Our Man in Havana
Author: Graham Greene
Publisher: Open Road Media
A hapless salesman in Cuba is recruited into Cold War spy games in Greene’s classic “comical, satirical, atmospherical” novel (The Daily Telegraph). James Wormold, a cash-strapped vacuum cleaner salesman in Havana, finds the answer to his prayers when British Intelligence offers him a lucrative job as an undercover agent. To keep the checks coming, Wormold must at least pretend to know what he’s doing. Soon, he’s apparently deciphering incomprehensible codes, passing along sketches of secret weapons that look suspiciously like vacuum parts, and claiming to recruit fellow operatives from his country club, all to create the perfect picture of intrigue. But when MI6 dispatches a secretary to oversee his endeavors, Wormold fears his carelessly fabricated world will come undone. Instead, it all comes true. Somehow, he’s become the target of an assassin, and it’s going to take more than a fib to get out of Cuba alive. Her Majesty’s man in Havana may have to resort to spying. Named one of the 20 Best Spy Novels of All Time by the Telegraph and adapted into the classic 1959 comedy starring Alec Guinness, Our Man in Havana is “high-comic mayhem . . . weirdly undated . . . [and] bizarrely prescient” (Christopher Buckley, New York Times–bestselling author).
Our Man in Havana
Author: Graham Greene, Clive Francis
Publisher: Oberon Books
Jim Wormold, an under-employed vacuum cleaner salesman living in 1950s Cuba, is struggling to pay for his teenage daughter’s increasingly extravagant lifestyle. So when the British Secret Service asks him to become their ‘man in Havana’ he can’t afford to say no. There’s just one problem...he doesn’t know anything! To avoid suspicion, he begins to recruit nonexistent sub-agents, concocting a series of intricate fictions. But Wormold soon discovers that his stories are closer to the truth than he could have ever imagined... In Clive Francis’ adaptation, Graham Greene’s classic satirical novel becomes a wonderfully funny and fast-moving romp.
Our Man in Havana
Author: Graham Greene
'He carried with him the breath of beaches and the leathery smell of a good club' WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS Wormold is a vacuum cleaner salesman in a city of power cuts. His adolescent daughter spends his money with a skill that amazes him, so when a mysterious Englishman offers him an extra income he's tempted. In return all he has to do is carry out a little espionage and file a few reports. But when his fake reports start coming true things suddenly get more complicated and Havana becomes a threatening place.
Hitler's Man in Havana
Author: Thomas Schoonover
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
When Heinz Lüning posed as a Jewish refugee to spy for Hitler’s Abwehr espionage agency, he thought he had discovered the perfect solution to his most pressing problem: how to avoid being drafted into Hitler’s army. Lüning was unsympathetic to Fascist ideology, but the Nazis’ tight control over exit visas gave him no chance to escape Germany. He could enter Hitler’s army either as a soldier . . . or a spy. In 1941, he entered the Abwehr academy for spy training and was given the code name “Lumann.” Soon after, Lüning began the service in Cuba that led to his ultimate fate of being the only German spy executed in Latin America during World War II. Lüning was not the only spy operating in Cuba at the time. Various Allied spies labored in Havana; the FBI controlled eighteen Special Intelligence Service operatives, and the British counterintelligence section subchief Graham Greene supervised Secret Intelligence Service agents; and Ernest Hemingway’s private agents supplied inflated and inaccurate information about submarines and spies to the U.S. ambassador, Spruille Braden. Lüning stumbled into this milieu of heightened suspicion and intrigue. Poorly trained and awkward at his work, he gathered little information worth reporting, was unable to build a working radio and improperly mixed the formulas for his secret inks. Lüning eventually was discovered by British postal censors and unwittingly provided the inspiration for Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana. In chronicling Lüning’s unlikely trajectory from a troubled life in Germany to a Caribbean firing squad, Thomas D. Schoonover makes brilliant use of untapped documentary sources to reveal the workings of the famed Abwehr and the technical and social aspects of Lüning’s spycraft. Using archival sources from three continents, Schoonover offers a narrative rich in atmospheric details to reveal the political upheavals of the time, not only tracking Lüning’s activities but also explaining the broader trends in the region and in local counterespionage. Schoonover argues that ambitious Cuban and U.S. officials turned Lüning’s capture into a grand victory. For at least five months after Lüning’s arrest, U.S. and Cuban leaders—J. Edgar Hoover, Fulgencio Batista, Nelson Rockefeller, General Manuel Benítez, Ambassador Spruille Braden, and others—treated Lüning as a dangerous, key figure for a Nazi espionage network in the Gulf-Caribbean. They reworked his image from low-level bumbler to master spy, using his capture for their own political gain. In the sixty years since Lüning’s execution, very little has been written about Nazi espionage in Latin America, partly due to the reticence of the U.S. government. Revealing these new historical sources for the first time, Schoonover tells a gripping story of Lüning’s life and capture, suggesting that Lüning was everyone’s man in Havana but his own.
