Island That Dared: Journeys In Cuba by Dervla Murphy

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Take a three-generation family holiday in Cuba in the company of Dervla Murphy, her daughter and three young granddaughters and you have a Swallows-and-Amazons-like adventure in the Caribbean as they trek into the hills and along the coast as a family, camping out on empty beaches beneath the stars and relishing the ubiquitous Cuban hospitality. But this is no more than the joyful start of a fully-fledged quest to understand the unique society created by the Cuban Revolution. For Dervla returns alone to explore the mountains, coastal swamps and decaying cities, investigating the experience of modern Cuba with her particular, candid curiosity. Through her own research and through conversations with Fidelistas and their critics alike, The Island That Dared builds a complex picture of a people struggling to retain their identity in the face of the insistent hostility of the government of the United States.
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Looking For La Bomba: The Cuban Misadventures Of A Musical Oaf by Richard Neill

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Dissatisfied with a comfortable, but uninspiring life in London, Richard Neill decided he’d like to play double bass on stage with a top Cuban Son band. But he couldn’t play bass, he had no discernable musical talent and didn’t know any Cuban Son bands. Not put off by mere details, he headed for Cuba. This is the story of a year spent on that unique island – a country still dominated by the figure of Castro. And the place where our hero casts aside his English inhibitions and his own musical inadequacy in search of La Bomba (his rhythm …) Funny, self-deprecating and life-affirming, Looking for La Bomba is a magical mix of McCarthy’s Bar and the Buena Vista Social club – a book for anyone who’s ever dreamed an impossible dream.
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Cuba, Land Of Miracles: A Journey Through Modern Cuba by Stephen Smith

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For a growing number of British holidaymakers, Cuba is a Caribbean paradise, but it is also a land of cutbacks and economic instability. Stephen Smith comes to live on the island, and his search for the real Cuba inevitably becomes a search for Fidel Castro too. Before meeting his quarry, Smith travels extensively through the ‘land of miracles’ in an old American automobile. His highly-personalised account features a bloody initiation into a voodoo-like cult, dining on giant rat, and checking into the Love Hotel. And he goes on manoeuvres in the Everglades with armed, but not especially competent, Cuban exiles dreaming of a second Bay of Pigs. With disarming wit and considerable insight, Stephen Smith investigates a country where communism and voodoo coexist, and where the influence of its leader of forty years continues to throw a long shadow.
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