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CUBAN TRADER - A Memoir by Roger Asquith

Cuban Trader Cover ArtTHE CUBAN TRADER, Voyage on the Hellship - is the thrilling autobiographical account of an idealistic young man who sets out on the high seas for adventure and romance but instead, finds himself trapped aboard a merchant marine tanker ship commanded by a scheming and merciless captain, a former Nazi Kriegsmarine officer, and a crew of mostly innocent, randy young Germans who escaped from East Germany for a better life in the West, only to be trapped as literal prisoners on the ship, except for enthusiastic escapes to the dockside whorehouse in Cuba. It's 1958, and Roger Asquith, a bright twenty-four year-old, fresh from the British RAF has signed on as the new communications officer of the Cuban Trader, carrying hot molasses from the port of Santiago de Cuba to Philadelphia for a cheap rum distiller. His duties, aside from the occasional radio signal mostly amount to treating the rampant venereal disease among the young crew, the captain derisively calls “sex maniacs”, but little do they know that high in the mountains above the Cuban refinery, the rebels of Fidel Castro are about to sweep from the hills to overthrow Dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Making return journeys to Cuba as the revolution grows ever more intense and dangerous, Roger finds himself navigating a series of hair-raising adventures and narrow escapes as he must rescue his crewmates and the local girls of the refinery where he and his fellow ship mate, Richard “The Third”, the estranged son of a wealthy Hollywood producer seek refuge, only to find themselves entangled ever deeper in the shifting loyalties of the revolution. Arrested and held from ransom in a filthy rat-infested jail cell, witnessing the torture, gang rape, and eventual execution of fellow prisoners at the hands of the brutal security regime Roger must navigate the dangers of political upheaval and the schemes of a merciless captain, leading to murder, mutiny, and the biggest threat of all, the ship breaking up in the stormy Atlantic.

"...adventurous sea-going tale...offers generous quantities of clever prose, absorbing characters and enough conflict to keep even James Bond guessing what happens next...a fun read told with Asquith’s trained eye for comedy and drama, this is a rollicking all-out adventure yarn that keeps you pinned to every page cover to cover..." Blaine Taylor - Sea Classics Magazine

"Gripping read for all those history buffs or not. Takes you back to a different time and place where men of the high seas risk it all and the smell of rum and danger intermingle with the events of a revolution unfolding...." Erick Castillo

Roger Asquith is Interviewed on BBC about Cuban Trader
BBC Play

PHOTO

Goodreads Review

City Book Review 4 Stars

 

Buy Cuban Trader ebook and Paperback at Amazon

or in the UK Amazon Kindle ebook or Paperback

Paperback available online from Barnes & Noble

 

©Copyright 2016 Prestbury Books/wlev