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Fidel's Last Days

3.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  139 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
A clandestine scheme to assassinate Fidel Castro spirals into paranoia, betrayal, and deceit in this dazzling thriller.

Former CIA agent Carolina Perez has spent five years working deep undercover with a singular goal: to take down Castro and free Cuba from his troubled presence. Across the Straits in Havana, Carlos Gutierrez is Castro’s minister of health and a member of
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 12th 2010 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 218)
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Julie
Mar 22, 2009 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having loved Breakfast with Buddha, I was interested to see that Roland Merullo was venturing into new territory with this thriller. This would have been a 4-star read for me except for the ending, which I found unsatisfying. Of course, in the last review I wrote (of In the Woods), I got on my high horse about how we can't always have everything revealed for us . . . but in this case the lack of revelation of some key points was problematic for me. Still, it was a suspenseful read, well written. ...more
Elevate Difference
Fidel’s Last Days is a novel about a fictional conspiracy to kill Fidel Castro by applying a poisonous topical cream to his hairline. Supposedly the CIA has attempted to assassinate Castro 638 times, but Roland Merullo leads you to believe that maybe this time, with the cream, the secret society, and the beautiful woman, it will work. It has to.

The story moves effortlessly between Carolina Anzar Perez in Miami and Carlos Arroyo Gutierrez in Havana. Carolina is our likeable protagonist. She is po
...more
Mary
May 05, 2009 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This was a great book for the ride to and from work. I read it because we are alums of the same university and I thought, I'm fascinated by Cuba and Miami's Cubans, what the heck.

Liked the peek into CIA/NSA/secret societies and their methods, but the ending was unsatisfying. Still, I'm going read Merullo's latest because I'm looking forward to vicariously living through a summer on Lake Como
Megan
Jan 24, 2009 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: latin-america
it was a very fast read, so i finished it in record time (well, for me that is!)...very complex, convuluted plot that kept you guessing about who was double-crossing whom...i wasn't overly surprised by the use of twists & turns though -- it felt a little formulaic in terms of a typical spy novel...not bad but i guess i was expecting to be "wowed" more than i was...
Sally
May 17, 2009 Sally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a really interesting and engaging novel. I feel like I learned alot about Cuba, though the book is fictional. I also loved the sense that I got, "yeah this could happen". It was really different than his past books though. So don't expect it to resemble "Breakfast with Buddha".
Mike Radice
I couldn't get through it because of the violence. I love his books, and that's no reflection on his writing, but I was surprised because I didn't think he was that kind of an author.

I'm still loyal to his writing, however, and am looking forward to his upcoming book.
Deanna
May 19, 2009 Deanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was an interesting review of Cuban-American sensibilities as well as an insight into Cuba.
Taraneh
I don't normally read books of this genre and for what it was...it was pretty good. Page turning.
Andrea
Mar 24, 2009 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A former CIA agent is chosen by a secret organization to assist in killing Fidel.
katykins
Fidel’s Last Days is a novel about a fictional conspiracy to kill Fidel Castro by applying a poisonous topical cream to his hairline. Supposedly the CIA has attempted to assassinate Castro 638 times, but Roland Merullo leads you to believe that maybe this time, with the cream, the secret society, and the beautiful woman, it will work. It has to.

