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~Read E-pub ☦ Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy ♭ In , at the age of eleven, Carlos Eire was one of , children airlifted out of Cuba, his parents left behind His life until then is the subject of Waiting for Snow in Havana, a wry, heartbreaking, intoxicatingly beautiful memoir of growing up in a privileged Havana householdand of being exiled from his own childhood by the Cuban revolutionThat childhood, until his world changes, is as joyous and troubled as any otherbut with exotic differences Lizards roam the house and grounds Fights aren't waged with snowballs but with breadfruit The rich are outlandishly rich, like the eightyearold son of a sugar baron who has a real miniature race car, or the neighbor with a private animal garden, complete with tiger All this is bathed in sunlight and shades of turquoise and tangerine: the island of Cuba, says one of the stern monks at Carlos's school, might have been the original Paradiseand it is tempting to believeHis father is a municipal judge and an obsessive collector of art and antiques, convinced that in a past life he was Louis XVI and that his wife was Marie Antoinette His mother looks to the future; conceived on a transatlantic liner bound for Cuba from Spain, she wants her children to be modern, which means embracing all things American His older brother electrocutes lizards Surrounded by eccentrics, in a home crammed with portraits of Jesus that speak to him in dreams and nightmares, Carlos searches for secret proofs of the existence of GodThen, in January , President Batista is suddenly gone, a cigarsmoking guerrilla named Castro has taken his place, and Christmas is canceled The echo of firingsquads is everywhere At the Aquarium of the Revolution, sharks multiply in a swimming pool And one by one, the author's schoolmates begin to disappearspirited away to the United States Carlos will end up there himself, alone, never to see his father againNarrated with the urgency of a confession, Waiting for Snow in Havana is both an exorcism and an ode to a paradise lost More than that, it captures the terrible beauty of those times in our lives when we are certain we have diedand then are somehow, miraculously, reborn Heroism Begins with Her at the age of eleven Buried Mountain Secrets Carlos Eire was one of Buried Mountain Secrets children airlifted out of Cuba Buried Mountain Secrets his parents left behind His life until then is the subject of Waiting for Snow in Havana The Deranged Cousins, or, Whatever a wry Intuición heartbreaking Street Fight intoxicatingly beautiful memoir of growing up in a privileged Havana householdand of being exiled from his own childhood by the Cuban revolutionThat childhood Windburn (The Elemental Series, until his world changes Light, Traveling is as joyous and troubled as any otherbut with exotic differences Lizards roam the house and grounds Fights aren't waged with snowballs but with breadfruit The rich are outlandishly rich Knights vs. Dinosaurs like the eightyearold son of a sugar baron who has a real miniature race car Knights vs. Dinosaurs or the neighbor with a private animal garden Buenas noches, Luna complete with tiger All this is bathed in sunlight and shades of turquoise and tangerine: the island of Cuba A Hundred Summers says one of the stern monks at Carlos's school Cross-Laminated Timber Design might have been the original Paradiseand it is tempting to believeHis father is a municipal judge and an obsessive collector of art and antiques Her Guilty Secret convinced that in a past life he was Louis XVI and that his wife was Marie Antoinette His mother looks to the future; conceived on a transatlantic liner bound for Cuba from Spain Autumn Chill in Utah Springs she wants her children to be modern Monophobia 1 which means embracing all things American His older brother electrocutes lizards Surrounded by eccentrics The Passionate Lover in a home crammed with portraits of Jesus that speak to him in dreams and nightmares Nouns & Verbs Carlos searches for secret proofs of the existence of GodThen Thicker Than Water (The Grayson Trilogy in January Colton Cowboy Standoff President Batista is suddenly gone Someday Jennifer a cigarsmoking guerrilla named Castro has taken his place November Road: A Novel and Christmas is canceled The echo of firingsquads is everywhere At the Aquarium of the Revolution Friend, Fling, Forever? sharks multiply in a swimming pool And one by one Harlequin Medical Romance March 2019 - Box Set 1 of 2 the author's schoolmates begin to disappearspirited away to the United States Carlos will end up there himself The Widow Next Door: The most chilling of new crime thriller books that you will read in 2018 alone Perkins Mid Grade Novel never to see his father againNarrated with the urgency of a confession Unti Mindhunter Book Waiting for Snow in Havana is both an exorcism and an ode to a paradise lost More than that 826 