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Download Telex from Cuba: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Telex from Cuba: A Novel, by Rachel Kushner Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,188 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rachel Kushner Narrator: Lloyd James Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Rachel Kushner’s mother grew up in Cuba in the 1950s, in the United Fruit Company enclave where Telex from Cuba takes place. Calling on a rich trove of family letters, photos, meticulously kept journals, and historical research, Kushner sets free her brilliant imagination in this profoundly resonant story of a world that was paradise for a time and for a few. 

For half a century, Americans controlled Cuba’s sugar and nickel operations—the country’s two most lucrative exports. Between the United Fruit Company’s 300,000-acre plantation and the nearby Nicaro nickel mines, Americans tended their own fiefdom in Cuba’s Oriente Province. Everly Lederer and K. C. Stites come of age in this world. Each has a keen eye for the indulgences and betrayals of the grown-ups around them. Meanwhile, in faraway Havana, a cabaret dancer and a French agitator with a shameful past become enmeshed in the brewing political underground. When Fidel and Raúl Castro lead a revolt from the mountains just above the Americans’ privileged enclave, torching sugarcane fields and recruiting rebels, K. C. and Everly begin to discover the complexities of class and race and the barely disguised brutality that keeps the colony humming. If their parents seem blissfully untouched by the forces of history, the children hear the whispers of what’s to come, as Kushner deftly merges the rural and urban dramas. 

At the time, urgent news was conveyed by telex. Kushner’s first novel is a tour de force, haunting and compelling, with the urgency of a telex from a forgotten time and place.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sure and sharp, studded with illuminating images…. A story that will linger like a whiff of decadent Colony perfume.”

    New York Times

  • “Gorgeously written…. An imaginative work that brings Cuban-American history to life.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Lloyd James’s spirited reading captures every aspect of Kushner’s story; he can easily tug at listeners’ heartstrings and guide them on a remarkable journey.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “James…doesn’t miss a beat in the animation of the characters’ voices as he takes on accents and emotions alike with verve.”


  • “James possesses a jaded tone that is perfect for characters insulated by colonial society.”


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Maureen | 2/16/2014

    " Interesting local color but flat characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Carolhdaniels | 2/12/2014

    " Couldn't put the book down...great story and historical insignt. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Nancy | 2/9/2014

    " This was not for me. At 100 pages I was still looking for a plot, and I didn't care about any of the characters (and there were a lot of them). The back half picked up a little, but if I hadn't been reading it for a book club, I wouldn't have made it that far. As a book club book, I do have several questions, and I suspect a thoughtful analysis might make me appreciate it more. But in terms of reading enjoyment, it didn't happen for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Amanda | 1/23/2014

    " The story of Americans in Cuba prior to Castro's revolution, it occurs through flashbacks and memories of some of the kids who grew up on the island, but tells in "real time" the story of the adults. I didn't think I would like this book, because it comes across as very-unPC. But the main character apologizes for that -- he knows his attitudes aren't the correct ones, nor were the attitudes of his parents and their "friends." It was an interesting look at a region that continues to vex us to this very day. "

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