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Extended Audio Sample Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban 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 (2,491 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Carlos Eire Narrator: David Drummond Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9781452673882
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A childhood in a privileged household in 1950s Havana was joyous and cruel, like any other-but with certain differences. The neighbor's monkey was liable to escape and run across your roof. Surfing was conducted by driving cars across the breakwater. Lizards and firecrackers made frequent contact. Carlos Eire's childhood was a little different from most. His father was convinced he had been Louis XVI in a past life. At school, classmates with fathers in the Batista government were attended by chauffeurs and bodyguards. At a home crammed with artifacts and paintings, portraits of Jesus spoke to him in dreams and nightmares. Then, in January 1959, the world changes: Batista is suddenly gone, a cigar-smoking guerrilla has taken his place, and Christmas is cancelled. The echo of firing squads is everywhere. And, one by one, the author's schoolmates begin to disappear-spirited away to the United States. Carlos will end up there himself, without his parents, never to see his father again. Narrated with the urgency of a confession, Waiting for Snow in Havana is both an ode to a paradise lost and an exorcism. More than that, it captures the terrible beauty of those times when we are certain we have died-and then are somehow, miraculously, reborn. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • As painful as Eire's journey has been, his ability to see tragedy and suffering as a constant source of redemption is what makes this book so powerful. Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marilyn | 1/22/2014

    " He talks about his childhood memories - sealed in a different time and place. It is about dislocation of immigration, too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mar | 1/6/2014

    " The author looks back on his carefree days of growing up in Cuba in the 50's. Everything changes when Castro takes over in the early 60's. Along with 14,000 other children, Carlos and his brother are put on a plane and airlifted to America. This is a very smart, well-written piece about Cuba's history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kati | 12/30/2013

    " Eire recounts his childhood in Cuba and his intense feelings of loss of his homeland, father and friends. His imagery is amazing and draws the reader into pre- and post-Castro Cuba. He makes interesting asides with "What would Kant think?" "

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

    " A beautiful writer - yes. But is Carlos Eire a story-teller? I don't think so! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pat | 12/25/2013

    " My book club selected this book and I was only about one third of the way through it when the club met. At that time my opinion was "what a waste of time"; I did not care for the book at all. I found it dragging on and on and not making much sense. However.....I never leave a book unfinished. It may take me months but I do get back to it. During my recent visit to the beach I took this book along. My opinion changed. The book does still drag in places but overall there is much to be learned about the "Cuba Revolution" and what can and did happen to a country that thought it was "free". A child's remembrance of a carefree life and then suddenly sent away from his family and friends is eye opening. I am not sorry I finished this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patrice | 12/13/2013

    " This book took me a long time to get into but I really appreciated it by the end and actually wished it was longer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather Adams | 12/2/2013

    " I enjoyed this memoir about a boy's childhood in Cuba before he was airlifted out in 1962 at the age of 11. The first couple of chapters were amazing. I felt it went downhill after that and seemed to be random memories that he wanted to share. It was still interesting though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 11/16/2013

    " This was unexpectedly funny--a young boy in the midst of revolution, seeing his world dissolve around him, but understanding the changes he witnesses in terms of cartoons, commercial culture and juvenile hijinks. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann | 7/16/2013

    " Amazing imagery and passion for his homeland. I keep wondering if I could write such a book after being torn from what I considered paradise. Texas? Maybe not. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donnadv | 7/7/2013

    " Compelling autobiography of young boy growing up in pre- revolutionary Cuba and his life in the U.S. after being sent to the U.S.from Cuba at age 12 without parents. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andria Mulet | 5/16/2013

    " This book was fabulous. It was written from the perspective of a child, without all the political discussions. Alot of books about Cuba and the revolution focus too much on the political and not on how is has affected families. I would love to re-read this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Auntie | 11/16/2012

    " My favorite book in 2008, I think. Read it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dee | 8/7/2012

    " Helped my to know more about what life was like in Cuba before and after Castro, but many abstract parts left me with ,"huh?" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Courtney | 7/22/2012

    " I loved the conversational writing style, and the sense of loss portrayed through the stories. While I wasn't bothered by the wandering narration, I did sometimes wish that the author would get to the point of the particular anecdote, or move on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patti | 5/21/2012

    " I found his story fascinating. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tara | 4/12/2012

    " Couldn't finish it. Very disappointing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Jane | 4/8/2012

    " Loved this! I laughed out loud a number of times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Winn | 12/4/2011

    " I've always loved Cuban culture, now I love it more. And I also now love Carlos Eire. I wish I we had lived in Charlottesville at the same time. You can always come back, Carlos. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexa | 12/3/2011

    " I want to find out what happened to his brother Tony..... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura Smith | 10/13/2011

    " Wasn't sure about this at first, but I'm glad I stuck with it. The writing is very well done, and it is intesting to get a 10 year old boy's perspective on the Cuban revolution. It did take me a while to get used to the constant jumping around in time, kind of a stream of consciousness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 10/11/2011

    " Interesting book about Eire's memory of life in Cuba pre-Castro and the way Castro changed the country and his family's life. An intriguing read, well-written. Draws you in as a reader. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gail | 9/13/2011

    " Once I realized he wasn't going to get out of Cuba in this book, I settled in to enjoy the pitch-perfect stories about his childhood full of explosives, petty thievery, love, longing, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. It was absolutely magical. No false notes. Highly recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debi | 8/3/2011

    " I loved this book! Carlos Eire taught me much more than I thought I knew about 1950's Cuba. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricia | 7/31/2011

    " This book was a very detailed; as though you are watching a movie. Very good. It's funny, sad, and interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Martha | 7/26/2011

    " I would give this a 3.5..... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 7/25/2011

    " Liked this book a lot! I loved the author's way of describing in all senses: when they would run after the big trucks and smell their exhaust, the way the whole place felt to the author as a child was captivating. Good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynne | 7/24/2011

    " I would give this four stars for the story. I knew nothing about pre-Revolutionary upper-class childhood in Cuba. I am giving it three stars because I didn't particularly care for the writing style. I guess I am a more linear person. I am, however, planning to read the sequel.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Candy | 7/5/2011

    " Loved this National Book Award winner! Beautifully written and fascinating memoir depicting life in Cuba before Fidel and the devastating consequences of his tyranny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/28/2010

    " This is not normally the type of book I like to read, but the story was so interesting and real that it drew me in. It was an easy read, but well written and very good with the descriptions so you are able to visualize the scenes. "

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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

David Drummond has made his living as an actor for over twenty-five years, appearing on stages large and small throughout the country and in Seattle, Washington, his hometown. He has narrated over thirty audiobooks, in genres ranging from current political commentary to historical nonfiction, fantasy, military, thrillers, and humor. He received an AudioFile Earphones Award for his first audiobook, Love ’Em or Lose ’Em: Getting Good People to Stay. When not narrating, he keeps busy writing plays and stories for children.