Duende: A Journey In Search Of Flamenco

Front Cover
Transworld, Aug 3, 2010 - Travel - 352 pages
20 Reviews

Having pursued a conventional enough path through school and university, Jason Webster was all set to enter the world of academe as a profession. But when his aloof Florentine girlfriend of some years dumped him unceremoniously, he found himself at a crossroads. Abandoning the world of libraries and the future he had always imagined for himself, he headed off instead for Spain in search of duende, the intense emotional state - part ecstasy, part desperation - so intrinsic to flamenco.

Duende is an account of his years spent in Spain feeding his obsessive interest in flamenco: he subjects himself to the tyranny of his guitar teacher, practising for hours on end until his fingers bleed; he becomes involved in a passionate affair with Lola, a flamenco dancer (and older woman) married to the gun-toting Vicente, only to flee Alicante in fear of his life; in Madrid, he falls in with Gypsies and meets the imperious Jesús. Joining their dislocated, cocaine-fuelled world, stealing cars by night and sleeping away the days in tawdry rooms, he finds himself spiralling self-destructively downwards. It is only when he arrives in Granada bruised and battered, after two years total immersion in the flamenco lifestyle that he is able to put his obsession into context.

In the tradition of Laurie Lee's classic As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, Duende charts a young man's emotional coming of age and offers real insight into the passionate essence of flamenco.

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Review: Duende: A Journey Into the Heart of Flamenco

User Review  - Scott - Goodreads

Inspired an interest in Flamenco in a younger me but found to be stylistically lacking with a thin plot line the second time around. Read full review

Review: Duende: A Journey Into the Heart of Flamenco

User Review  - Carolyn Heinze - Goodreads

Unbelievable, and not just for the fraught, high-pitched, passive, square-ass writing. Unbelievable as in: I don't believe much of this. Where are the details? What's it like to steal a car for the ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Brought up in England, Jason Webster lived for many years in Spain. His acclaimed non-fiction books about Spain include Duende: A Journey in Search of Flamenco; Andalus: Unlocking the Secrets of Moorish Spain; Guerra: Living in the Shadows of the Spanish Civil War; Sacred Sierra: A Year on a Spanish Mountain and the forthcoming The Spy with 29 Names. He is also the author of the Max Cámara series of crime novels, the first of which, Or the Bull Kills You, was longlisted for the CWA Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards New Blood Dagger 2011. This was followed by A Death in Valencia and, most recently, The Anarchist Detective.

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