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Extended Audio Sample Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy Audiobook, by Carlos Eire Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (316 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Carlos Eire Narrator: Robert Fass Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2010 ISBN: 9781400189519
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Carlos Eire’s story of a boyhood uprooted by the Cuban Revolution quickly lures us in, as eleven-year-old Carlos and his older brother Tony touch down in the sun-dappled Miami of 1962—a place of daunting abundance where his old Cuban self must die to make way for a new, American self waiting to be born.

In this enchanting new work, young Carlos adjusts to life in his new country. He lives for a time in a Dickensian foster home, struggles to learn English, attends American schools, and confronts the age-old immigrant’s plight: surrounded by the bounty of this rich land yet unable to partake. Carlos must learn to balance the divide between his past and present lives and find his way in this strange new world of gas stations, vending machines, and sprinkler systems.

Every bit as poignant, bittersweet, and humorous as his first memoir, Learning to Die in Miami is a moving personal saga, an elegy for a lost childhood and a vanished country, and a celebration of the spirit of renewal that America represents.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abranch71 | 2/12/2014

    " Loved it. Terrible things he went through as a child, and how hard it was for Carlos to push past and let go. I wish I had gone to see him speak when he came to town. Maybe he will come again soon - he lives in Guilford, CT! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel G. | 2/9/2014

    " I love Carlos Eire, and I loved his first book so much that I bought it. Even though his style isn't my favorite, I have found few non-fiction books that so exquisitely tell the story of immigration, loss, and childhood like Eire does. His first book, though, was definitely better; this one jumped around far too frequently, making it difficult to keep track of what was going on. It was also much more stream of consciousness than the first book, and at times it felt more like a diary that was never really meant to be published. That said, you can't read this without your heart breaking more than once, and to fully and completely appreciate your life and everything you have. Though his books are undoubtedly and confessedly biased in terms of Cuba, it's also an excellent way to understand the exile community in Florida and precisely why they have the views they have. So basically, I really recommend Waiting for Snow in Havana, but this is a must-read for anyone interested in immigration or anyone who feels like they need some perspective. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debra Track | 2/7/2014

    " The writing is exquisite. If you don't read this for the story, read it for the writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alicia | 1/29/2014

    " As one of the 14,000+ children airlifted from Cuba without parents in the early 1960s, I really identified and understood this book. 11 yr old Carlos had to "die" and become Charles/Chuck/Charlie to survive the translocation at such a tender age. He had to put his parents in the "vault of oblivion" and learn to survive in a "new world" as we all did. I don't think you could appreciate this book without having read "Waiting for Snow in Havana", his first book, which is an even better story. This book moved around in time quite a bit (Whoosh, he calls it) so it is harder to keep track of the chronology. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rena | 1/13/2014

    " I loved this story. Great writing and insight. I really enjoyed seeing events in the early 60s between Cuba and the US through the author's eyes. The book is funny, informative, and entertaining. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathee | 1/6/2014

    " This is the second of Carlos Eire's books (Waiting for Snow in Havana). I love this guy's writing and how he came to receive the Lord and the truth is phenomenal. He now teaches religious studies at Harvard. This is the true, raw story of the Pedro Pan airlift that brought 12,000 refugee Cuban children to the states - separated from their parents for years and sometimes forever - and what their life was like in the 1960s. I lived in Miami then so the story has particular interest to me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynne | 12/27/2013

    " Interesting, but I think you have to read his first book Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy in order to make sense of this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joella Tunnell | 12/17/2013

    " The author was 11 years old in l962 when he was one of 14,000 Cuban refugee children flown to the United States to escape the Castro revolution. He and his brother were placed in many foster homes and this book tells the problems with language, culture and constant moving. Interesting reading, though there were so many back and forward flashes, it was a little confusing at times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martha Hanna | 12/17/2013

    " Eye-opening about the Cuba Revolution.... The author is a professor at Yale now. He was dumped in America with NOTHING, not even his parents. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 12/4/2013

    " I enjoyed this book, especially since I knew nothing about the political situation that it deals with . It was a touching and humorous real story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martha Birnbaum | 12/1/2013

