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Telex from Cuba: A Novel

7 Ratings: 3.4
A book by Rachel Kushner

Rachel Kushner's first novel,Telex from Cuba, doesn't read like your usual debut. Using family stories, extensive archival research, and all the tools of the novelist's imagination, she creates a portrait in many voices of a small society at a crucial … see full wiki

Tags: Book
Author: Rachel Kushner
Publisher: Scribner
7 reviews about Telex from Cuba: A Novel
review by . September 12, 2008
Cuba as a place frozen in time:    Cuba in the 1950s before the revolution a sepia-tinted postcard of a place so pristine that it never could have existed.    Cuba today a black and white ruin so ancient that it never could have existed.    But Cuba, as a place frozen in time, holds such a place in our memories that if it never could have existed, we would have to invent it.    I've never been closer to Cuba than Sarasota, …
review by . February 04, 2009
Kushner writes of America's glory days in pre-revolutionary Cuba, from 1952 until 1958, when dreams of continued affluence dissolve in the face of the Castro's populist rebellion. Two children describe the luxurious conditions of their childhood: KC Stites, whose father heads the United Fruit Company, an enormous sugar cane enterprise of 300,000 acres and the wealthy enclave of Oriente Province; Everly Lederer's family cannot claim such rich benefits, but still, her father, who works in management …
review by . January 14, 2009
Kushner is a writer with great talent. She recreates the Cuba of the 1950's in a way that seems real and immediate. The reader can learn a good deal about the history of Cuba in an entertaining and enjoyable way through this novel. The narrative creates a tension which lures the reader to the next page, even though there are few sympathetic characters herein. The author's moralizing tone is the only negative feature of this otherwise laudable novel.    Most of the adults are …
review by . January 02, 2009
Telex from Cuba is an ambitious novel. Its problem is a near terminal case of P.O.V. - itis. The story covers a few years prior to the January 1959 entrance of the barbudos into Havana, told from the point of view of two American ex-patriot children, and it's near impossible to distinguish one child from the other; a romantic French ex-pat who is a gun-runner, revolutionary theoretician, and rake; and an omniscient narrator. Except for the Frenchman, the narrators melt together, and it takes paragraphs …
review by . January 01, 2009
My trip to Cuba this past spring was an illuminating and educational experience as well as an eye-opener to the social and political systems of this Caribbean country. There is so much negative attitude about Cuba in the media that to see the country up front and personal is an entirely different experience than listening to all the one-dimensional hype. Reading Telex from Cuba, by first-time author Rachel Kushner was another piece of the puzzle that integrates the power, corruption and romanticism, …
review by . December 16, 2008
In an impressive first novel, Rachel Kushner writes about the lives of American families in Cuba before Castro, and the events leading up to the revolution. There are American families, like the Stites and the Lederers, making their fortunes in Cuba, and putting on the perfect facades despite their problems. There are the Allens, wanted fugitives in America, for whom Cuba is the last resort. Then there are characters like Rachel K., a cabaret dancer who helps out the rebels and facilitates political …
review by . August 27, 2008
Covering the years around the revolution in Cuba filtered mostly through the eyes of children, Telex from Cuba tells the story of the American community living in Cuba managing the United Fruit sugarcane factory and the U.S. government-owned nickel mine.    This book was mesmerizing- beautifully written and truly evocative of the time and place of the story. Kushner paints an indelible picture of life in the United Fruit company's outpost in Cuba, her words creating a vivid portrait …
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