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CUBA LIBRE

Leonard, Elmore

3,488 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0385323832 / ISBN 13: 9780385323833
Published by NY, Delacorte Press,, 1998
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From 23rd Lane Books (Palm Beach Gardens, FL, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

SIGNED BY ELMORE LEONARD, First Printing, There is a little fading to the spine of the dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # F606

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Bibliographic Details

Title: CUBA LIBRE

Publisher: NY, Delacorte Press,

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

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 Libre is 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 as Out of Sight, Riding the Rap, Pronto, Rum Punch, and Get Shorty, and numerous screenplays.  He lives with his wife, Christine, in Bloomfield Village, Michigan.

Review:

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.

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