Posted:  Jan. 10, 2014

An Englishman in Colombia by David Wood  Murder, cocaine, street mugging, bombs and aggressive Amazonian Indians combined with exotic beach resorts and colorful characters make David Wood’s book on Colombia an interesting and adventurous look at the most dangerous and alluring country in Latin America.

David portrays the capital Bogotá as a mixture of colorful street people merging with a vibrant culture. The author’s travels in Colombia bring him into contact with many different characters and he outlines the problems experienced in a city characterized by the great contrast of wealth and poverty and the influence of the cocaine business.

From detailed personal accounts of incidents such as street muggings, a bomb explosion in central Bogotá and the blowing up of an aircraft by the drug cartels which results in the death of his business partner, David draws us into the heart of this compelling country.

The author gives clear descriptions of life in places like the Sierra Nevada Mountains where he climbs to the lost city of the Tairona Indians and experiences the culture of the Indian tribes. He also considers the history and culture of cities like Cartagena with its colonial heritage.

The book portrays Colombia as a land of great contrasts, beauty and vibrancy contrasted with excessive violence, poverty and crime. The result is a shocking and intimate reflection of life in Colombia today.

For me this was a hard book to get into. Dealing with real people and addiction, murder and other things the good parts of the story were not coming fast enough for me. It was a well written account of what he did and of the people he saw, just for me it was not my cup of tea that day. I got this book from net galley.  2 out of 5 stars

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