    " very moving especially if you've read his previous book, Waiting For Snow In Havana. Inspiring the way a good memoir should be and a great testament to the human spirit and our ability to thrive even under oppressive conditions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcie | 10/23/2013

    " A biography that is actually interesting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Barbara | 9/7/2013

    " This is the story of a young Cuban who was evacuated to the US along with 10000 other Cuban children in the early 1960's. The facts are very interesting, but I was so put off by the style of writing that I did not finish the book. Perhaps it reads better as a book for adolescents. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 9/5/2013

    " Book Club- Not bad. Good discussion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole | 12/20/2012

    " Fantastic memoir. Loved every page. Well written an understatement. Flows effortlessly back and forth through time - tying everything in- in a way that transcends time. Amazing what children, people, endure, and how they can continue on, overcome, and even shine. I loved this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Irene | 7/14/2012

    " I really enjoyed Carlos writing style. Yes the book did go back and forth between past and present but it was well done. I am going to find his first book and read that to. Definetly worth reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carolina | 4/2/2012

    " Not a fan of his writing style...or the authors perspective. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 3/18/2012

    " Good story line, but way too tedious to try to get through this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deirdre | 2/4/2012

    " DisappointIng after Waiting ... Havana. The marvelous descriptions of his almost magical childhood give way to the pathos & self-pity of Miami. perhaps this book should be viewed more as political comment on the airlift - a sad situation,but less compelling or engaging reading than the first memoir. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 1/21/2012

    " Liked Waiting for Snow in Havana better but had to know what happened next! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stuart | 12/15/2011

    " Didn't care for the attitude of the author - whiny and blaming, and anti-gay. Rather clouded the rest of his message. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maureen Flatley | 12/2/2011

    " Sequel to Waiting for Snow in Havana, a searing look at the aftermath of Los Pedro Pan. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Joe | 10/6/2011

    " oh, look! my navel! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 7/13/2011

    " Reverent, sweet, joyous, tragic, angry, sarcastic. Written with such consciousness, intelligence and wit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martha | 6/26/2011

    " very moving especially if you've read his previous book, Waiting For Snow In Havana. Inspiring the way a good memoir should be and a great testament to the human spirit and our ability to thrive even under oppressive conditions. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katharine | 4/2/2011

    " Most say Waiting for Snow in Havana was better. I found this interesting, sad, uplifting. I love that he loves the library..a poor little branch in Little Havana, Miami. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 3/16/2011

    " I had no idea so many thousands of children were airlifted out of Cuba in the 1960's and dumped in foster care and group homes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 2/16/2011

    " Book Club- Not bad. Good discussion. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 kathleen | 2/10/2011

    " rather interesting subject matter, handled with terribly drifty writing. too bad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abranch71 | 1/12/2011

    " Loved it. Terrible things he went through as a child, and how hard it was for Carlos to push past and let go. I wish I had gone to see him speak when he came to town. Maybe he will come again soon - he lives in Guilford, CT! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tina | 1/3/2011

    " I enjoy Carlos Eire so much. This isn't disappointing.

    As a Floridian I love to read this part of our history...not always pretty, but we know why Florida isn't weird...it's unique. "

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About the Author

Carlos Eire, born in Havana in 1950, left his homeland in 1962. He was one of 14,000 unaccompanied children airlifted out of Cuba by Operation Pedro Pan. After living in a series of foster homes in Florida and Illinois, he was reunited with his mother in Chicago in 1965. His father, who died in 1976, never left Cuba. After earning his PhD at Yale University in 1979, Eire taught at St. John’s University in Minnesota for two years and at the University of Virginia for fifteen. He is now the T. Lawrason Riggs professor of history and religious studies at Yale University. He lives in Guilford, Connecticut, with his wife and their three children.

About the Narrator

Robert Fass is a veteran actor and seven-time nominee for the prestigious Audie Award, winning in 2011 and 2013. He is equally at home in a wide variety of styles, genres, characters, and dialects and has earned multiple Earphones Awards, including one for his narration of Francisco Goldman’s Say Her Name, which was named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Audiobooks of 2011. He has given voice to modern and classic fiction writers alike, including Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Isaac Asimov, Jeffrey Deaver, and John Steinbeck, as well as to nonfiction works in history, memoir, health, journalism, and business.