Notas de Amor Para Emma it captures the terrible beauty of those times in our lives when we are certain we have diedand then are somehow La heredera del mar miraculously La revolución del metabolismo reborn Every student going into their sopho year at my son's high school must read this book over the summer I like keeping up with what my kids are reading, so I read it too I would like to hear why this book was chosen, and am curious what the students will be quizzed on, regarding this book, in the fall I have several opinions about this book First, it could have been interesting about the Cuban Revolution but every time the author came near some details or a complete story, the focus would take a turn But the author was also a child during this time period, so perhaps much should be forgiven for this Which brings me to my second point, there is NO linear structure to this book The childhood stories are blended with stories from when he moved/escaped to the U.S which are mixed in with his personal philosophy, religious views and visions, nightmares, proofs of God, ramblings on hating philosopher Immanuel Kant, tochildhood stories where he and his friends were tormenting monkeys, lizards, the town drunk, playing with fireworks, etc.Ultimately, I feel sorry for the author He seems very scarred by the occurrences in this book, and who can blame him? I hope writing this book exorcises some of these demons, brings him some peace and forgiveness, and helps him get past his post traumatic stress disorder.But I can't help but think this is a personal journey, not to be published, or minimally, not to be inflicted on high school students who don't have the perspective (nor does the author) to process this mighty life changing event.The good news is I can count this book for my Revolution read for the SL County summer challenge!! :) This was one of the worst books I have read in quite some time I had hoped to learnabout the overthrow of Batista and the rise of Castro and the Revolution, but instead had to plow through the memories of an unlikable eight to twelveyearold boy Eire's constant references to how privileged he was and how influenced he was by American pop culture grew very tiresome After the first several stories about the movies and comics he liked, the swimming clubs he frequented, the lizards he killed, the beautiful neighborhood he lived in and the servants at his disposal, I just wanted to say, okay, I get it, enough, tell me something interesting The writing was full of cliches and the book had absolutely no story line It was a disjointed mess I don't know how many times he used the phrase fast forward but it was way too many for me and all within about four chapters I would have tossed this book after about the first half, but was reading it for a book club, so I soldiered on Actually, the last chapter was the best, not only because I was nearing the end of the tedium, but because it felt like the most genuine and honest recollection he gave us Sadly, I think that Eire missed an opportunity to write a great book about his experiences as part of the Pedro Pan airlift of children from Cuba and the history of his homeland Unfortunately, this book missed the mark. If you don't know what is CARGOISM, please consult a dictionary I did, and if I am not remember or understand it incorrectly, it means a passion for material largess dropping down from the sky by US airplanes.The recipients of the goods were the barbarians of some remote island, who thought the cargoes were from some gods, not human.Year after year , they were waiting forsimilar goods from the sky, and since they have never seen any , they have been performing some kind of ritual dance to plead the gods to send them someof the largess I can understand this behavior from these barbarians, but it make me sick to witness this cheap desire in people who are not only awash in material possession, but also from his or her intelligence, has acquired a higher level of formal education Examples are the author of this book and one of his contemporary, also a college professor, Mirta OJITO ( FINDING MANANA, to which I also reviewed)They made me sick, really sick.Now I don't have any problem with people who spend all his daytime ,year in and year out to makeandmoney.But I detest the pseudo intelligentsia , save his or her GENUINE UNIVERSITY DEGREE, who CLUMSILY cover his or her base animal instinctive lust for good food, good drink,nice car, exquisite house ( with swimming pool) and good looking bed partner with lots of bogus political and fake philosophical rambling discourses and poorly disguised lie and dishonesty as in the case of FROF EIRE and OJITO.Before I go into details, let me briefly list here all his lies :HE lied about his motive to immigrate to the US , actually he was sent to the US at a tender age of 11 together with his brother ,so actually he lied about his parents motive.I will prove their motive was to stuff their sons