Official Review: Revolution by Al Romero u

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
User avatar
sarahmarlowe
Posts: 584
Joined: 02 Jun 2018, 18:57
2019 Reading Goal: 70
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 44
2018 Reading Goal: 70
Favorite Book: One Second After
Currently Reading: Hallowed Ground
Bookshelf Size: 129
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sarahmarlowe.html
Latest Review: Gravnick by Bob Herpe
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S

Official Review: Revolution by Al Romero u

Post by sarahmarlowe » 01 May 2019, 17:37

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Revolution" by Al Romero u.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Revolution is a fictionalized version of events just before and after the revolution that brought Fidel Castro and his brother Raul into power in Cuba. The author, Al Romero, used his own family’s history as a source from which to pull facts and events. In reading this story, I learned things that I never learned in any of my history classes. The author spins a beautiful fictionalized tale including not only stories from his family narrative, but also from historical events of the day.

Opening in the late 1950s, the book shows the Machado family enjoying a comfortable life in middle-class Cuba. An extended family, they are loving and happy, gathering for celebrations like Christmas and birthdays. Well, most of them are. One of the brothers is living in the jungle with Fidel Castro and other revolutionaries who are planning to oust the current dictator, President Fulgencio Batista. Batista’s rule has been very harsh, and rumbles of revolution echo throughout the island nation. In this story, some Machado family friends are part of student-led underground revolutionary groups, and family members waver over decisions about joining the revolution or remaining silent. After the coup, the book takes the reader through the frightening and bloody events in the fallout from Castro’s takeover. The lives of Cubans go into turmoil as communist ideals are put into place and those who disagree with the government are imprisoned or assassinated. Romero paints startling accounts of how innocent people lost everything they had.

From my first glance at the book, I loved the striking cover, and I was captured by the subtitle: How the Castros Lied, Cheated, and Murdered Their Way Into Power. I was excited to read a book that promised such intrigue and action. Unfortunately, this action doesn’t begin until half-way through the book. Agreed, the first half of the book is interesting, presenting the daily lives of families in Cuban cities and of Castro and his rebels in the jungle. Romero shows readers how much middle-class 1950s Cuba was like middle-class America. In this first half, we are able to connect with the characters and understand the importance of certain cultural standards such as Carnival and professional baseball. However, the reading was often tedious. The prose descriptions were a little overdone, and the dialogue was clumsy at times. I think the author could have conveyed what he needed in a much shorter section. The subtitle had me looking forward to some lying and cheating Castros, and it took me a while to get to them.

As mentioned above, the Machado family’s connection with Castro, the revolution, and the counterrevolution are all loosely based on the experiences of the author’s family. The author did a good job creating several rounded characters and many others with consistent character traits. Revolution led me to explore Cuba’s history on my own, and I found numerous accounts that were portrayed in the book. I was fascinated to learn so much about this island just ninety miles south of the tip of Florida.

The book is well-edited, with only a handful of errors which are mostly related to comma use. I will not be taking away a star for editing because errors were so few and were not distracting. However, I am taking away a star because the plot drags, rating this book 3 out of 4 stars. If you are looking for a fast-paced adventure story, this book is not for you. However, anyone interested in knowing more about Cuba’s culture and history should absolutely pick up this book. Even though I had to push through the first half, I learned a great deal about this beautiful country and its resilient people. Prospective readers should know that there are some occurrences of adult language and violence, and there are a few sexual situations in the book.

