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Beside the Golden Door [Kindle Edition]

Ian G. Watson , Wendy Reis
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

“Beside the Golden Door” is based on the early life of Sir Winston Churchill and is a fictional account of his escape from a prisoner-of-war camp in December of 1899 during the Anglo-Boer War. The story disputes the reports of the time and in this version Churchill makes his escape by bicycle.
Winston Churchill is the war correspondent for the London Morning Post. His two companions are 'Apollo' and 'Hermes', private soldiers who rescue him, and whisk him across Africa to freedom. Other characters are members of the Medallion Society who operate an escape route and a mysterious baseball team of African Americans.
The story illustrates Churchill’s coming of age from a rather callow officer and aristocrat into a man of experience, tolerance and far-seeing ability. He spends the period of his escape and deliverance in the wilderness and grows in stature as a result. Like others who benefit from solitude, Churchill is given some insight into the future, and the parts that he will play as a statesman on the world stage. The story is really a journey through his early life, but one that he remembers all his days with nostalgia. He learns that this time on the veldt will be his last freedom before his eventual duty to the civilized world as a great man. During his journey he learns to face his 'Black Dog', a severe depression that revisits him throughout his life, especially while in high office.
After an accident on the way to the coast, he receives a detailed prediction from an African oracle that predicts his political frustrations, his years out of office, his responsibility for peoples' lives and his steadfastness in the face of a totalitarian enemy.
In the later chapters, Churchill meets and falls in love with the leader of the Medallion Society, Lady Kathleen Long-Carey, the wife of the British Consul in Laurenco Marques. She is a very strong, independent woman. The affair is brief but passionate and Churchill learns a year later that she has given birth to a child, Spencer.
He never sees Lady Kathleen again.

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Product Details

  • File Size: 391 KB
  • Print Length: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Tyler Online Enterprise (April 17, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007VEBH50
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,379,577 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Churchiilan romp throiugh history June 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Having read some of Winston Churchill's own writing I was hesitant about reading a novel about his escape from the Boers until I got started but my reserve soon dissipated as this book engaged me.
Written in the first person, it has all the hallmarks of the great man's own words and Ian Watson is to be congratulated for the way in which he has copied Churchill's own style so accurately portrayed the prevailing attitudes of class superiority and self importance which typified his early days. The story Watson unfolds is a gallant romp through a sequence of unlikely and yet frightfully plausible adventures, written by someone who clearly has as much familiarity with the African bush as with the style and history of the time in which it is set. It flows well, is easy to read and one soon gets drawn in as the tale rolls along.
The very idea of Churchill, even as a young man, riding hundreds of miles across Africa on a bicycle is quite incongruous, but the way in which Watson constructs his tale is entertaining and, because it touches on known historical facts from time to time, almost believable. His description of the main characters, two unlikely Englishmen of indeterminate origin in the service of the great `Bulldogger', provides an ideal vehicle for exploring the clash of class differences whilst highlighting the unjustifiable arrogance of most of the aristocracy. At the same time they become the motive force behind the story through their dedication to performing an apparently distasteful task. His revelation near the end of their time together, as Churchill is safely delivered safely to a ship in Laurenço Marques adds a further spice as does his brief dalliance with the British Consul's wife, Lady Kath in her island camp.
The Golden Door is only briefly mentioned and it left me wondering about the relevance of the title, but that may be my own lack of historical knowledge letting me down. Nevertheless, This book is well worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lively but unbelievable story May 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As I read this story I couldn't associate it with what I knew of Winston Churchhill which wasn't much. It made me wonder how the great family accepted its publication in the first place. That aside, the story is a fun read with action, humor and romance. The very idea of a 300 mile escape from native enemy African forces on a bicycle was engaging and well written. I didn't know anything about the Boer War before I read it and don't know whether to believe what was presented here. I really wished for a disclaimer to clear up what was real and what was pure fabrication. I enjoyed so much the dictionary feature on my Kindle as I read this book as many new terms and words were quickly explained and enhanced my enjoyment of the story.
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