress, Amelia Brown, and falls in love...makes an enemy of a terrorizing Guardia Civil officer named Tavalera, and a friend of a mysterious old Cuban, Victor Fuentes...is forced into a gunfight and thrown in prison, Tavalera determined to nail him as a spy.   Tyler has done time in the past for robbing banks, but never in a place like Morro Castle.  America is about to declare war on Spain, and if Tyler doesn't manage to get out very soon, he's a dead man.   How his escape comes about, with surprising help, is the high point from which the plot takes off on a train ride across Cuba, with Tyler and Amelia looking for more than love, a lot more--a chance to snatch a bundle of Boudreaux's cash, if they can pull it off.  But who can you trust?  Everyone's a schemer in this one. Leonard breaks new ground in this rip-roaring jaunt into history, packed with all the twists, turns, sly plot, and wicked wit his fans have come to expect of the writer who has redefined the art of the novel.   Elmore Leonard has written thirty-four novels, including such bestsellers asOut of Sight, Riding the Rap, Pronto, Rum Punch,andGet Shorty,and numerous screenplays.  He lives with his wife, Christine, in Bloomfield Village, Michigan.
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, 1998.
ISBN: 9780385323833
0385323832
Branch Call Number: F
Characteristics: 343 pages ; 25 cm

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lukasevansherman
Aug 02, 2014

"We're here to protect American citizens and their property."
"Protect them from what?"
"Unenlightened people with anti-American aims."
An enjoyable Leonard novel with the usual crime plot and colorful characters set against the backdrop of the Spanish-American War.

hania4987 Oct 09, 2013

I became intrigued with Elmore Leonard's books after watching "Justified", especially his interview in one of the bonus features. This is the first book I have read. It has a very interesting style, almost a shorthand that allows you to fill the gaps.
This story begins with 2 American cowboys contracted to deliver a shipment of horses (and some other stuff), who arrive in Cuba 3 days after the Maine is blown up in Havana's harbor. It's filled with a multitude of disreputable characters who each seem to have their own code of honor. Leonard switches the attention from character to the next making sharp plot twists.
My overall impression is of a mostly complaisant society corrupted by colonialism.

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