|Gunrunner Ben Tyler travels to Cuba during the Spanish-American war hoping to sell arms to Cuban nationals and make a hefty profit. Then the USS Maine explodes, sending the already turbulent region into greater turmoil.|
|He came to Cuba to make a killing.She came to find a purpose. And on an island overrun with passion and violence, they each foundsomething to live for.On a hot night in Havana Harbor, U.S. marines sleep on the deck of the USS Maine as the sound of rumba music drifts across the water. Then, in a flash, the Maine is blown to pieces. Now a bloody carnaval of war, nations, and schemers is exploding on the dusty, sugar-rich island some dared call--Cuba Libre.Welcome to Cuba, 1898--where the insurrectos are in the hills, the rich are partying in Havana, and Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders are about to come ashore. Into the melee an American cowboy arrives with a scheme to sell horses and run guns, earning himself a date with a firing squad--until a rich man's mistress saves his skin. Now Amelia Brown and Ben Tyler are riding for their lives, fighting side by side--for revenge, for love, and honor.This rip-roaring jaunt into history sizzles with the passion of lovers, the violence of nations, and the wild courage of freedom fighters crying out to their firing squads: "Viva Cuba Libre!"|
Published on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the "Maine". Set in Cuba at the time of the Spanish-American War, this novel is a mix of high adventure, history brought to life, romance, and a honey of a love story. On a hot night in Havana, U.S. Marines sleep on the decks of the U.S.S. "Maine" as the sound of rumba music drifts across the water. Then in a flash, the "Maine" is blown to pieces. Now a bloody "carnival" of war, nations, and schemers is exploding on the dusty, sugar-rich island some dared call Cuba Libre.
|"Leonard shows his usual flair for characters and capers, and he's good with history writ small--he evokes a bygone Havana with plausible particulars, plenty of narrow streets and closed shutters....Until the end, Leonard manages to keep you in suspense about who's going to wind up with the cash, but there's one thing you know from the start: the 'mambis' never stand a chance."|
New Yorker - Henry Louis Gates Jr. (01/26/1998)
"The war turns out to be backdrop rather than instigating purpose, a way to raise the hype rather than the ante. There is so much good storytelling in the novel, from parodies of the press to mockeries of the aristocracy to lessons on the manners of horses, that the reader is disappointed when the story falls back on traditional adventure motifs. Still, there are few writers who can match Leonard when it comes to narrative moves, none who write dialogues that say so little and mean so much....The result is a taut, often funny, frequently brutal account of how personal desires take tangled forms in trying times."
San Francisco Book Review - Paul Skenazy (01/18/1998)
"'Cuba Libre' maintains its equilibrium throughout, gives a dash of entertainment to the origins of the still-unresolved relationship between the United States and Cuba and carries the reader to a rewarding, if somewhat predictable, climax. To Leonard's immense credit, after more than 30 books, he still explores new terrain, continues to expand his turf and pulls it off with class."
Los Angeles Times Book Review - Tom Miller (02/01/1998)
"'Cuba Libre is not a bad book; it is, however, disappointing. The combination of subject and author promised much more than Leonard delivers."
Washington Post Book World - Nina King (02/15/1998)
"Top entertainment from the pro's pro: a million greedy schemes with time-outs for war and sex."