******
Revolution
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like sarahmarlowe's review? Post a comment saying so!
sarahmarlowe
You can spend your time however you want, but you can spend it only once. :eusa-think:
Latest Review: Gravnick by Bob Herpe

User avatar
Kibetious
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1958
Joined: 26 Jul 2017, 01:48
2019 Reading Goal: 70
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 18
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 49
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 681
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kibetious.html
Latest Review: Love's The Only House by Debra Godsee

Post by Kibetious » 04 May 2019, 08:10

This is fascinating. I would love to read this book and find out more about Cuba. However, I am one person who dislikes reading a book that has some sexual content, especially after having prior information. Thanks for the great review though.
​​​​​​He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy :techie-studyinggray:

kdstrack
Posts: 2618
Joined: 10 May 2017, 19:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 48
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 106
Currently Reading: Immortals' Requeim
Bookshelf Size: 231
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kdstrack.html
Latest Review: Yesterday's Gone by Diane Bardeen

Post by kdstrack » 04 May 2019, 13:34

This sounds like an intriguing book about the time when Cuba still had a middle class. The author has done a good job if they motivate you to investigate more on your own. This looks interesting. Thanks for the fascinating review.

User avatar
sarahmarlowe
Posts: 584
Joined: 02 Jun 2018, 18:57
2019 Reading Goal: 70
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 44
2018 Reading Goal: 70
Favorite Book: One Second After
Currently Reading: Hallowed Ground
Bookshelf Size: 129
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sarahmarlowe.html
Latest Review: Gravnick by Bob Herpe
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S

Post by sarahmarlowe » 04 May 2019, 17:44

Kibetious wrote:
04 May 2019, 08:10
This is fascinating. I would love to read this book and find out more about Cuba. However, I am one person who dislikes reading a book that has some sexual content, especially after having prior information. Thanks for the great review though.
Thank you for stopping by! :tiphat:
sarahmarlowe
You can spend your time however you want, but you can spend it only once. :eusa-think:
Latest Review: Gravnick by Bob Herpe

User avatar
sarahmarlowe
Posts: 584
Joined: 02 Jun 2018, 18:57
2019 Reading Goal: 70
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 44
2018 Reading Goal: 70
Favorite Book: One Second After
Currently Reading: Hallowed Ground
Bookshelf Size: 129
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sarahmarlowe.html
Latest Review: Gravnick by Bob Herpe
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S

Post by sarahmarlowe » 04 May 2019, 17:47

kdstrack wrote:
04 May 2019, 13:34
This sounds like an intriguing book about the time when Cuba still had a middle class. The author has done a good job if they motivate you to investigate more on your own. This looks interesting. Thanks for the fascinating review.
Yes, it was sad to see the culture be damaged because of politics. Thank you for stopping by!
sarahmarlowe
You can spend your time however you want, but you can spend it only once. :eusa-think:
Latest Review: Gravnick by Bob Herpe

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 2443
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 202
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: The Last Day of Regret by Matthew J Diaz

Post by Cecilia_L » 04 May 2019, 19:02

The prose descriptions were a little overdone, and the dialogue was clumsy at times. I think the author could have conveyed what he needed in a much shorter section. The subtitle had me looking forward to some lying and cheating Castros, and it took me a while to get to them.
Based on your description, this book probably isn't for me, but I enjoyed your interesting review. :tiphat:

User avatar
sarahmarlowe
Posts: 584
Joined: 02 Jun 2018, 18:57
2019 Reading Goal: 70
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 44
2018 Reading Goal: 70
Favorite Book: One Second After
Currently Reading: Hallowed Ground
Bookshelf Size: 129
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sarahmarlowe.html
Latest Review: Gravnick by Bob Herpe
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S

Post by sarahmarlowe » 04 May 2019, 19:20

Cecilia_L wrote:
04 May 2019, 19:02
The prose descriptions were a little overdone, and the dialogue was clumsy at times. I think the author could have conveyed what he needed in a much shorter section. The subtitle had me looking forward to some lying and cheating Castros, and it took me a while to get to them.
Based on your description, this book probably isn't for me, but I enjoyed your interesting review. :tiphat:
Thank you for stopping by!
sarahmarlowe
You can spend your time however you want, but you can spend it only once. :eusa-think:
Latest Review: Gravnick by Bob Herpe

User avatar
IamShing
Posts: 488
Joined: 15 Mar 2019, 20:50
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 51
Favorite Book: Doctor Sleep
Currently Reading: Misreading Judas
Bookshelf Size: 66
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-iamshing.html
Latest Review: We are Voulhire: Someone Else's End by Matthew Tysz
Reading Device: B00L89V1AA

Post by IamShing » 04 May 2019, 21:32

I like the sound of the book..it appears informative.
'Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.'

