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Our Man in Havana

Lu par : Jeremy Northam
Durée : 7 h et 6 min
5 out of 5 stars (3 notations)
Prix : 13,28 €
9,95 € / mois après 30 jours. Résiliable à tout moment.

Description

In a legendary novel that appears to predict the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Graham Greene introduces James Wormold, a vacuum cleaner salesman whose life in transformed when he is asked to join the British Secret Service. He agrees, and finds himself with no information to offer, so begins to invent sources and agencies which do not exist, but which appear very real to his superiors.

Then follow some very real events, such as undercover work and even murder attempts, all backed up by phantom chains of information and invented covert agencies.

An often light-hearted but massively important complete and unabridged audiobook, which makes many comments on present-day life despite being published over 50 years ago. The book was also made into a hit film starring Carol Reed and Alec Guinness in 1959, and has recently (2007) been the subject of a play adaptation staged in Guildford to a enthusiastic public reception.

©2008 CSA Word (P)2009 CSA Word

Critiques

"I'd forgotten that Greene could be so funny, but maybe it's just the brilliant way that Jeremy Northam has caught the ironic tone of the book's unlikely hero, James Wormold, who sells vacuum cleaners (not very successfully) in pre-Castro Cuba..."( The Guardian)

"Jeremy Northam catches Greene's tone of ruined romanticism to perfection..."(The Daily Mail)

"When Graham Greene is on comic form, he can't be bettered, and I chuckled merrily even on the M6 during a weekend drive to Cumbria and back. A good audiobook is immensely calming on such occasions; they should be issued free at service stations before notorious traffic congestion spots. Spare, elegant prose, hilarious set-pieces and a happy ending made Our Man in Havanna the perfect choice..."(The Times)

"...Greene's satire is playful in comparison with his other works - Catholic angst is mainly confined to Wormold's teenage daughter, and even for her there's no real contest between God and her horse. Greene's sense of the absurd strengthens the many tense scenarios, whilst the narration captures the ambience and the dialogue brilliantly, projecting a film in the listener's head."(The Oldie)

"The many characters in this satirical spy novel burst with personality, idiosyncrasies, odd mannerisms, and quirky conversation. A theatre director would be lucky to find multiple actors who could do justice to Greene's writing. Jeremy Northam, though, gives each character a distinct voice and presence all by himself. He makes notes of the details Greene uses to cast a character and takes off from there. His London intelligence chief, for example, is raspy and chilling, as if speaking from the grave. The agent Hawthorne sounds clipped and hurried, a touch anxious... Northam expresses them all as if accessing the same secret core that Greene imagined at the heart of all his characters..."(Audiofile)

Ce que les membres d'Audible en pensent

Notations

Global

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 étoiles
    3
  • 4 étoiles
    0
  • 3 étoiles
    0
  • 2 étoiles
    0
  • 1 étoile
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 étoiles
    3
  • 4 étoiles
    0
  • 3 étoiles
    0
  • 2 étoiles
    0
  • 1 étoile
    0

Histoire

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 étoiles
    3
  • 4 étoiles
    0
  • 3 étoiles
    0
  • 2 étoiles
    0
  • 1 étoile
    0
Trier par :
  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Je recommande !

Comme tous les livres de Graham Greene, très bien écrit avec une bonne dose d'ironie. Ici il s'agit d'une comédie qui s'amuse notamment des services secrêts de l'Angleterre. Une musique cubaine introduit chaque chapitre et contribue à nous plonger dans l'atmosphère. Très divertissant et facile à suivre.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Enjoyable!

This well written, short spy novel does not glorify espionage but rather wittily ridicules it.

Marked with a very British tongue in cheek humour, it succeeds in being both entertaining and profound. The characters are far from unidimensional and the plot, though largely predictable, does bounce about unexpectedly.

In the audio version, musical interludes punctuate chapters with lively Cuban or British music depending on the setting.

Set for the most part in Havana in the 1950’s, its atmospheric descriptions provide a bonus for those who plan to visit this recently renovated historical city or plan to do so shortly.

Trier par :
  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dennis
  • 25/07/2012

Classic British spy novel

Lets start with this, if you like classic mystery novels of the "Maltese Falcon" genre then this is going to be a great pick for you. The writing is solid and the plot is quirky enough to keep the interest of the reader, the performance is great and for the genre it is going to be a great experience. The ending, like all British spy novels wraps up in a very tidy package and the whole thing is very wholesome. If you like to dip your toe into the genre every now and then I would say "add to cart" and take a trip to Cuba pre-revolution.

8 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • L
  • 17/07/2012

Brilliant story, worth the terrible music

Would you consider the audio edition of Our Man in Havana to be better than the print version?

Definitely not

What other book might you compare Our Man in Havana to and why?

The script of Dr. Strangelove: they're both brilliant satire.

What three words best describe Jeremy Northam’s voice?

excellent, excellent, excellent

Any additional comments?

Published four years before the Cuban Missile Crisis, this is a brilliant, very funny cloak-and-dagger about a vacuum cleaner salesman enlisted into British intelligence. The so-called agent reports on unidentified military emplacements that, coincidentally, look a lot like vacuum cleaners. What's real, what's not, and what becomes real are in the mix of this great send-up. Jeremy Northam is a superb reader. The producers, however, got carried away with their own importance and tried to gussy this up with a repetitive snippet of carnival music that works against Graham Greene's straight-faced telling. Even so, it's terrific and well-worth listening to. Let's hope the producers don't come close to wrecking too many other audio productions.

16 sur 17 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • 05/08/2011

Delete the Music and It Would Be Fine

Aaarrgh! I wish I had listened to the reviewer who said the music made listening to this book intolerable. I thought if was worth a shot because I liked the sample of Jeremy Northam's reading so much, but it was a complete waste of a hard-earned credit. It is the same wretched piece of music every single time, it plays ever five minutes, and it's louder than the reading (like commercials during TV shows). Someone should lose their job over this because it would have been so enjoyable otherwise.

40 sur 44 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • 05/03/2012

Greene cooked to perfection

I found myself chuckling whilst I listened to this beautifully written and recorded book. Greene draws us into the serpentine world of the secret agent and allows us to simultaneously join him in smiling even laughing aloud at the traps the narcissistic members of the professional spy brigade weave for themselves. And through it all the hero and his delightfully artful daughter manage to dodge the bullets and emerge with innocence largely intact. All set against the backdrop of pre-revolution Cuba.

7 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Boston Harbor
  • 11/10/2011

Kill the music

I too wish I had listened to the prior review about the music ruining the listening experience. I only listened to about an hour and I can't listen anymore. Jeremy Northam is great, but dear lord. the LOUD music that plays incessantly is enough to make you scream. Like the prior reviewer stated, the music is louder than the narration like commercials on TV. Obnoxious. I've deleted the book from my iPod. I can't endure it.

26 sur 29 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • 01/06/2011

Annoying music nearly ruins book

Whoever edited the audio productions must be a big fan of shopping center music. A VERY LOUD Latin rhythm or British band music interrupts the narration every five minutes (or so it seems) at the end of every chapter and between sections within chapters. It was like being tapped in an elevator for 7 plus hours, which very nearly ruined the book for me. "Our Man in Havana" is one of Greene's lightest works, an absurd comic plot but with serious (and prescient) political insights. The reader is adequate. The story itself is well worth the time if you can live with the frequent musical interruptions.

26 sur 29 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Verl
  • 21/05/2012

Graham Greene should not be a Well-Kept Secret

What did you love best about Our Man in Havana?

I wasn't expecting the chuckles. This is really a preposterous story, one which pokes fun at the Cold War intelligence gathering establishment. While not per se satire, at least in my opinion, the humour is very droll; tongue-in-cheek.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

No one ever expected this to be that kind of page turner. It's a great story set in the days before Castro, when so many players had "interests" in Cuba. But you get a real sense of the era and what it must have been like back in the day.

What about Jeremy Northam???s performance did you like?

Very Competent.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No "extreme reactions," but a very satisfying read. I was surprised at how much fun Greene had with his characters, and by the same token, his audience.

Any additional comments?

This is not Ian Fleming, James Bond, action thriller. This is not any of the current crop of writers who do this kind of story for the current reader who wants a summer read that can be tossed on the way back from the beach. But this is very entertaining in its own way.

4 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 12/05/2012

Adding My Two-Cents on the Music!

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Why on earth the loud, disruptive music! I thought those days were over!

If you’ve listened to books by Graham Greene before, how does this one compare?

I enjoyed the other two much more - sans music!

What didn’t you like about Jeremy Northam’s performance?

So many of your British men have deep, gravely voices that are hard on the ears and not clear. The women are fine and British men without the ancient whiskey voices are great! I love the accents, but not the tobacco-damaged sound.

Was Our Man in Havana worth the listening time?

No.

Any additional comments?

It was better as a book.

4 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • McEditor
  • 12/02/2014

Fine narrative ruined by goofball music

What disappointed you about Our Man in Havana?

Northam's enjoyable and well-spoken interpretation of this Greene classic is tortured by incessant musical interludes -- not only between chapters but inserted at all the wrong moments by some over-reaching (certainly tone-deaf) producer. Perhaps an intern let run amok? CSA Word Classic should be ashamed of this amateurish tactic that serves only to repeatedly kill the mood and enjoyment of an otherwise first-rate narration. The music relating to Cuba is bad enough, but the trite ditty you hear when the scene changes to Britain is particularly laughable and annoying. Take away his headphones and fire that guy!

8 sur 9 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Biffo
  • 14/07/2012

music is a disaster -- don't buy this!

What disappointed you about Our Man in Havana?

see headline

What does Jeremy Northam bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

great voices

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

anger. music spoiled it. Only just managed to get through it

Any additional comments?

I'd like to strangle the guy who put in the disgusting music!!!!!!!!

16 sur 19 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.