The story moves effortlessly between Carolina Anzar Perez in Miami and Carlos Arroyo Gutierrez in Havana. Carolina is our likeable protagonist. She is po
...more
Steve Auerweck
Aug 20, 2011 Steve Auerweck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This tale of a modern-era plot to assassinate Fidel Castro is taut and inventive. The focus jumps back and forth among the U.S.-based leaders of the conspiracy, a young woman who left the CIA to work as an agent for them, and sympathizers in Cuba. The portrayals of life in Cuba, with the sense of a glorious revolution that has gone increasingly sour and corrupt over time, are the most effective, being fascinating and believable. The main conspirators could be seen as cliched -- shadowy zillionai ...more
Paul
Oct 27, 2015 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully suspenseful and an exciting read. There were many twists and turns, even up to the last page.
I had read 4 other books by Merullo which all dealt with spirituality and was amazed at both how different this was from the ones I had read and at how truly well written and enjoyable this one was. Merullo is a pro!
james
Apr 25, 2014 james rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book kept me interested all the way through. It was good, but not great.
Sara
Nov 27, 2009 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great spy good and fast read for most folks -- I think that to truly understand and get into the spirit of what the storyline brings to life, one needs to have personally been in touch with the "Cuban experience" -- either as an expatriate, family or someone who has been affected by Castro and his actions over the last half centry. Rad with an open mind, it helps you understand the political and social inclications of the Cuban world as they "temporarily" live in the United States --always hop ...more
Holly
Mar 19, 2012 Holly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fast, fun read. It's the fictional account of a plan to kill Fidel Castro...part thriller, part conspiracy, part spy novel. Think: Mission Impossible meets old time Soviet spy strategy with double crossing and who's who. It's a story line that works, twists and turns and some good writing that works to keep the book moving along without becoming trivialized or bogged down with too many details. The ending isn't as strong as the rest of the book which is why I'll give it a 3 and not a ...more
Sandy
I like Merullo's books (have read 2) and I lived in Miami - Cuba/America for five years so I decided I'd read this one and check it out. I'll let you know more of what I think when I'm done!

So, I'm done and I'd be entertained to ask the author..... does it end this way because..... we still don't know the ending of this regime? ..... Or because Fidel seems to be impervious to attempts on his life? Does this one work? Or not???????
Meghan
May 12, 2009 Meghan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A plot to assassinate Fidel Castro and reclaim Cuba for the Miami Cuban-Americans...has all the makings of a good mystery, except it's a tired story. The writing didn't do much to spice it up - a page turner with a predictable ending and a cast of expected characters.
Alan
Aug 21, 2009 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
Interesting spy story with lots of twists and turns about a plot to kill Fidel Castro. A great summer read.

I'd recommend another book by the author called 'Revere Beach Boulevard' about growing up in Revere, MA.
Hulananni
I'm not a fan of spy/CIA novels but I've been to Cuba and thought it would be interesting. It was but not my favorite genre. I'm going to read one of the author's other books to see if they are more to my liking.
Tim Wendel
Of course, I love a novel set in Cuba. Havana, the people and the country won me over when I was working on Castro's Curveball. This novel gets the everyday life down but flies apart at end.
Magi
Sep 08, 2009 Magi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
after reading this author's memoir about life in revere,ma...i was surprised to come across this one. good,easy read,great description of havana for someone whose never been.
Cynthia
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Paranoia and fear are woven together and have become the backdrop of all lives in Cuba. Lots of good twists in the plot.
Karen Shiebler
Feb 23, 2010 Karen Shiebler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK, Roland is my cousin, but it was a wonderful book. I recommend it to anyone who likes a good story and well developed characters.
Christine Myers
The slant is definitely the view of the Miami expat. As a thriller, pretty well done. As a picture of Cuba, not even close.
Becky
Jul 03, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this. There were a couple spots were it dragged a bit for ideological speeches, but a good quick read. Great ending
Byron Wright
Good light summer read. Fast paced and seemed much less corny than many thrillers. Unlike a previous reviewer, I liked the end.
Tamara
Nov 14, 2011 Tamara rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Great book gives you a lot of insight about the life people lead in Cuba. An interesting read and worth taking a look at.
Frances
Spy story with plot to kill Castro. Set in present-day times (post 9/11, pre-Obama). A real page-turner.
Nancy Torrey
A fun read, especially after my recent trip to Cuba. Not great lit, but an engaging, fast-paced story.
Judi
Feb 09, 2009 Judi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This could be my favorite Roland Merullo book. Good story - interesting look at Cuba and Cuban Americans
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ROLAND MERULLO is the acclaimed author of twelve previous books, including Revere Beach Boulevard, In Revere in Those Days, A Little Love Story, Golfing with God, Breakfast with Buddha, Lunch with Buddha and American Savior. Merullo has won numerous prizes, including the Massachusetts Book Award for both fiction and nonfiction. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two children.
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