pockets with a lot of greenbacks, NOT BECAUSE THEY HATE FIDEL AND HIS DICTATORSHIP Even though they were leading a pampered lives with the wealth of their father , a selfconfessed ( with a rather straight face) , corrupt high ranking government official, their father with boundless greed, wantedandfor their offspring, to the extend to send them off to another country without any possibility of ever to reunite with them.It is so pathetic, his lies.If he just simply recount the story of his being sent , together with thousands of other Cuban children , to the US to satisfy the desire formaterial gain of their parents, similar to the above mentioned cargo worship barbarians, then it is acceptable , if not admirable.However, Eire , as a college prof., similar to Ojito, was too proud to admit this cheap weakness.If everyone flee their countries when there were so much hardship, so much killing and robbing by BIG BAD MONSTERS, how can the world be a better place for its following generation ? If Gandhi fled India while it was mauled by that disgusting royal family, and Ho chi Minh did likewise while Viet Nam was raped by that disgusting French Empire and equally disgusting American Empire,what will happen to the bloodied people of these countries? These two authors, have tried to cloak it withrespectable ( BUT FALSE, BOGUS ) nice looking, nice sounding outer layer, but rather weak political and social disagreement with Fidel 's MY WAY Therefore, he even lied in the very title of his memoir.It should have been entitled WAITING FOR CARGO IN HAVANA instead of WAITING FOR SNOW IN HAVANA Snow my foot ! What dishonesty !He lied about Fidel and Che and their struggle to protect fiercely the dignity of not only their own, but for all Cubans.Dignity of a free people, free and independent country , and their country sacred sovereignty in face of the big , bad bully next door trying very hard in many years to rob the tiny Cuban nation of their ancestral land, to turn it into its nth state, not unlike the whole sale massacre of the American Indian to rob almost all of their ancestral territory.This fact is known by everybody except Eire and Ojito Everybody knew also numerous failed , very dirty attempts on Fidel's life by the evil US governments including the most stupid one about exploding cigar.But lying is the least of his character defects.The most amazing and vomit inducing act of his was the shameless selfgrandiosity.Please read it , from the very page of his memoir I warrant your throwing up all of your stomach content This idiot, save his degree from a prestigious university, has the steel nerve ( and one inch thick skin on his.presumably handsome.face) to compare himself to a Russian Astronaut, Gagarin ! I am not kidding , read it for yourself.After praising the astronaut with his daring , who he said had balls as big as a coconut and as hard ( quite acceptable) he boasted he also possessed balls in order to undertake his adventure from the hell hole Cuba to his paradise the US of A.( Excuse me, what have you just uttered , prof of STUPIDITY AND SELFGRANDIOSITY ???)Balls you said ? Eh, balls ? Carl, let me tell you, you shameless idiot.YOUR BALL IS ABOUT THE SIZE OF a GRAIN OF mongo bean (regardless how many babies you fathered) , AND AS SOFT AS WET NOODLE.You and all the Cuban criminals in Florida.This is another lie from Prof Eire.He has never admitted among the Cuban immigrants are a large number of thieves, murderers , robbers and other hardcore criminals released from Cuban prisons.They have commit many criminal acts, including blowing up a bank in Florida.( Eire has swear his admirable uncle didn't participate in this bombing.Sure Carl, we believe you )A bad joke made by the much hated Extreme Leader !You see, if you and your gang members had balls, YOU would have STAYed or came back (not under the skirt of UNCLE SAM ) AND kicked ASSESS OF THE BLOKES YOU HATEd , JUST LIKE FIDEL.Didn't you see, Fidel stayed and kicked assess of that thief , that SOB Batista and his cohorts , not ran away and begged some foreigners to do it for you like your gang did.Remember BAY OF PIGS ?( My apology to Micheal Moore from stealing this core idea from his DOWNSIZE THIS ! for which I also have written a review ) More lies from this scumbag.He has conveniently forgot to mention how bad,how dirty was Batista.Forinfo about this SOB, the readers are invited to read my book review of FINDING MA~NANA by one of Eire's (very likely best Cuban friend) contemporaries , also a University Prof., MIRTA OJITO.Professor Carl, The most shameful thing was, when your equally stupid masters ( also possessed tiny soft balls) failed miserably to execute their hare brain scheme in the disastrous invasion at the BAY OF PIGS , you behaved just like a crybaby who was denied mom 's tits , cried your head off.What pity !I really feel sorry for you and your gang of cowards ( worse, not only cowardice, they were without any selfrespect and