Our Woman in Havana
Author: Sarah Rainsford
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
It was only when I reread Our Man in Havana that I realised I shared a street with the hapless spy hero of Graham Greene’s novel. My office was just a short distance from the fictional vacuum cleaner store run by Jim Wormold... A piece of paper strapped to the swirling, rusted window bars announces that the lower floor flat is for sale. I wonder if the owner’s selling up to leave Lamparilla and the ‘ruins of Havana’, like Wormold. Sixty years ago, Graham Greene watched as the Cuban revolution unfolded and Batista’s regime collapsed. Now, as the Castro era comes to a close, Sarah Rainsford, formerly the BBC’s ‘woman in Havana’, reports on the lives shaped by Fidel’s giant social experiment and the feelings of a nation as his brother Raul steps down. She encounters entrepreneurs full of hope and the disillusioned still looking for a way out. She meets a boxing legend who credits everything he has to the revolution and the dissidents caught on surveillance cameras every time they set foot outside their homes. She also discovers the trailblazing work of Ruby Hart Phillips, New York Times correspondent in Havana 1937–61 – and a rare woman journalist in a macho world – who reported every step of the revolution and came face to face with Fidel himself. Through these stories and those still being told, Our Woman in Havana weaves an enthralling, atmospheric portrait of this enigmatic country as it teeters, once more, at a historic crossroads.
So Much Life Left Over
Author: Louis de Bernieres
A POWERFULLY EVOCATIVE AND EMOTIONALLY CHARGED NOVEL FROM THE ACCLAIMED AUTHOR OF CORELLI’S MANDOLIN They were an inseparable tribe of childhood friends. Some were lost to the battles of the First World War, and those who survived have had their lives unimaginably upended. Now, at the dawn of the 1920s, they’ve scattered: to Ceylon and India, France and Germany, and, inevitably, back to Britain, each of them trying to answer the question that fuels this sweeping novel: If you have been embroiled in a war in which you confidently expected to die, what are you supposed to do with so much life unexpectedly left over? The narrative unfolds in brief, dramatic chapters, and we follow these old friends over the decades as their paths re-cross or their ties fray, as they test loyalties and love, face survivor’s grief and guilt, and adjust in profound and quotidian ways to this newest modern world. At the center are Daniel, an RAF flying ace, and Rosie, a wartime nurse. As their marriage is slowly revealed to be built on lies, Daniel finds solace—and, sometimes, family—with other women, and Rosie draws her religion around herself like a carapace. Here too are Rosie’s sisters—a bohemian, a minister’s wife, and a spinster, each seeking purpose and happiness in her own unconventional way; Daniel’s military brother, unable to find his footing in a peaceful world; and Rosie’s “increasingly peculiar” mother and her genial, shockingly secretive father. The tenuous interwar peace begins to shatter, and we watch as war once again reshapes the days and the lives of these beautifully drawn women and men.
The Man Within
Author: Graham Greene
Publisher: Open Road Media
The “strikingly original” debut novel by the masterful British author is “a perfect adventure” of love and smuggling on the English coast (The Nation). Francis Andrews is a reluctant smuggler living in the shadow of his brutish father’s legacy. To exorcise the ghosts of the man he loathes, Andrews betrays his colleagues to authorities and takes flight across the downs. It’s here that he stumbles upon the isolated cottage of a beguiling stranger named Elizabeth—an empathetic young woman who is just as lonely, every bit the outsider as he, and reconciling a troubling past of her own. Andrews, a man on the run from those he exposed, believes he’s found refuge and salvation. But when Elizabeth encourages him to return to the courts of Lewes and give evidence against his accomplices, the treacherous and deadly repercussions may be beyond their control. “The ultimate strengths of [Graham] Greene’s books is that he shows us the hazards of compassion,” a theme that would find its earliest expression in The Man Within, his first published novel (Pico Iyer).
