Perfectly capturing a decadent, exotic Cuba pre-Castro, Our Man in Havana is a mercilessly ironic satire of spying that finds a vacuum cleaner salesman passing on confected intelligence to the British. As sprightly as any of Greene’s ‘entertainments’ this is a delightful corrective to all po-faced spy thrillers that take themselves too seriously.
Wormold is a vacuum cleaner salesman in a city of power cuts. His adolescent daughter spends his money with a skill that amazes him, so when a mysterious Englishman offers him an extra income he’s tempted. In return all he has to do is carry out a little espionage and file a few reports. But when his fake reports start coming true, things suddenly get more complicated and Havana becomes a threatening place.