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CUBA LIBRE By Elmore Leonard – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2010 by stanleyriiks

Cuba, just before the Spanish/US war.

Ben Tyler’s friend asks him for some help taking some horses to Cuba to sell. Except Ben finds out that horses are not all they are selling, and the guns they are smuggling into the country are for the insurgents to fight the Spanish, and before he knows what’s happening, Ben is in prison for shooting a Spanish soldier who pulled a gun on him and being accused of espionage.

Factor in a wealthy American land-owner out to steal the horses, an evil Guardias, a beautiful woman, a police-force filled with insurgents, and an impending American-Spanish war and in a nutshell you have Cuba Libre.

This is an epic personal story of the struggles of Cuba, the beauty of the country and its people, and the inhumanity of its invaded and rulers. This is a side of Cuba not often seen, the pre-Castro era Cuba, but not the playground of the US.

Tyler’s struggles to survive in primitive conditions whilst in prison and later when hiding as he is tracked by a former slave-hunter, all the while falling in love with the beautiful Amelia, is expertly played out by Leonard. This book shows that Leonard is a splendid writer, with a talent far beyond his crime-novels.

Hot, dusty, and beautiful, Cuba Libre is a sentiment and an experience, expertly captured by a great fiction writer.