shame, the cargo cult sorts)When he blamed the failure of the BAY OF PIGS fiasco to that damn Kennedy brothers we could hear in the back ground his sobs! We almost feel sorry for the idiot.HEY philosopher Carl, REVOLUTION IS JUST LIKE DYING or MAKING LOVE , YOU NEED TO DO IT YOURSELF ( the same way what you and your childhood friends did with the innocent and lovely looking (for whom you detested) tiny lizards ),NO BODY CAN DO IT FOR YOU as much as nobody can hump your wife for you, you need to do it by yourself However, all of my above accusations is tame if we compare with this AMAZINGLY WELL HIDDEN TRUTH ,the truth he hoped we wouldn't notice : His father, the late KING OF FRANCE' and hence the author of the memoir himself ARE DIRECT DESCENDANTS OF THE FEARSOME , THIEVING, BLOOD THIRSTY , GOLD MAD , BIBLE THUMBING gang of thugs from the Spanish Empire of the yesteryear ,who centuries ago, went on a robbing and killing rampage through out much of the world, and of course the land now known as Cuba.And, amazing enough, he, the descendant of that disgusting murderers and robbers , the blood suckers and TORMENTORS OF THE CUBAN NATIVES, has the nerve to blame all his fake , imaginative current miseries to his ancestor's slaves , the TORMENTED Cuban.Fidel was just one among others.( There is no exclusion the possibility that ancestor female members of Fidel were not raped by their disgusting Spanish conquerors.However the similarity between Fidel and Eire ends here)Talk about sweet justice.Suddenly everything is as clear as daylight under blazing sun : No wonder Eire and his corrupt judge daddy were so sore about the EXTREME LEADER and his revolution that has eliminated a lot of their privileges..Of course, they missed the old indulgences , one of them was very good tasting morsels they have gorged themselves during the golden years under the reign of that dog , EMPEROR BAUTISTA among other indulgences ( for example, surfing his nice wheel through corrosive ocean water, with the author beside ) If we are lazy, we will easily fall for this gosh writer who are such clever liar,especially when armed with the respectability of a university degree from a P R E S T I G I O U S big ass institution.Another curious fact is the PROFESSOR 's use of the same sugar ( Christianity) to coat a very bitter pill (neo COLONIALISM made in USA) to make it easier for the Cuban to swallow, NOT AT ALL UNLIKE the clever tactic of his ancestor the Spaniard, specifically that BIG HONCHO ,THE DISGUSTING blood sucker, King Phillip had used to soften the resistance of the native people against the invading Spanish criminals centuries ago.It is so easy to understand, NOT SURPRISING AT ALL the fact the PROFESSOR was blabbing about THE BIG BOOK ( he being specialized in RELIGION STUDY ) IN almost every page of this collection of disgusting lies and selfserving white wash.What has he trying to washed away ? BLOOD my friends.Blood of countless natives in many COUNTRIES ,blood that soaked the boots of the Spanish explorers.Funny, he thought he can get away with his cry wolf about Cuban traitors who were required to shed some of their dirty blood by the extreme leader.He kept repeating about this , without mentioning about how much blood his ancestor and most recently, the gangster Bautista had sucked from the Cuban people.The dishonesty of THE PROFESSOR is another amazing , albeit too childish regarding THE SWIMMING POOL CHOCK FULL OF CROCODILES.I don't really know why has he kept mentioning about this pool and these croc's.But lurking underneath of this is his dishonesty,perhaps he really wanted to accuse Fidel of keeping this pool of crocodiles to execute his enemies, but facing with the lack of evidence, he has tried to lure the readers into some vague notion of barbaric act from his most hated Fidel Unworthy act of a person of his stature.As a professor of religion studies among others, HE ACTED AS THOUGHT HE WAS THE MOST PIOUS.He made many claims about his vision of Jesus Christ , who has made extra trouble to appear just for THE PROFESSOR 'S benefit.Well, let me ask you Carl.Do you really possess any shame, even very little ?Throughout your life, from a very young boy until now, you have been in constant lust after materialistic stuffs , isn't it so ? From beautiful actresses to comfy houses ( with swimming pool for Heaven sake), from COKE to French fries ( that gave you a peek of Heaven itself) ,You have complained bitterly about the shortage of this food and that food under the reign of that big bad Fidel.I have searched through every pages of your memoir.Not one shed , however tiny of any noble thinking.