Then follow some very real events, such as undercover work and even murder attempts, all backed up by phantom chains of information and invented covert agencies.
An often light-hearted but massively important complete and unabridged audiobook, which makes many comments on present-day life despite being published over 50 years ago. The book was also made into a hit film starring Carol Reed and Alec Guinness in 1959, and has recently (2007) been the subject of a play adaptation staged in Guildford to a enthusiastic public reception.
©2008 CSA Word; (P)2009 CSA Word
"I'd forgotten that Greene could be so funny, but maybe it's just the brilliant way that Jeremy Northam has caught the ironic tone of the book's unlikely hero, James Wormold, who sells vacuum cleaners (not very successfully) in pre-Castro Cuba..."(The Guardian)
"Jeremy Northam catches Greene's tone of ruined romanticism to perfection..."(The Daily Mail)
"When Graham Greene is on comic form, he can't be bettered, and I chuckled merrily even on the M6 during a weekend drive to Cumbria and back. A good audiobook is immensely calming on such occasions; they should be issued free at service stations before notorious traffic congestion spots. Spare, elegant prose, hilarious set-pieces and a happy ending made Our Man in Havanna the perfect choice..."(The Times)
"...Greene's satire is playful in comparison with his other works - Catholic angst is mainly confined to Wormold's teenage daughter, and even for her there's no real contest between God and her horse. Greene's sense of the absurd strengthens the many tense scenarios, whilst the narration captures the ambience and the dialogue brilliantly, projecting a film in the listener's head."(The Oldie)
"The many characters in this satirical spy novel burst with personality, idiosyncrasies, odd mannerisms, and quirky conversation. A theatre director would be lucky to find multiple actors who could do justice to Greene's writing. Jeremy Northam, though, gives each character a distinct voice and presence all by himself. He makes notes of the details Greene uses to cast a character and takes off from there. His London intelligence chief, for example, is raspy and chilling, as if speaking from the grave. The agent Hawthorne sounds clipped and hurried, a touch anxious... Northam expresses them all as if accessing the same secret core that Greene imagined at the heart of all his characters..."(Audiofile)
I enjoyed this immensely. It is the often hilarious story of cold war espionage in pre-revolutionary Cuba. Jeremy Northam's reading is excellent with superb characterisations - even of the female characters. the excerpts of 'theme music' between chapters - Samba music for Cuba, Brass band for English scenes, fast music at the end of an exciting chapter - were rather irritating though.
I enjoyed the book, I must have to put up with the stupidly long musically interludes, Whoever came up with them needs calling back to London ;)
Book great. Reader great. Who the hell thought the music was a good idea? Totally spoiled it for me. Intensely irritating and intrusive - even used underneath the reading, as well as during apparently random breaks. Let's have some Irish dance music with Angela's Ashes, or Chase & Status during Sons & Lovers.
Really enjoyed this. Like another reviewer, I could have done without the musical interludes to tell us when we were in Cuba and when we were in London, but the rest was great.
Great story, well read. The recording could have done without musical interludes every 5 minutes, it breaks the flow of the narration
Am I the only person who loved the musical intervals which distinguished events in London and Havana? Maybe because I was brought up on Cuban music (growing up near Miami) I thought it
added mood and flavour to Jeremy Northam's brilliant reading of this hilarious satire. I'd love to know who composed the Cuban music.
I'd have given this an easy five stars were it not for the constantly intruding theme music, often lasting as long as 90 seconds, separating chapters and even parts of chapters. I find it distracting and patronising (Yes, I KNOW this bit is set in London, you don't need to wheel out the military band). Northam's excellent.
I heard this book discussed on a radio show and it got a good review. But im kinda sorry i brought it.
the "hero" is a desperate looser miles from home, struggling to blag or bluf a his way to providing a life for his only daughter. while her mum left ages ago... I wonder if Greene was at an equally low point in his own life when he wrote this. Because this story to nowhere meanders on and on for absolutely no reason. from the dumb MI5 guy picking up a man in the gents toilet scene. right through the bit where two grown men have to invent a drinking game before finding the balls to talk about their stupid differenes over some impossible 20+ shots of whiskey each! Consumed in less time than it takes to read the whole un-inspired chapter.
By comparison, ide say this book is less entertaining than walking uphill on a rainy day. So unless your bed- ridden, and very well read. you don't need this story in your life.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.