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The Autobiography of Fidel Castro

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3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  84 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
An audacious “biography” of the ex-president of Cuba told in Castro’s own outrageous, bombastic voice.

Prize-winning author and journalist Norberto Fuentes was once a revolutionary: a writer with privileged access to Fidel Castro’s inner circle during some the most challenging years of the revolution. But in the late 1990s, as the regime began sending its oldest comrades t
...more
Hardcover, 567 pages
Published December 7th 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published June 30th 2004)
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brian
Sep 26, 2009 brian rated it really liked it
why do the bad guys always dress better? JFK was alright in his saville row suit and brooks brothers shirt, but really - the fascists communists and tyrants are mean bastards but they look cool and iconic and iconoclastic. compare fidel and some of his american counterparts through the years:



badass. (check out che and camilo on the side)



gross.



aaaaaahhhhh!



the flight suit actually makes him look like an even bigger douchebag.


i must admit that obama looks pretty cool.
but that might be just because
...more
Nick Black
Oct 30, 2009 Nick Black marked it as to-read
Recommended to Nick by: brian
Shelves: to-acquire
ever since reading these damn ellroy books, my watchwords have been "let's kill communists!" strange for a young man with a CPUSA poster on his walls, but there you go. let's ride this wave while it's heavy, and learn more about a part of the world i've never really studied.
Josette
Jan 22, 2010 Josette rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Fidel fascinators
Well, it wasn't a book I had intended to read and just happened to fall upon it recently. I was only given two weeks to check out the book, since it was new to the library (and it had a hold so I couldn't renew it). So I didn't get to finish the almost 550 pages. And it wasn't holding my attention enough to easily read 100 pages or so in one sitting. Needless to say, I gave it only two stars based on how far I got (first two sections - not chapters). It was an intriguing read with the arrogant, ...more
Bookmarks Magazine
Feb 08, 2010 Bookmarks Magazine rated it really liked it
Shelves: mar-apr-2010
In this "deliciously wicked" (San Francisco Chronicle) infusion of history and satire, Fuentes truly captures the spirit of Fidel Castro--monumentally proud, manipulative, and cynical. He skillfully imitates the Cuban leader's voice, though the New York Times declared that Fuentes's Castro sometimes sinks into the realm of caricature, and the San Francisco Chronicle complained that he is devoid of all positive human emotions--something his most virulent enemies do not even assert. Despite his sl ...more
Marvin
Nov 09, 2009 Marvin rated it it was ok
I don't know what to make of this one. It's fiction cast as an autobiography of Fidel Castro--a long, rambling chronicle that, on the one hand, reads so much like nonfiction that it's hard to take seriously as a literary effort but that, on the other hand, has such an anti-Castro polemic intent that it's hard to take seriously as history. The point is that, for Castro, the revolution had nothing to do with ideology; he himself was the revolution, and whatever strategy put & kept him in power ...more
Nikki M.
Oct 10, 2016 Nikki M. rated it did not like it
Could not finish. I'm sorry, this book was all over the place. I did enjoy the part of the story that had to do with his childhood and the place where he grew up. I never got to the part of his life that had to do with the revolution and how he came to power. Maybe I just wasn't focused enough at the time to care to decipher what he wanted the reader to know. Over all, it's up to you, read it or don't. You won't be missing anything.
Jackson Cyril
Disappointed that this is the abridgment (not sure if the original has been translated yet), but what a life! The man lands on the shores of Cuba with 82 men, takes over the island and defies an empire for the past fifty years; Shakespeare's eulogy to Brutus serves Castro well:
"He only in a general honest thought
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mixed in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, “This was a man.”
Larry
Oct 17, 2012 Larry added it
Honestly if someone has never been a reader and wanted to take up the habit of reading: he/she should not read this as his/her first book. Honestly this book doesnt have to be read at all. Its boring, most of it just seem like a fairy tale, its not captivating, its actually the worst book I've read and I think its a waste of time and money.
Simon Jester
Dec 05, 2009 Simon Jester rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Dimwits & Crybabies
A best-seller to pneumoniaphiles and 20th century clones of Third Reich head of propaganda Heinz Heini. The book is a blueprint of how to censor opposition and murder originators. A 'must-read' for internet censors and anti-establishment currmugions.
Nami
Oct 12, 2011 Nami rated it really liked it
As with all books about this personality, there is going to be some controversy and some things that are just plain unbelievable. This source however served as Fidel's number 2 for several years and probably has the most accurate first-person voice. And it's well written too!
Constance Chevalier
Nov 27, 2015 Constance Chevalier rated it it was ok
dIDN'T FINISH.
Peter Williamson
Sep 23, 2011 Peter Williamson rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
it helps if you are interested in cuba and/or castro. hard to get through at times...but once you get into it..its fascinating.
Karisma Elien
Karisma Elien rated it really liked it
Feb 06, 2013
Laxman
Laxman rated it it was amazing
Aug 01, 2016
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Apr 29, 2016
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Feb 12, 2016
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Zuneera Shah rated it it was amazing
Nov 20, 2014
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Feb 15, 2014
Charles
Charles rated it it was amazing
Jan 25, 2010
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R:Beetigs rated it liked it
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Journalist, award-winning fiction author, and former member of the Cuban revolution, Norberto Fuentes has written ten books, including Hemingway in Cuba. His work has been praised by writers such as Italo Calvino, William Kennedy, and Gabriel García Márquez. He left Cuba in 1994 and now lives in exile in Florida.
More about Norberto Fuentes...

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