(Not to mention you killed all lizards in your neighbor, loved to hear loud noise firecrackers, even bombs the louder the better ,loved to throw BIG ROCKs AT your childhood friends while your much admired daddy looked on.and manydisgusting acts, too numerous to be included here ).Pious my foot ! ( to be continued **)I need to open a parenthesis here(((((Another ridiculous thing is prof EIRE claims that his daddy was the reincarnation of Napoleon Bonaparte and hence his mama is the reincarnation of the King's wife Josephine.Really sad, a guy hates his root so badly, perhaps is ashamed of his ancestors , being a backward race, inferior to white people.He was uprooted soul, feels helplessly lost, and considers his adoptive American parents as his own when he was at a tender age.But he doesn't need to loath his original blood and also doesn't need to feel ashamed of his parents blood TO THE EXTEND DENYING THEIR CUBAN ORIGIN , and transplanting French royal heads over their Cuban bodiesReally , really pathetic !Nobody , I don't care who they are, should be ashamed of his/her ancestors.All ancestors, I don't care where they were from, have shedded sweat , blood and laid down their lives to tame the jungles , to wrestle life sustaining food from the most harsh environ, to ward off man eating wild beasts and marauders, foreign and domestic.To despise one's ancestors is the most serious moral depravity possibility.Closing parenthesis here ))))))))( to be continued with ** above)But to be fair, almost all the high priests of today are just like him, almost all have the similar delusion about how pious they are.This is the reason of the saying WHEN I DIED, I PREFER HELL.At least one will not have to see the like of THE PROFESSOR and or his high priest buddies.That alone is HEAVEN by itself , don't you think ? In 1962 Carlos Eire was one of 14,000 children airlifted out of Cubaexiled from his family at age 11 The Cuban revolution took away his family, his beloved country, his friends, and, most importantly, his childhood The memories of his Cuban life are an exorcisan and to tribute to a paradise lost: the island of his youth The lizards, turquoise seas and sun drenched siestas are the heart of this memoir After Castro ousts Batista music sounds like gunfire, Christmas is illegal, and the wait to see who didn't comeback today is agonizing The book is so well written I felt as though I was right in the middle of the Eire family; crying, laughing and suspicious of every chnge Carlos ends up a successful American which was always his mother's dream But the price is high; in doing ao, he leaves his soul in the country he loves This is one of the best memoirs I have read I love memoirs and have read many, so my rating of this book is unconditional. As the son of two CubanAmericans driven from their homeland by a tragic communist revolution, I thoroughly enjoyed this book In response to the constant pestering by my mother to read it, I finally picked up the novel, which was written by Carlos Eire, a man who not only has a great name but is also my mother's age.The writing style of this autobiographical novel is quite unique The chapters of Eire's book seem to jump nonchronologically from one childhood instance in preCastro Cuba to another and then at times to therecent past, his life in america after the revolucion rather, revoluTion, sorry Despite all this skipping around, as a reader I never felt lost.Now about the story This novel charmingly recounts the childhood experiences of a boy growing up in a Cuba before Castro, when a different tyrant, by the name of Fulgencio Batista, still held the reins in Cuba This is a world ever influenced by the neighboring United States, but still unique Uniquely tropical, uniquely sophisticated, uniquely Catholic, and uniquely mysterious The activities of Batista's secret police force, and his other intimidating abuses of power create a constant uneasy feeling in the novel, like a storm looming in the distance, you know it's coming but want to ignore it at the same time.True to all the stories I've heard of the exile, Eire faithfully and unapologetically recounts the events of his departure from Cuba after the rise of Castro With the black and white television in his living room showing a constant lineup of political prisoners being executed by firing squad, we see a twelveyearold Eire struggling with the reality that he will have to leave his homeland, never knowing when he will return again, if ever.This novel, since it is actually written by a Cuban, impresses me with its account of the historical events Here in the U.S., the situation in Cuba is always clouded in some sort of mystery and the full story never seems to be divulged Some see the revolution as a deliverance from the corrupt Batista at the hands of Castro and the everpopular revolutionary Che Guevara to a freeCuba, a Cuba Libre! As it has been known this is a lie.The truth is, Batista was a murdering criminal and a corrupt tyrant So is Fidel Castro Castro and his righthand man Che Guevara murdered thousands upon thousands of political prisoners without due process (think about that next time you see a tshirt with Che Guevara's picture on it) These men aren't heroes, heroes fight for Truth and justice, and for the good of all, but