James Dubro sent me the following feedback about The Beggar’s Opera. It was very much appreciated, coming from an award-winning crime writer, non-fiction author, and two-time President of Crime Writers of Canada who is also extremely familiar with Cuba, having produced a whole documentary about it.
“I really enjoyed The Beggar’s Opera. It’s an intricately done mystery with lots of twists and turns and surprises. And you are right on target in your vivid depiction of the harsh reality of day-to-day life in Cuba. It is a mess and of course a whimsical dictatorship.
“You should watch our documentary, The Shattered Dream (late 1980’s by Breakout Production/ Stornoway Productions). It depicts much of the same grim realities, from the Committees to Defend the Revolution to the jailing of people for trivial or political reasons to the odd economic reality of the Castros to the collapsing infrastructure, ect, etc. All while providing education, health care and some cheap rents.
“There were many elements of a taut thriller in The Beggar’s Opera, which is quite an achievement in such a novel with intricate, complex characters. And you made me laugh out loud (a hard feat with me) several times with your noir humour. I forgot to say how well you captured their bizzare legal system–again most of which I knew about–but vividly & convincingly done. There should be a feature film made of The Beggar’s Opera! I will heartily recommend this book.”
Always lovely to get such great feedback, particularly when it comes from someone who knows the subject matter so well. Thanks, James!