War Baby

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Overview

Saigon 1969. From the moment Hugh Webb arrives at the Hashish Hilton, as a green freelance reporter, he knows he has found his true vocation. In Sean Ryan, combat photographer, legend and lover, he finds his lifelong mentor, friend - and nemesis.
It's Ryan that gets him through his first months in a war zone, Through the jungles and paddy fields and long black nights huddled in bunkers in the Highlands he teaches him how to stay alive.
But then...
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Overview

Saigon 1969. From the moment Hugh Webb arrives at the Hashish Hilton, as a green freelance reporter, he knows he has found his true vocation. In Sean Ryan, combat photographer, legend and lover, he finds his lifelong mentor, friend - and nemesis.
It's Ryan that gets him through his first months in a war zone, Through the jungles and paddy fields and long black nights huddled in bunkers in the Highlands he teaches him how to stay alive.
But then Sean Ryan does something that Webb can never forgive - he seduces a Vietnamese novice, gets her pregnant - and then leaves behind when Saigon falls. He didn't care that Ryan never meant for it to happen - the fact was, it did.

'War is the ambulance chaser's wet dream ... the visions of misery and suffering can also provide a convenient reference point for putting aside one's own damaged emotions.'
- Paul Harris, freelance photo-journalist

By the time Webb ends up in the eighties' Number Four War in El Salvador he's an accredited journalist living in five star hotels. But this time the government - whoever the hell they are - doesn't want him there. When his photographer loses his nerve, his newspaper sends him a new photographer - the last man he ever wanted to see again.
Sean Ryan.
Captured by FMLN guerrillas, they see the war from the rebel side this time. But the truce between Ryan and Webb is never going to last long - especially when there's a woman involved. He later risks his life getting Ryan out - but that doesn't mean anything is forgiven or forgotten.

'It is not the bullet with my name on that worries me. It's the one that says: "To whom it may concern.'"
resident of Belfast

But the past is never done - and finally Webb crosses the line, he finally makes one of his stories personal, in the shape of a teenage Vietnamese refugee. But who is she , really?
As she grows it becomes clear that Webb's finding her is no co-incidence. And when Webb is finally lured out of retirement all the questions of the past are finally laid to rest in the freezing mountains of Bosnia.

WARBABY is an epic story of love and of war.

Colin Falconer is the international best selling author of HAREM, ANASTASIA and the OPIUM series and fifteen other best selling novels. His books have been translated into eighteen languages.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781621251187
  • Publisher: Cool Gus Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/12/2013
  • Pages: 454
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Colin Falconer was born in North London, and spent most of his formative years at school playing football or looking out of the window wishing he was somewhere else.
After failing to make the grade as a professional football player, he spent much of his early years traveling, hitch-hiking around Europe and North Africa and then heading to Asia.
His experiences in Bangkok and India later inspired his thriller VENOM, and his adventures in the jungles of the Golden Triangle of Burma and Laos were also filed away for later, the basis of his OPIUM series about the underworld drug trade.
He later moved to Australia and worked in advertising, before moving to Sydney where he freelanced for most of Australia's leading newspapers and magazines, as well as working in radio and television.
He started publishing in 1984, mostly humor and young adult fiction, but with the publication of VENOM in 1990, he became a full time novelist.
He has published over 40 books in print. HAREM was an enormous bestseller in Germany and THE NAKED HUSBAND was ranked #9 in Australia on its release. AZTEC stayed on the bestseller lists in Mexico for four months. He is a bestseller in Europe and his work has sold into translation in 23 countries: Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech republic, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Indonesia, Korea, Macedonia, Montenegro, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.
He lived for many years in the beautiful Margaret River region in WA, and helped raise two beautiful daughters with his late wife, Helen. While writing, he also worked in the volunteer ambulance service for over 13 years His marriage ended in tragic circumstances, a story he has told in 'The Naked Husband,' and its non-fiction sequel, 'The Year We Seized the Day,' written with a writing partner, Elizabeth Best.
He travels regularly to research his novels and his quest for authenticity has led him to run with the bulls in Pamplona, pursue tornadoes across Oklahoma and black witches across Mexico, go cage shark diving in South Africa and get tear gassed in a riot in La Paz. He also completed a nine hundred kilometre walk of the camino in Spain.
He did not write for over five years but returned to publishing in 2010 with the release of SILK ROAD, and then STIGMATA the following year. ISABELLA is due to be published in 2013.
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  • Posted March 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    My adult life began with the VietNam war. I was sixteen when I f

    My adult life began with the VietNam war. I was sixteen when I finally figured out for myself that my government had been lying to me for quite some time. War Baby also begins in VietNam, which is exactly where a modern novel approaching the difficult subject of battle addiction, should start. Initially, I was drawn comfortably into what almost seemed like an homage to Graham Greene’s Indochina stories, but my complacency was soon jarred loose when I realized the tale was spinning well past the fall of Saigon.

    Falconer’s art here is deeply connected with all the things we tell ourselves, silently, when confronted with fear and need beyond our ability to control. That these well-conceived, recognizable main characters are war correspondents and photographic journalists comes as no surprise. Their story provides the perfect combination of questionable judgment, questionable ethics and un-knowable motivations in the face of incredible evil. Only battlefields can exhibit terror equally so personal and so senseless and random. That there are people who make it a choice to be there is a fact I have always had great difficulty getting my mind around. The dark camaraderie, seeming easy and genial, that forms in this kind of environment has certainly been the subject of fiction before, but what is revealed in War Baby is the sense of the inevitability of the characters returning to it again and again, though the geography and hatreds have changed completely. Through relocations in theatre and over time, the characters and relationships return, again and again, to well-trodden paths of survival. In their passage, they inflict lasting damage to each other and to themselves. Luck plays an increasingly important role here, as does the forced burial of self-loathing and blame. I appreciated the author’s use of a comfortable gathering of compatriots around cocktails while sharing their stories. It served as a useful, grounding device allowing this reader to rest between barrages.

    War Baby is well-paced and gripping, but it’s also a significant, disturbing book that mirrors the best and the worst human beings are capable of. It’s a book that needs to be read, and read again, especially by young men and women who may be attracted to the appearance of justice and honor in warfare. There is no justice upon any battlefield, and Falconer shows us exactly how unrelentingly empty the lives of those who must make a living there, can be. Doomed to live out each terrifying moment again and again. Doomed to always be found wanting, to be unable to satisfy the hunger driving them. The possibility of redemption for any of these characters drove me towards the ending from the first few pages. Was there any satisfaction waiting for me there? There was, but lasting peace may well be just a mirage we all cling to.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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