these men fought simply for power, money, and fame Eire captures these truths poignantly in this novel. This book won an award? This book is 385 pages too long If you are looking to learn about what it was like to live at the time of revolution and transition in Cuba as I was, this is not the book for you Have you ever been in a conversation you're trying to get out of because the subject matter doesn't concern you and is completely uninteresting? Prepare for 385 pages of that Prepare to learn in great detail where the author obtained his comic books or what flavor of ice cream he preferred There are not paragraphs on these topics There are pages and, in some instances, chapters I read the first chapter and thought wow this book is going to be great Little did I know it wasn't the author setting the tone The whole book would be the author describing in great detail the details of his life that were completely uninteresting probably even to his spouse, much less the general public I'm sure he had an interesting life I'm sure he has stories to tell that would enlighten us all These are the stories that he alludes to for the entire book but never describes Another reviewer said this book was like being stuck in a waiting room with a 10 year old That analogy is perfect I'm throwing this book away so that no one makes the same mistake I did Amateur hour I wanted to like this bookI really did!! However, the author's attempt at writing did not agree with me His overly verbose descriptions of clouds, his constant pseudonym use for his parents, and his pompous attitude did not agree with me I am very disappointed as I am looking for a good book on the history of Cuba and this is the second book on the topic that just left me disappointed (I recently discarded Telex from Cuba, a fictional book written about the same period in Cuba's history I will save my issues with that book for another review!) Eire's attempt in writing from the viewpoint of a tenyear old seems rather forced It isn't until the second half of the memoir that Eire becomes a bitcomfortable with his ambitious writing style The story flowed much better By this point, he is better able to capture his naivete about Fidel's takeover Although I never really connected with the narrator, I find myself interested in the history of Cuba and the events surrounding the Communist takeover as well as the dashed hopes of so many Cubans who thought Fidel would be the savior of their country If anyone knows of a better book dealing with this topic, please let me know! Full disclosure: The author of this book is a family friend, and although I wouldn't say that I know him well, I have met him a few times.Some people have fascinating stories to tell Some people are able to write well A select few people have both interesting stories, and a flair for authoring Carlos Eire is one of those people.On its surface, this is a very simple book It's about a story that most people are at least moderately familiar with Fidel Castro leads a successful rebellion against Batista in Cuba, and thousands of Cuban refugees flee the country in order to establish new lives in the US.The part that sets this book apart is the excellent memories and descriptions of being a young boy in Batista's Cuba All the typical stuff of boyhood is there, including mischief and complex relationships with family and school, but there's also a strong undercurrent of innocence lost, which parallels nicely with the fall of Cuba All tied up in all of this is the impact of Eire's Catholic heritage, lurking as a crucifix in every corner of his mind.Eire doesn't make an effort to capture the fighting of the revolution, or the immigrant experience; he doesn't have to Instead, he focuses on his personal story A very fresh book, I've read nothing like it. My ambivalence about this book, I think, comes from my personal empathic paradox On one hand, I try very hard to understand the pain a little boy thrust from his parents and country feels On the other hand, I have an empathic failure when I try to feel sorrow for a privileged rich kid whose privilege and fortune didn't last Eire's memoir, while nicely written, suffers from heavyhanded judgments that aren't clearly delineated between Eire's interchanging personas of backwardslooking adult and outwardlooking child He probably meant to tread on both sides of that line with his expressions of hate and frustration as a means of representing the indelible impact that his childhood has had on his adult life, but I guess I expect somethingcritical and sophisticated from a Yale professor In other words, let's not pretend all Cubans hate Fidel and most of them were ok with Batista Or that all the grungy kids who took over Eire's neighbors' houses were simple pawns in the hands of the Maximum Leader However, at the same time inferences like those infuriated me, I was captive to Eire's brutal honesty Hence the threestar (I don't know what to think) rating.