Havana: A Subtropical Delirium by Mark Kurlansky

Into the Wild

Read Havana: A Subtropical Delirium Online Free - Award-winning author Mark Kurlansky presents an insider's view of Havana: the elegant, tattered city he has come to know over more than thirty years. Part cultural history, part travelogue, with recipes, historic engravings, photographs, and Kurlansky's own pen-and-ink drawings throughout, Havana celebrates the city's singular music, literature, baseball, and food; its five centuries of outstanding, neglected architecture; and its extraordinary blend of cultures.

Like all great cities, Havana has a rich history that informs the vibrant place it is today--from the native Taino to Columbus's landing, from Cuba's status as a U.S. protectorate to Batista's dictatorship and Castro's revolution, from Soviet presence to the welcoming of capitalist tourism. Havana is a place of extremes: a beautifully restored colonial city whose cobblestone streets pass through areas that have not been painted or repaired since the revolution.

Kurlansky shows Havana through the eyes of Cuban writers, such as Alejo Carpentier and José Martí, and foreigners, including Graham Greene and Hemingway. He introduces us to Cuban baseball and its highly opinionated fans; the city's music scene, alive with the rhythm of Son; its culinary legacy. Once the only country Americans couldn't visit, Cuba is now opening to us, as is Havana, not only by plane or boat but also through Mark Kurlansky's multilayered and electrifying portrait of the long-elusive city.

Title : Havana: A Subtropical Delirium
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 163286391X
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 224 pages


Diane S ☔ rated it ★★★★☆

March 21, 2017

I have never been to Havana, the closest I have gotten is San Juan, Puerto Rico which I loved but which the author makes clear is a poor substitution for Havana. This was just enough of a biography of a city that has been remade several times over, though some things always stay the same the city...

Esil rated it ★★★★☆

March 05, 2017

I've been to Cuba many times on holidays to warm my bones and get away from the cold Canadian winter for a few days. These were mostly resort vacations on Cuba's beautiful beaches. Quite a few years ago, a childhood friend and I were marking a common big birthday and we decided to spend a week in...

Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it ★★★★☆

February 24, 2017

"Havana is not a city for people who are squeamish about sweat. Sweat is one of the many defining smells in redolent Havana and is a leitmotif in almost all Havana literature." If you are familiar with Kurlansky's other non-fiction, for instance Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World...

Jason rated it ★★★★☆

March 07, 2017

(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.) Although I enjoyed Mark Kurlansky's newest nonfiction book Havana, I don't actually have a lot to say ab...

Jane rated it ★★★☆☆

January 16, 2018

I gave it a three, because I felt it was a bit uneven. Some parts were really good and some not so much. The book is a very broad overview of Cuba's history to current situation, with random facts through out. I'm going to Cuba next month, so it was a worthwhile read for me.

Christopher rated it ★★★★★

April 08, 2017

With the normalization of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States, the easing of travel restrictions to the island, and the death of Fidel Castro last year, more Americans will have the opportunity to visit this gem of the Caribbean soon (assuming the Trump administration doesn't...

Linda rated it ★★★☆☆

March 19, 2017

The book takes the reader thru the history of Havana by writing about its people, its architecture and its blend of cultures. Some of these are very different from the rest of Cuba. The author has been visiting Havana for over thirty years so has seen some of the changes. The book is short but wa...

Joseph rated it ★★★★☆

March 09, 2017

Stroll along the shady streets of Havana with Mark Kurlansky, a most trustworthy and entertaining tour guide. Simply put, this is a beautifully written book, captivating from start to end. Kurlansky paints an indelible, wonderful portrait of a city and the Habaneros who have lived, thrived, strug...

Evan rated it ★★★★☆

May 06, 2017

What Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil did for Savannah and the Deep South, this does for Havana. Part history, part social commentary, with some minor adventures and snark thrown in, it serves as a very decent snapshot of an often misrepresented city.

Janine rated it ★★★★☆

October 02, 2017

I’ve read this book twice within six weeks. First I read it before leaving for my trip to Cuba. Then I borrowed it again a couple of days ago, to refresh my memory before writing this review and I was immediately drawn into a second reading, recognizing things and places that I’d seen and kicking...

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