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Winged with Death by John Baker

Winged with Death

by John Baker

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This is an excellent read. Treading the line between philosophical musing, historical fiction and page-turning crime fiction, it was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. I fully recommend that you (and everyone you know) read it.
  Odd_Bloke | May 12, 2010 |
There are several reviews of Winged with Death on my blog.
  johnbakeronline | Mar 19, 2010 |
The story of Frederick or Ramon and his reflections on ten years spent in Montevideo, a city that changed him forever. In Montevideo as a young man he learns the tango, lives the tango you might say and becomes involved with several women and the strict military regime of the Uruguay of the time. This story is interlaced with his reflections whilst writing his memoirs and the tragedy which has befallen his family in the present day - the strange disappearance of his niece.

The story in Montevideo is captivating and moves along at a respectable pace. At times the narrative is stalled by perhaps to many ruminations of Ramon in the present time. His philosophising can at times detract from the power of the story but at the same time I fouind myself identifying with many of his thoughts and theories, some a little too close for comfort even. At other times I was drifting off and not paying attention when this happened as one strain of philosophy ran into another and that is the reason I cannot give this book 5 stars.

In many ways this is the book I would like to have written myself. The dual narrative, the foreign locations and the mostly welcome philosophising on the meaning of life. Also the last chapter ends the book well and is fully satisfying. I would recommend this book as there is plenty to discuss and it will leave you thinking about it for a long while afterwards - one of the qualities I look for in a good book!- now I have to go and learn how to tango. ( )
  polarbear123 | Mar 15, 2010 |
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In 1972, 18-year-old Frederick Boyle arrives by ship in the heat and dust of Montevideo, Uruguay. Equipped with little more than a phrase book and a few pesos, he quickly finds himself renamed Ramon Bolio. Uruguay is a country on the brink of dictatorship and as Ramon finds friends within the resistance movement and marvels at the beautiful girls, the world around him is changing rapidly. Then one night he discovers the tango and begins the long process of becoming a Milonguero – a master of the dance.

Looking back on this time many years later from a new life in York, Ramon finds himself at the heart of a mystery surrounding the disappearance of a teenage girl. He reflects on the threads that link the past to the present, of how the people and events from his time in Uruguay have shaped his life. Winged with Death is a novel about time and tango and revolution, abduction and denial.
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Looking back on the time he spent in Uruguay as a young man, Ramon finds himself at the heart of the suspicious disappearance of a teenage girl. He reflects on the threads that link the past to the present, of the mistakes and decisions made that shape a life into what it is.… (more)

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