This book is an enjoyable listen and classic DeMille style. The intensity steadily builds throughout the book until the really enjoyable penultimate scene. Unfortunately, the ending is typical for a DeMille book that uses geopolitics and real world implications as a plot point, in that it is not very satisfying. There are plenty of twists, unearthing of selfish plots, and good character development through the chapters.
I enjoyed this book, but it felt like a weaker version of Up Country. You can feel Nelson DeMille didn't have as strong a connection to Mac as he did Paul Brenner. I still recommend The Cuban Affair, but try Up Country and definitely the John Corey series if you haven't already.
24 of 25 people found this review helpful
This is the sixth DeMille book I have listened to or read. I loved all of them until this. Most of his books had me hooked quickly but this one did not. This book seemed slow to me. My mind kept wandering as I listened to it so I continually had to replay sections and force myself to pay attention. The end of the book finally had some excitement. This is also the first DeMille book where I just did not find the main characters likable enough to pull for them. I highly recommend Nelson DeMille books. Just not this one.
18 of 19 people found this review helpful
DeMille is the master of dialogue, but he overdoes it in this work. Too much chatting and not enough doing. He treads treacherously close to Dan Brown Guide Book territory in telling us about every square inch of Cuba. All that is interesting for someone who might plan a trip there, but for the rest of us, get on with the story that we want from the guy who has written some seriously excellent books. DeMille eventually gets to the end with bullets flying, but I had to speed up the narration to 1.25 to get there.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Nelson DeMille has been one of my favorites for years and this book did not disappoint. I didn't find it as compelling as The Lion's Game or Spencerville, but it was still well worth the time. I finished it in just two days. He did an excellent job of painting the ambience of modern day Havana and contrasting it with Havana of the late 50's. While he is far from a Communist sympathizer, DeMille makes it clear that Cuba before Castro was no paradise either. The history of the Cuban interrogators in North Vietnam was new to me. I thoroughly enjoyed the way he wove the history into the action, and the reactions of the characters. Mac, the protagonist, and Jack his older alter ego, were both realistic and lifelike. As a Vietnam era vet myself, I especially related to Jack's irreverent attitude.
For me, the love story was the weakest part of the novel. It seemed rushed and contrived. Rather than watching a relationship grow, or seeing a head over heels love at first sight thunderbolt, one minute Mac meets Sarah, and the next they're discussing marriage.
Scott Brick did his usual outstanding job as narrator, though I couldn't help but notice the enormous difference in his "narrator voice" and the regular voice you hear in the post-book interview with DeMille.
All in all, this was a satisfying, interesting, thought provoking listen.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
One of the first books on tape that I ever listened to (and subsequently became hooked) was Demille's Upcountry. The Cuban Affair is a poor imitation of that-- an ex-military entering a foreign/hostile country and along the way, reliving some of his post traumatic stress. Upcountry is much, much better.
The story is predictable, contrite, and cliche. It feels like Demille wrote the story until he got bored and then ended it. The story line is ridiculous, the characters not believable, and, though in general I like Scott Brick, he reads the main character in such a bitter and cynical tone that it is impossible to like him (the character, not Brick).
12 of 13 people found this review helpful