User avatar
Kelyn
Posts: 424
Joined: 09 May 2018, 07:34
2019 Reading Goal: 24
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 75
Currently Reading: Blocks
Bookshelf Size: 126
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kelyn.html
Latest Review: Seven at Two Past Five by Tara Basi
Reading Device: B018QAYM7C

Post by Kelyn » 04 May 2019, 21:39

Learning more about Cuba would be interesting but I'm really not one for history or political books and this one sounds like it's both. I think I'll have to give this one a pass. Great, detailed review!
Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it's a simple adventure story...Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe. (E. Cline - Ready Player One)

User avatar
daviddawud
Posts: 233
Joined: 26 Feb 2019, 15:31
2019 Reading Goal: 35
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 14
Currently Reading: Holding Fire
Bookshelf Size: 90
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-daviddawud.html
Latest Review: Randy Love...at your service by Shay Carter

Post by daviddawud » 05 May 2019, 01:48

This must be a fascinating book. Although I'm not a fan of historical or political novel but I won't mind checking it out especially if the pages are not too voluminous. Great review you have written.

User avatar
Prisallen
Posts: 796
Joined: 27 Feb 2019, 18:57
2019 Reading Goal: 104
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 26
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 33
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-prisallen.html
Latest Review: You Say Goodbye by Keith Steinbaum

Post by Prisallen » 05 May 2019, 08:25

This sounds like a wonderful way to learn more about the history of Cuba, which I hate to say I know very little about. Thank you for a wonderful review!

User avatar
unamilagra
Posts: 467
Joined: 07 Feb 2019, 22:57
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 150
Currently Reading: The Explosive Child
Bookshelf Size: 43
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-unamilagra.html
Latest Review: Battlecraft VR by Linden Storm
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by unamilagra » 05 May 2019, 15:34

This sounds like a really interesting historical fiction that depicts something I honestly know nothing about: Cuba before the revolution. It's too bad that it's slow to get started. Great, thorough review!

Bluebird03
Posts: 713
Joined: 29 Dec 2018, 20:13
2019 Reading Goal: 65
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 140
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 99
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bluebird03.html
Latest Review: Shooting Europe by Simon Potter

Post by Bluebird03 » 05 May 2019, 15:36

You make this book sound very intriguing. I would enjoy learning about the culture and history of Cuba, as well as the Castro family. Thank you for a great review!

User avatar
Dentarthurdent
Posts: 254
Joined: 21 Jun 2018, 08:54
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 21
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dentarthurdent.html
Latest Review: The Sins of a Master Race by Matthew Tysz

Post by Dentarthurdent » 06 May 2019, 05:11

The dragging of the initial part of the story, followed by the quicker pace when you get to the 'lying and cheating Castros' (I love how you phrased it, by the way) resembles real life, I suppose. But then of course, It's the subtitle that draws in the reader, thus it shouldn't take too long for the author to deliver what he had promised on the cover.
You have quite an uncommon perspective. Great review!
"I say what it occurs to me to say when I think I hear people say things. More I cannot say"
--Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

User avatar
Radiant3
Posts: 285
Joined: 04 May 2018, 05:40
Favorite Book:
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 67
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-radiant3.html
Latest Review: A Police Action by A. A. Freda

Post by Radiant3 » 06 May 2019, 07:47

The book seems to offer a closer and unique view of Cuba during tumultuous times. Perhaps if the storyline was less tedious it would have been more exciting to read. Thank you for the very thorough and insightful review.
"You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book." Dr. Seuss

Post Reply

Return to “Historical Fiction”