Customer Reviews for

Telex from Cuba: A Novel

Average Rating 3
( 27 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted July 10, 2012

    I have very mixed feelings about this book. In ne way, it is gor

    I have very mixed feelings about this book. In ne way, it is gorgously written. The style is wonderful But Ms. Kushner's characterizarion of the red-neck family is extremely insulting to me, a native of Louisiana. While unable to claim a "Cajun" backgbround, I have known many, and spent time in their homes all of my life. I NEVER came across any Acadians with names like the ones in this book, or any that acted so grossly. Cajuns do have very close family relationships, they hunt and fish cook outdoors often - snf gth food is fabulous! Most cajuns have a natural grace and elegance in their open hospitality and chairty to those around them.

    I also have many friends who came here as refugees following Castro's ruination of a very literate country, with a high standard of living. The depiction of Mr. Gonzales as typical of wealthy Cubans is ridiculous! These false and very prejudicial characerizations make me doubt the accuracy of the treatment of the history of this era.
    Given her academic background, I suspect that Ms. Kushner delighted in taking swipes at the "red" state of Louisiana, and in depicting Cuban-Americans as "oily" and criminal.

    I refer readers to the well-documented "Fidel:Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant" by Louisiana resident Humberto Fontova, author of three other books, and many magazine and on-line atricle.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This was a good read, but in the end lacked something....

    Telex from Cuba takes place during times of much upheaval for Cuba. This story of several American families working for American mining and sugar processors intertwines great detail of their lives with the history of a revolt that includes such historical figures as Fidel and Raul Castro, Duvalier, and Trujillo as well as mentions of Ernest Hemmingway and Henry Cabot Lodge. I particularly liked the descriptions of the countryside and of Havanna and became particularly attached to Everly, an odd young girl that grows up in the mining town that her father oversees. For the amount of characters, the revolutions and upheavals, and for the issues that ex-pats had going on in their personal lives, I felt the novel was much too short, I felt a little cheated as the author seemed to rush to wrap things up, as if she didn't trust the reader or her skills to keep us on the edge of our seats....thus making this book passable but not great. I am glad I read it, but would not choose to re-read it. One of the things this book did deliver on for me was the realization that I know very little of the history of this island although much of this took place during my childhood years and some of the players continue to affect history today. This was a book for our local book club.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Life in Cuba before the Revolution

    I found this book very interesting and informative. It takes place in the late 1950's Cuba just prior to the revolution that placed Castro in power. It is a story of American life on compounds owned by sugar companies in the US. This was a topic I knew nothing about until I read this book. The story is intertwined with Cuban history during this period and this part was very interesting as well. The book is well written and I found myself unable to put it down. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something different to read. I think it was well researched and historically accurate.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great look at pre-Castro Cuba

    A fascinating look at the lives of Americans and other foreigners living and working in Cuba prior to and during the Cuba Revolution. The story is a bit hard to follow in parts, and it helps to have some knowledge of the 20th century history of Cuba. Having traveled to Cuba a few times I found it very interesting and another perspective on the U.S. involvement in the island before Castro.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2009

    Telex from Cuba was a selection I made for my local book club. Most of the readers (10) thought that the book's characters were well developed. Most of the readers felt that it was a time in history that they would like to read more about.

    Very descriptive imagery....and a narrative that moved quickly....class distinctions were wrapped creatively through out the plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2009

    Dont Expect Much Depth

    I bought this book hoping to read more about Cuba and the political times rather than the families going to cocktail parties and complaining about fresh produce. I wanted more historical perspective and less Danielle Steele.

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  • Posted October 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A gorgeous color postcard of a country on the brink of revolution

    In Rachel Kushner's Telex from Cuba, she traces the lives of several families working in Oriente Province, Cuba in the 1950s shortly before Castro's revolution overthrew the Batista government. Told by three separate narrators, the novel paints a haunting portrait of a transplanted American community at odds with the jungle (and people) surrounding it, the volatile rebel movement bent on sabotaging the sugarcane crop, and the daily dramas in the lives of two children growing up during this time, K.C. Stites and Everly Lederer. <BR/><BR/>The various tales intertwine as daily life in Preston, home of the United Fruit Company's sugarcane operation, unfolds. Nearby town Nicaro, a nickel-mining town, also figures prominently as there is a large population of expat Americans living and working there. Preston is graced with massive Southern-style plantations, elite country clubs, and scores of Jamaican servants; the imported Haitian workers do the backbreaking labor of cane cutting, and occasionally cut down white employees with their machetes. This sort of American-in-Cuba utopia angers the locals, who feel exploited and back the Castro brothers' rebel revolution. The revolution is the climax, as various characters or their families are directly involved in one way or another. Kushner's novel is swept along by the tidal wave of change that would erase the distant memories of plantation houses in favor of Communist concrete, the elegant French-style ice cream parlors replaced by a massive Communist ice cream factory that provides ice cream for the masses rather than the elites that frequented them in the 1950s. <BR/><BR/>Kushner's portrait of Preston and Nicaro is one of unhappy Americans seeking escape in Cuba. Riveting in its historical portrayal and in its varied cast of narrators from all walks of life, Telex from Cuba is a gorgeous color postcard of a country on the brink of revolution.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 30, 2008

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    Posted November 12, 2008

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    Posted October 15, 2008

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    Posted October 16, 2010

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    Posted June 23, 2009

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    Posted June 21, 2013

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    Posted October 18, 2009

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
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