Author: Julia Sweig
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Ever since Fidel Castro assumed power in Cuba in 1959, Americans have obsessed about the nation ninety miles south of the Florida Keys. America's fixation on the tropical socialist republic has only grown over the years, fueled in part by successive waves of Cuban immigration and Castro's larger-than-life persona. Cubans are now a major ethnic group in Florida, and the exile community is so powerful that every American president has curried favor with it. But what do most Americans really know about Cuba itself? In this third edition of the widely hailed Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Julia Sweig updates her concise and remarkably accessible portrait of the small island nation. This edition contains a new foreword that discusses developments since Obama and Raul Castro announced the normalization of US-Cuba relations and restored formal diplomatic ties. A new final chapter discusses how normalization came to pass and covers Pope Francis' visit to Cuba, where he met with Fidel and Raul Castro. Expansive in coverage and authoritative in scope, the book looks back over Cuba's history since the Spanish American War before shifting to recent times. Focusing equally on Cuba's role in world affairs and its own social and political transformations, Sweig divides the book chronologically into the pre-Fidel era, the period between the 1959 revolution and the fall of the Soviet Union, the post-Cold War era, and -- finally -- the post-Fidel era. Informative, pithy, and lucidly written, it is the best compact reference on Cuba's internal politics, its often fraught relationship with the United States, and its shifting relationship with the global community. What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.
The Tailor of Panama
Author: John Le Carré
Publisher: Random House Digital, Inc.
In a novel about global politics and the fate of truth in modern times, Harry Pendel, a tailor in Panama City who can claim politicians, presidents, crooks, and conmen among his customers, becomes an unlikely spy for British intelligence
Fact is a poor story-teller as Maugham reminds us. Fact starts a story at random, rambles on inconsequently and tails off , leaving loose ends, without a conclusion. It works up to an interesting situation, has no sense of climax and whittles away its dramatic effects in irrelevance. While some novelists believe this is a proper model for fiction, Maugham believes that fiction should not seek to copy life, but instead choose from life what is curious, telling, and dramatic, but keep to it closely enough not to shock the reader into disbelief. In short, fiction should excite, interest, and absorb the reader. Ashenden: The British Agent is founded on Maugham's experiences in the English Intelligence Department during World War I, but rearranged for the purposes of fiction. This fascinating book contains the most expert stories of espionage ever written. For a period of time after it was first published the book became official required reading for persons entering the secret service. The plot follows the imaginary John Ashenden who during World War I is a spy for British Intelligence. He is sent first to Geneva and later to Russia. Instead of one story from start to finish, the chapters contain individual stories involving many different characters. All of the people whom Ashenden meet during his travels have their own reason for being involved in the spy game, and each are more complex than they first look.
"Fascinating...A richly detailed portrait." -Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times Known in his day as the King of Sugar, Julio Lobo was the wealthiest man in prerevolutionary Cuba. He had a life fit for Hollywood: he barely survived both a gangland shooting and a firing squad, and courted movie stars such as Joan Fontaine and Bette Davis. Only when he declined Che Guevara's personal offer to become Minister of Sugar in the Communist regime did Lobo's decades-long reign in Cuba come to a dramatic end. Drawing on stories from the author's own family history and other tales of the island's lost haute bourgeoisie, The Sugar King of Havana is a rare portrait of Cuba's glittering past—and a hopeful window into its future.
Next Year in Havana
Author: Chanel Cleeton
THE JULY PICK FOR REESE WITHERSPOON'S HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB "A beautiful novel that's full of forbidden passions, family secrets and a lot of courage and sacrifice."--Reese Witherspoon After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity--and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution... Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba's high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country's growing political unrest--until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary... Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa's last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth. Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba's tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she'll need the lessons of her grandmother's past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.
The Honorary Consul
Author: Graham Greene
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Although Paraguayan revolutionaries make the mistake of kidnapping the British Consul instead of the American Ambassador, they continue to threaten violence.
The Human Factor
Author: Graham Greene
Publisher: Random House
With a new introduction by Colm Toibin A leak is traced to a small sub-section of SIS, sparking off the inevitable security checks, tensions and suspicions. The sort of atmosphere, perhaps, where mistakes could be made? For Maurice Castle, it is the end of the line anyway, and time for him to retire to live peacefully with his African wife, Sarah. To the lonely, isolated, neurotic world of the Secret Service, Graham Greene brings his brilliance and perception, laying bare a machine that sometimes overlooks the subtle and secret motivations that impel us.
A broad selection of Graham Greene's masterful short stories, including Cold War classic novella, The Third Man.Rollo Martins, a failing novelist, is invited to Vienna by his best friend, Harry Lime. The city he arrives in is unrecognisable - torn apart by the Second World War and shared between the occupying Allies. What's more, Harry is dead, and the circumstances look suspicious... Determined to uncover the truth, Martins must pick through the rubble of this broken city in search of answers. Accompanied here by twelve further stories that exhibit the full range of Greene's masterly storytelling, The Third Man is an atmospheric noir that oozes with suspense. With an introduction by Professor Richard Greene.