Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Our Man in Havana (Penguin Classics) Paperback – July 31, 2007
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
As comical, satirical, atmospherical an ÆentertainmentÆ as he has given us. (The Daily Telegraph, London)
About the Author
Christopher Hitchens is a widely published polemicist and frequent radio and TV commentator. He is the author of many books, including Why Orwell Matters, Letters to a Young Contrarian, The Trial of Henry Kissinger, as well as books on Cyprus, Kurdistan and Palestine, including Blaming the Victims coedited with Edward Said. He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and writes for, among others, Slate, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Book Review, and The Washington Post. He lives with his family in Washington, D.C.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
As Hitchens says in the introduction, Greene classified his books into two categories, novels and entertainment. "Our Man in Havana" naturally falls into the entertainment category, and very good entertainment, I must say. Greene's writing is witty and funny and the characters are loveable (Geoffrey Rush would be perfect for the role of Wormold). If you expect nothing more than witty writing and pure entertainment, you cannot go wrong here.
But I won't spoil any of the humor by explaining it; let's just declare that it's verrry Brrrritish. Besides, you've probably seen the movie, right? With Alec Guinness, whom else? I do have something to say about the milieu of the novel -- Graham Greene calls it an 'entertainment rather than a novel -- which was published first in England in 1958. Presumably, therefore, it was written in 1957 or earlier. How well do you know the history of Cuba before Castro? Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar was in the middle of his second stint as "the United States-aligned Cuban President, dictator and military leader" -- to quote wikipedia -- a police-state regime that lasted until 1959. Batista's tyranny was lurid, sadistic, financially and morally corrupt on a scale rivaled by few of history's true villains. Interestingly, Batista is never mentioned in "Our Man in Havana". Neither is Fidel Castro, though the presence of "rebels' in the hinterlands is rumored, chiefly as an excuse for police brutality; there were two classes of people in Cuba, according to one police officer ... those who could be tortured, i.e. the Poor, and those who couldn't. Greene's characters are chiefly the latter, the rich and the foreigners, the sort whom it's 'safer' to murder than to torture. Does it sound a bit like an Ian Fleming spy thriller? The first half dozen 'James Bond' novels were written in the same decade as "Our Man in Havana". One could, i suppose, puzzle over the question of who was spoofing whom?
"Our Man" -- our reluctant spy, that is -- is the Cuban agent for a British vacuum cleaner manufacturer.Read more ›
Our Man in Havana is my first crack at one of Greene's spy novels, though I knew going in that it wasn't supposed to be a prototypical spy tale but more of a satire on them. Whatever it was, it was a good read.
Our Man in Havana is about Jim Wormold, a pretty pathetic divorced expatriate vacuum salesman living in Havana, whose daughter has begun to strain his limited income. He soon finds himself being recruited by a bumbling military intelligence agent to spy for the crown. He accidentally agrees to do the work, but finds that the money is quite good when he begins turning in fictitious reports and recruiting fictitious subagents (who have the names of real people with whom he's acquainted). Things turn bad, though, when his reports are believed by the intelligence agencies of multiple countries, and people's lives are put into danger.
The novel is satirical in that British way that's silly, understated, and almost light-hearted but that also wields a sharp edge upon closer look (Waugh, Powell, and Spark could also pull it off). This makes for a crisply-written, quickly paced, and chuckle-inducing read.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A classic, along with Greene's Third Man and others..Actually, I enjoyed the movie more.Published 17 days ago by Gene
Definitely a "B" book. Not an "A". Parts are very funny if you act them out in your mind. Light reading, maybe while you are sitting out on the beach. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Barry S. Yorysh
Hilarious. As one who was generally speaking in the field covered by the subject matter, it rings close to home: you can't trust sources, sources have their own agendas, and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Qesher
Overall, a fine job, but disappointing in its utter failure to report on headend traffic on the passenger side, especially the mail that was the mainstay of passenger as we... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Linda Smith
Graham Greene. This book was required reading for my Spies and Hackers class. Apart from the main premise being completely unrealistic (IMO) it was still very interesting to read... Read morePublished 3 months ago by jack canon
I’ve read Greene’s The Quiet American (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) three times. He was amazingly prescient in depicting the complete inability of the CIA’s agent, Alden Pyle,... Read morePublished 4 months ago by John P. Jones III
What if Cold War hysteria had reached such a pitch that spymasters would accept the most transparent fictions as truth? Read morePublished 5 months ago by T. Weed
Entertaining book. The ending seemed a bit contrived to please the audience. I prefer Greene's other novels with a more serious intent. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer