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Cuba (Jake Grafton)
 
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Cuba (Jake Grafton) [Kindle Edition]

Stephen Coonts
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

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From Amazon

When a North Korean freighter carrying a cargo of biological weapons runs aground in international waters off Cuba--Rear Admiral Jake Grafton wants go aboard, taking just one other man with him. His new chief of staff, Capt. Pascal, is skeptical and suggests that he takes along a half-dozen well-armed marines. Jake's reply is patient and succinct: "I don't know what's on that ship.... It just makes sense to have a point man explore the unknown before we risk very many lives. I am going to be the point man because I want to personally see what is there, and I make the rules. Understand?" Had Capt. Pascal been one of the millions of readers of Coonts's six previous books about Grafton, he wouldn't have raised the issue. Jake is a take-charge guy, the kind of believable hero trusted by his military superiors (if occasionally viewed as a loose cannon by politicians), and not even the possibility of an all-out war with Cuba is going to make him start playing it safe.

Fidel Castro is very close to death from cancer, and his chief aide plans to win the hearts of the Cuban population and gain control of the government by using a 40-year-old secret weapon against an American city. Meanwhile, Adm. Grafton and his carrier fleet have been sent to Guantånamo Bay in Cuba to supervise the removal of some U.S. biological weapons there. Very soon, Grafton and other Coonts regulars are up to their helmets in action on the air, land, and sea. Along the way, we meet a large cast of vivid supporting players: a Cuban family whose fate is closely linked to Castro's rise and fall and a CIA agent with the perfect cover--a lawyer for giant tobacco companies who want to make cigarettes in Cuba. We also increase our knowledge of military jargon: "strangling the parrot" means turning off a radar transponder. Cuba is an intriguing and surprisingly compassionate scenario, in which superb military action alternates with high family drama and political in-fighting. --Dick Adler

From Publishers Weekly

The future of Cuba is up for grabs in this crackerjack speculative thriller by the author of Flight of the Intruder and Fortunes of War. Coonts regulars Rear Admiral Jake Grafton and staff operations officer Toad Tarkington are providing military cover for a shipment of American chemical and biological weaponsAweapons that should have been destroyed long agoAout of Guant namo Bay, where they have been in storage. When the shipment goes missing, it's Grafton's job to find it and get those weapons back. But that's the least of his worries, because Cuba is developing its own biological weapons; as soon as they are ready, they will be loaded onto missiles already aimed at American cities. Meanwhile, an aged Castro is dying of cancer, and even if he lives long enough to name a successor, Alejo Vargas, head of the Cuban secret police, has his own plans for the future of the country. While there's little doubt that Grafton will save the day, Coonts's sharply drawn charactersAincluding dapper CIA operative and biological weapons expert William Henry Chance and his safe-cracking sidekick, Tommy CarmelliniAand a plethora of intersecting plot lines take what one character calls "another Cuban missile crisis" to a rousing action finale. But the surprise pleasure here is how clearly Coonts paints a picture of Cuba by focusing on the three Soldano brothersAHector, a Jesuit priest who may be Castro's chosen successor; Ocho, the handsome ballplayer who has the chance to sail to Florida with the woman he got pregnant; and Maximo, the finance minister who is more interested in money than the revolution. This gripping and intelligent thriller is a standout for Coonts, taking the death of Castro as a starting point for an all-too-possible scenario of political turmoil and military brinkmanship. $325,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Aug.) FYI: In one of this season's more interesting coincidences, Coonts chooses for his epigraph the same poem by Jos? Mart! as does Amy Ephron in her book White Rose, reviewed above.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 645 KB
  • Print Length: 481 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 031220521X
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Sept. 4 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003JH86GQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #604,311 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My first Coonts but certainly not the last! June 23 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
As I was browsing a local book store back in April, looking for some reading material to take along on a trip south, the title CUBA jumped out at me from the shelf. As my destination was, in fact, Cuba (I'm a Canadian), I picked up the book without further investigation, believing there is no such thing as "coincidence" and whatever happens, happens for a reason -- see "A Road Less Travelled". It turned out to be the right move. Cuba is a highly entertaining piece of fiction, mixed with a satisfying amount of non-fiction, resulting in a "good read". The situations in the book are neither implausible nor improbable, particularly in view of past and current world happenings, while still providing escape. I fell into and throughly enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who likes adventure, suspense and action, with a touch of reality. And, I must confess, it was even more enjoyable when being read only a relatively short distance from where it all "happened". I'm going on to the other Coonts efforts.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Slow to start ... doesn't get much better April 14 2001
This review refers to the unabridged audio version, read by Michael Prichard.
I thought this was going to be a political/spy thriller but it turned out to be more of a war novel, with far too much description of Tomahawk missles, F15 fighter planes and warheads (for my taste at least). In addition, it was extemely slow going for the first 4-5 tapes. I almost gave up on it. It did get a little better in the second half, but I don't think Coontz has an ear for dialog, especially then he's using it to have a character expound on political themes (no one *really* talks like that!).
This is apparently one of a series of "Jake Grafton" novels but I've never read any of the others (have you noticed that heros in these books always have names like Jake and Buck ... aren't there any heroic Leonards or Marvins in the world?)
One great line I will always remember is: "Either he was telling the truth or a liar of Clintonian proportions."
The reader was very good, but I did have one complaint. The chapters are apparently broken up into sections, which shift from one subplot to another. The reader never even paused between them, so it took a few sentences to realize it switched "story." Yet, between chapters, he paused so long I thought the tape had come to the end. But that's a relatively minor flaw.
All in all, this book was good enough to keep me listening to the end, but wouldn't cause me to run out and buy any other Coonts novels.
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3.0 out of 5 stars "Good, But Not One Of Coonts' Best" March 25 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
All I have to say is, I want more Jake & Toad & Rita! While I enjoyed "Cuba," I was disappointed that these three characters I've enjoyed for years were relagated to a secondary role in the book. I thought Coonts did a good job handling the trials of the Sedano family as the power struggle after Castro's death begins (btw, I thought Castro died in "Under Seige." Did he get better or something). Some of the best parts involved Ocho with the boat people fleeing to America. Coonts really brought out the desperation and hopelessness of their situation. The Secret Police Chief Vargas was a pretty nasty fellow, and I thought there was some good spy stuff with the CIA guys Chance and Carmellini. Coonts did put together some solid combat scenes toward the end when Grafton led his carrier battle group against Cuba's biological ballistic missiles aimed at the Southern United States. Loved the parts involving Cuba's lone flyable MiG-29.
All in all, a good book, but not up there with classic Grafton stories like "Under Seige" & "The Red Horseman."
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3.0 out of 5 stars Where's Razor? Oct. 31 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In Cuba, Coonts' alter-ego, it's Admiral Jake Grafton in command when America's decision to remove bacteriological and chem weapons from its base in Guantanamo Bay coincides with an oncoming shift in the Cuban hierarchy. Castro is old and seeking feverishly to lay the road for an orderly transition to democracy before taking the last puff. Opportunists and militants collide to put lives at risk when we learn that Russian ballistic missiles left behind for almost 40 years were armed with bacteriological weapons of their own and are targeted on American cities. In the ensuing melee, we meet the warriors and leaders of both sides. Coonts adds in spies with a rather novel cover - corporate reps for US cigarette makers. It gets confusing at times, and Coonts has yet to recreate the tight-knit plot of "Flight of the Intruder" or ever "Minotaur". There are too many charachters (none of whom are interesting as the fliers in the original "Flight of the Intruder", characters like Boxman, Rabbit and Razor) and subplots for Coonts to concern himself or even flesh out. Still the charachters aren't as thin as those in "Fortunes of War", and "Cuba" is clear proof that that earlier book was merely a fluke.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cuban trauma July 20 2000
By diomede
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Alright as succintly as possible I loved my first taste of connts militaristic writings and thought it a deserving epic. The author deals convincingly with a number of political and personnaly emotive issues , but isn't that what fictional writings all about. The sub-theme of the belleagured Cuban peoples plight is uncannily releastic. The book even has Cubas version of the Kennedy family. Yes , the colourful but sad Sedando clann with their hugely varying aspirations serve for intriguing and entralling reading and ultimately are an integral component of the storyline.
Ofcourse we ignore the military theme at our peril. It too is undeniably captivating and surely decisive. The prospect of an explosive clash between the might of the American army and embittered and avengful Cuban counterparts over nuclear armaments is mouthwatering.
Again the Yanks are forefronted by the intrepid and revereant Admiral Jake Grafton co-staring alongside Commander Toad Tarkington. With the black clad and sinister figure of a clandestined CIA agent lurking in the wings this makes for some entertaining stuff.
Put all this in the mixer and Connts presents a thoroughly fascinating although politically delicate fictional fable without focusing excessively on one particular sub-plot.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars serial with Jake Grafton
different book from Stephen Coonts with a view of Cuba ... well written and interesting will hold your interest throughout
Published 4 months ago by Dodi
4.0 out of 5 stars "Good not Great !"
I thought "Cuba," by Stephen Coonts was a good story (not great) but still interesting enough. Military action meets political fiction. Read more
Published on Nov. 19 2002 by "fictionloverextraordinair"
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special, an average thriller
I have never read a Jake Grafton novel before this, and I don't think I will any time soon. This book is roughly as original and clever as it's title and moves along at a snail's... Read more
Published on June 23 2002 by Tyler Scott Ritchie
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special, an average thriller
I have never read a Jake Grafton novel before this, and I don't think I will any time soon. This book is roughly as original and clever as it's title and moves along at a snail's... Read more
Published on June 23 2002 by Tyler Scott Ritchie
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow start, but improves.
"Cuba" gets off to a slow start, and threatens to lose its way every now and then, but is overall pretty good. Not the best in the series, not the worst either.
Published on Feb. 12 2002 by A Doctor in Ann Arbor
2.0 out of 5 stars Only an average thriller.
While entertaining, this book is very predictible. There aren't any surprises, so you are left with Coontz's description of events to entertain you. Read more
Published on Aug. 6 2001 by Bill Garrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to Believe But True
I just returned from having spend five days in Havana and the surrounding area and it was like being thrown back into history. Read more
Published on June 25 2001
3.0 out of 5 stars Average at best
At times the book has promise. The author did some research for his novel but he never seemed to make up his mind what kind of story he wished to offer the reader. Read more
Published on June 7 2001 by Charles W. Elliot
4.0 out of 5 stars Not up to par like Under siege but still good.
Unlike Under Siege the best book this author wrote and the best situations that his character was in. This time a great but not superior story!
Published on May 11 2001 by Daniel R. Bills
1.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment
Since Flight of the Intruder a read several books by Stephen Coonts. However with Cuba Coonts drifts from the military action genre to political-fiction and the result is very... Read more
Published on May 3 2001 by E. Schweig
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