Prestbury Books Announces Release of Roger Asquith's "Cuban Trader," A Personal Memoir

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Castro, the Cuban Revolution, a Murderous Captain and a Mutinous Crew Collide in this Gripping Account of Greed and Terror on the High Seas. United States and United Kingdom Release Date Scheduled for Monday, October 24, 2012.

Prestbury Books is pleased to announce that Roger Asquith’s Personal Memoir, “Cuban Trader,” is scheduled for simultaneous release in the United Kingdom and the United States on Monday, October 24, 2012.

The Gloucester resident-gad-a-about, adventurer and former Hollywood celebrity columnist, Roger Asquith, has added another feather to his already crowded chapeau by coming out of retirement to write his memoirs. “Cuban Trader” is the first volume of the series. It is the gripping true story of the time he spent as a young Radio Officer, on a tanker ship, transporting molasses from Cuba to the United States, when he suddenly found himself trapped between the Cuban Revolution, the ship’s murderous Captain and a mutinous crew. It is a rare, intimate and shocking look at life on the high seas, a personal history and a dark look at the Cuban Revolution that has never before been revealed.

“Cuban Trader” is a non-stop autobiographical account of an idealistic young man who sets out to the Caribbean for adventure and romance but instead finds himself trapped aboard a merchant marine tanker ship commanded by a scheming, merciless, former Nazi U-Boat officer and a crew of mostly innocent East Germans refugees.

It was 1958 when Roger, a bright twenty-four year-old fresh out of the RAF, signed on as the new Radio Officer on the Cuban Trader, a tanker carrying hot molasses from the port of Santiago de Cuba to Philadelphia.

Little did he know that high in the Sierra Maestra mountains surrounding his port of call, Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries were about to sweep down from the hills and overthrow the corrupt Dictator Batista and change history forever.

Roger and his fellow officer, Richard, a young American on the run from a paternity lawsuit, find themselves entangled in the shifting loyalties of the revolution. Arrested and held for ransom in a rat-infested jail cell, they are forced to witness torture, gang rape, and the eventual executions of fellow prisoners by Batista's brutal security regime.

As the revolution unfolds, with breakneck-speed, Roger finds himself involved in a series of life-threatening adventures as he rescues his shipmates, becomes entangled in a series of events that ultimately lead to a bloody mutiny, a murder and personal peril as the ship is thrashed in the stormy seas of the Atlantic and in danger of sinking.

The “Cuban Trader” will be available at bookstores on Monday, October 24, 2012. An online version is currently available for download on Kindle in the United Kingdom at and in the United States at ISBN is 978-0615682921. The book is 352 pages. For additional information on Prestbury Books please visit or call 323-874-8818.


After two years in the Royal Air Force, Roger obtained his radio license and sailed off to see the world. He was employed for twelve years as Radio Officer on British, Australian, Swedish and Canadian vessels, but the Liberian tanker, the Cuban Trader, was the hell ship of all time.

Roger finally swallowed the anchor, gave up his adventures on the high seas and turned to Show Business. He worked as a trainee cameraman for CBC in Toronto, but after meeting an old friend from his hometown of Cheltenham, England, Roger moved to Los Angeles where he founded Hollywood News Service and a magazine called Movie Classics. Working on many magazines including Sea Classics and Coronet for Challenge Publications in Los Angeles he soon discovered in Hollywood it’s the survival of the fittest and interviewed scores of Hollywood’s most famous celebrities including Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe.

Moonlighting as a Producers Assistant at Sunset Films in Hollywood, he learned the tricks of the trade, literally and metaphorically speaking, which he plans to write about in the near future. Roger moved to Spain and invested in David’s Bar, a twenty-four hour melting pot for tourists, crooks and aggressive bar flies; the perfect venue for his book “Selby,” which is all about chasing a thief, in drag, from Palm Springs through London, Spain, Gibraltar and a Sultan’s forbidden sex palace in Morocco. Returning to California, Roger was appointed Director of Public Relations for Triangle Television, with studios in Palm Springs. He current lives in Gloucester where he divides his time between his family and writing more about his adventures.

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