Havana: An Earl Swagger Novel (Earl Swagger #3)
Outgunning all others in the arena of razor-edged action and sheer guts, New York Times bestselling author Stephen Hunter plunges Earl Swagger deep into a steamy underworld of power, politics, and blood. . . .
Cuba, 1953: The island is on fire.
The Mafia-run casinos are rolling, and it’s just a 30-minute flight from Miami to a world of vice, gam ...more
The main character in the novel is Earl Swagger. He is a World War II Marine veteran who had a very distinguished combat record and received many medals including the Congressional ...more
The basic story was kind of interesting; Cuba before Castro took over. At the end of the book are two short articles that Hunter did after researching the area for his book.
For those fans of Bob Lee, we find out why he learned to shoot so well. If you haven't read any other ...more
It’s Cuba in the fifties. Castro’s just starting out, trying to make a name for himself and the Mafia (among others) doesn’t like it. With the Cold War in full swing, the Soviet Union sends out a veteran agent to make sure Castro’s revolution succeeds, while the CIA summons their own ex-marine Earl Swagger, to make sure he fails. And thus the games begin.
This wasn’t a particularly bad book, but a thriller is expected to contain certain attributes that this one lack ...more
Richard Hunter’s hero Bob Lee Swagger had a heroic father, Earl Swagger--Marine First Sergeant, Medal of Honor Winner, survivor of five Pacific island invasions in WWII, and Arkansas State trooper murdered in 1955. Several of Bob Lee Swagger series involve Dad, and Hunter has written a three-volume Earl Swagger series: Hot Springs, Pale Horse Coming, and Havana.
In this third of the series the CIA has become concerned a ...more
In 1953, Swagger is brought to Cuba for the purpose of killing a young upstart revolutionary named Castro. Castro has gained some fame, but in regards to actually running a revolution is little more than an unwashed klutz. The Soviets have imported a mentor for Castro, and this character is by far the mos ...more
Havana didn't really do it for me at all. All the characters, including the brief and almost gratuitous appearances by a young Bib-Lee are very two-dimensional and wooden; and the use of the Castro character is more a gimmick than a useful part of the plot. It would have been better if the identity of the Castro character had not been revealed until the end so that there was more an element of uncertainly about his survival. As someone else said in another review, all the char ...more
The writing's pretty good, too. Don't ...more
This one is set in Batista's Cuba, and takes place in the Earl Swagger time line of the Swagger family cosmology. As with most of Hunter's other novels, the author seamlessly weaves actual historical figures into the narrative: Ernest Hemingway, mobster Meyer Lansky, a callow and vainglorious Fidel Castro.
High summer in Cuba, 1953, and Havana gleams with possibility. Flush with booming casinos, sex and drugs, Havana is a lucrative paradise for everyone from the Mafia, Domino Sugar, and United Fruit to pimps, porn-makers, and anyone looking to grab a piece of the action - including the Cuban government, which naturally honors the interests of its old ally, Uncle Sam.
Of course, where there's paradise, trouble can't be far behind. Trouble, in this case, makes its entrance in the terrifically charis...more
Just ab ...more
This one was a good read and largely because it focused on so many of the supporting characters. The old Russian spy, Frenchy (from Hot Springs), the horny senator from Arkansas, the Ivy League CIA officer, the violent mafia gunner, the sadistic Cuban torturer, etc. Oh yeah, and a young Fidel Castro too.
Hunter painted a picture of Cuba during ...more
Add to that a Swagger-loving Rusky who is getting the young Fidel Castro up and going and you have a great adventure. The duplicity and cruelty of the other charact ...more
Then comes Earl Swagger who will only do something if his conscience wills it. And when he dicides to do something, woe unto you if you happen to be on the business end of his gun(s).
It is amazing the way Stephen hunter pumps Roger until you feel he is unassailable then "drops" him
I also got a kick out of reading about Havana in its heyday because it brings to mind stores of my grandparents and mother vacationing there is the 30’s. What a place!
I'm hoping The 47th Samurai will prove more interesting.
If this winds up being the last Earl Swagger novel - what a disappointing finish.
I was bored with the first half of the book and almost quit reading it. I'm sure glad I didn't quit as the ending made the book worthwhile. It was typical of the the Earl Swagger series with many twists and turns. I also liked the early life of Fidel Castro weaved into the story. Made it very interesting.
Stephen Hunter is the author of fourteen novels, and a chief film critic at The Washington Post, where he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.