Friday, March 02, 2007

Our Man in Havana - post III

Although this book is always referred to as a comedy there are still some of the same heart rendering moments that populate books like Power and the Glory and Heart of the Matter and one of them here is the moment when Wormold ends up killing Carter just after discovering that he is a human being and not just a foot solider in the war of imaginative spies.

“He was a man. I’d learnt a lot about him. He couldn’t undo a girl’s corset. He was scared of women. He liked his pipe and when he was a boy the pleasure-steamers on the river at home seemed to him like liners. Perhaps he was a romantic. A romantic is usually afraid, isn’t he, in case reality doesn’t come up to expectations. They all expect too much.” Pg204


Bullet points between pages 126 – 220

* The consequences of Wormold’s imaginary world continue to reverberate around Cuba as he tries to warn his agents and ends up in the police station being questioned by the chief of police who also fancies his daughter about his actions

* Hawthorne calls Wormold to Jamaica to warn him that the invitation to speak at the traders association is in fact the opportunity his enemies have been waiting for to poison him but insists he has the meal to expose the enemy agents

* The main victim of all of the intrigue is Dr Hasselbacher who is shot twice later in the evening after warning Wormold about the poisoning attempt as he walks into the dinner to give his speech

* The poisoner turns out to be a fellow Brit that Wormold thought he could tryst but he realises as Carter slips him some whisky that it is spiked and so gives it to the headwaiters dog who dies as a result

* After coming clean to Beatrice, who he reveals he has fallen in love with, he decides that he will leave and return to England but not before getting the list of agents off the police chief who has proposed marriage to his daughter

* After drinking the police chief under the table Wormold takes Carter out for a drive and works himself up into a position to shoot him but hits his pipe and is about to leave but kills Carter after being shot at himself

* He returns to England where his lies are exposed but he is rewarded with an OBE and a position in the secret service and he declares his love to Beatrice and although he is not quite as a mad as she would like they vow to stay together

Review will follow over the weekend along with the review of Heart of the Matter, which I should have done but became too engrossed in this book…

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