Duende
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Duende : A Journey In Search Of Flamenco

3.78 (509 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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 Jesus. 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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 127 x 196 x 23mm | 240g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552999970
  • 9780552999977
  • 137,556

Review quote

"The autobiography-as-travelogue that is also a rite of passage is a form which worked brilliantly for Laurie Lee and Bruce Chatwin - both novelists as well as seekers after the truth-behind-the-truth. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new star of the genre: Jason Webster" Daily Mail "His descriptions of troubled modern day Spain are mesmerising, but the greater curiosity is in seeing just how much trouble the confused innocent can create for himself before finding out whom he might really be" Daily Express "Wonderfully told, with enough detail about flamenco to educate the curious, and enough drama and characters to fill a novel, Webster may not have turned out to be a guitar maestro, but his journey is recounted like a master" Wanderlust "Duende is an intensely personal portrait of a country in the throes of modernisation, whose spirit still defies definition" Observer "One of the best books ever written about Spain" Literary Reviewshow more

About Jason Webster

Brought up in England, Jason Webster has 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 Spy with 29 Names. His Max Camara series of crime novels started with Or the Bull Kills You, which was was longlisted for the CWA Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards New Blood Dagger 2011. This was followed by A Death in Valencia, The Anarchist Detective, Blood Med and A Body in Barcelona.show more

Back cover copy

When Jason Webster heads off for Spain in search of duende, the intense emotional state - part ecstasy, part desperation - so intrinsic to flamenco, he has no idea what to expect. What he finds is a kaleidoscope of experience and excitement: From the tyranny of his guitar teacher, practising for hours on end until his fingers bleed to his passionate affair with Lola, a flamenco dancer (and older woman) married to the gun-toting Vicente, which causes him 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.show more

Review Text

"His descriptions of troubled modern day Spain are mesmerising, but the greater curiosity is in seeing just how much trouble the confused innocent can create for himself before finding out whom he might really be"show more

Rating details

509 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 26% (131)
4 39% (201)
3 25% (126)
2 8% (40)
1 2% (11)
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