[ Epub ] ❧ The Flight of the Falcon Author Daphne du Maurier – Thomashillier.co.uk

The Flight of the Falcon Master Storyteller Daphne Du Maurier, Bestselling Author Of Rebecca, Conjures A Chilling Tale In Which The Line Between Good And Evil Is Blurred And Suspicions Run Rampant An Ever Charming Italian Courier, Armino Fabbio Finds His Life Wildly Shaken Up When A Mysterious Murder Compels Him To Return To His Birthplace Ruffano To Investigate The Victim S IdentityHaunted By Its Violent Past And A Sinister Former Duke Known As The Falcon, His Home Is Embroiled In Scandal And Unrest As Justice Is Sought In Deadly Ways At The Center Of The Controversy Is Someone Armino Never Could Have Fathomed, Pulling Him Into The Heart Of The Conflict And Revealing Dark Family Secrets And The True Selves Of Those Closest To Him


10 thoughts on “The Flight of the Falcon

  1. says:

    The Flight of the Falcon is an all but forgotten masterpiece, a late novel written in 1965 by Daphne du Maurier Most critics never seem to have attempted to get beyond its superficial mystery story The New Yorker called itextraordinarily dull , and it was not even mentioned in her obituary inThe TimesYet it is quite an extraordinary piece of writing, not my personal favourite, but her most ambitious and perhaps her greatest novel, comparable with one by Iris Murdoch I come away feeling The Flight of the Falcon is an all but forgotten masterpiece, a late novel written in 1965 by Daphne du Maurier Most critics never seem to have attempted to get beyond its superficial mystery story The New Yorker called itextraordinarily dull , and it was not even mentioned in her obituary inThe TimesYet it is quite an extraordinary piece of writing, not my personal favourite, but her most ambitious and perhaps her greatest novel, comparable with one by Iris Murdoch I come away feeling that I have only explored the surface of this deep, dark novel.So why has it been so neglected I suspect the answer is simple It is not what her audience expected, or wanted Stories redolent with intrigue and romance such asJamaica InnandFrenchman s Creek , tended to attract a huge audience, of readers who wantedof the same But The Flight of the Falcon is a novel replete with layers of meaning, with religious and mythic significance It is an allegory, exploring concepts of good and evil, predestination, sacrifice, and the essence of the human spirit, set against a backdrop of family secrets, murder, rape and incest, and brooding political unrest In part it is a brutal and twisted tale of malevolenceWhen accusation were made against him by the outraged citizens of Ruffano, Duke Claudio retaliated by declaring that he had been divinely appointed to mete out to his subjects the punishment they deserved The proud would be stripped, the haughty violated, the slandered silenced, the viper die in his venom The scales of heavenly justice would thus be balanced Powerful stuff from a writer who was commonly thought to write romantic fiction a view which Daphne du Maurier herself deplored With The Flight of the Falcon she told with great conviction, how this excerpt from an imaginary ancient German text,Lives of the Dukes of Ruffanohad resonance through the ages, serving as a template for current events.InThe Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories , Daphne du Maurier statedAll childhood memories are visual A face, a figure, somebody smiling or frowning, and the image stays forever A moment in time, held captive This also informs every step of The Flight of the Falcon The novel hinges on two Renaissance paintings, which have haunted the narrator, Armino Donati, all his life Partly this is due to his own imagination, and partly due to the forceful personality of his elder brother, Aldo The two works of art, theRaising of Lazarusand theTemptation of Christ , an altarpiece in the San Cipriano chapel, become metaphors for the events which follow.Yet the novel starts out simply, with a jokey exchange between two ordinary men following their daily routine jobs Armino Fabbio, is a jaded and cynical courier, a tour guide forSunshine ToursAt almost 32 he barely tolerates his monotonous job, ferrying thebeef and barbarianshis words for English and American tourists respectively who come to tour Italy, visiting Genoa, Rome and Milan He remains polite at all times, though it is clear that he despises those to whom he shows respect Armino feels unfulfilled, trapped in a worthless daily grind At the beginning of the story, staying with his party at theHotel Splendidohe has a chance encounter with a poor old peasant woman, very ill and humped in the doorway of the church of San Capriano She appears to be seeking sanctuary He has a sudden flash of d j vuthat bowed posture, the ample drapery spread, the arms folded, the head buried under the weight of shawls Something about her position and attitude reminds him of his childhood home, the ducal palace in Ruffano He is provoked into action, planning to liberate himself from his self imposed routine Filled with memories, Armino dreams all night of his childhood home and most of all of his elder brother, Aldo.Aldo used to force Armino, orBeoas he was then known, to join in a role playing game, acting out the story of Lazarus He brought the painting vividly and horrifying to life in the young boy s mind, swaddling Beo in his father s dirty night shirt from the laundry basket and bundling him into the linen closet, which represented Lazarus s tomb like cave Beo would then have to wait for Aldo s voice, as he represented Christ, beckoning him outThe handle of the closet turned The door softly opened Aldo cried, Lazarus, come forth So great was my dread, so disciplined to his commands my spirit, that I dared not disobey I came forth, and the horror was that I did not know whether I should meet with the Christ or with the Devil, for according to Aldo s ingenious theory the two were one, and also, in some manner which he never explained, interchangeableThus Aldo used manipulation and mental torture on his young brother, who feared and idolised him in equal measure He also used to terrify little Beo with stories aboutthe Falcon His arms were wings, he had become a bird He soared over the rooftops and the city that was his, and the people stared up at him in wonder Yet Beo knew his father, Superintendent Donati, had told him that the cruel Duke had thrown himself from the highest tower and been killed.However little Beo was noBeo was no longerIl Beato, the blessed one , and Mrs Donati had married a kindly American, and become Mrs Fabbio Everyone of significance in his life was long gone now Even little Beo had faded away, becoming subsumed into Mr Armino Fabbio But the memories remained, as potent as ever.Armino s brother Aldo became a pilot, but was shot down in flames and killed in 1943, during World War II Armino was carted around several countries by his mother, whom he says had friendships with various gentlemen She initially left Ruffano as the mistress of a Nazi Commandant, and followed this by a spell living with an American Brigadier in Frankfurt, and finally a kindly bank manager in Turin, Enrico Fabbio, who gave Armino his name He categorises his mother dismissively as awhore .The woman in the church doorway preys on his mind, and he goes back to give her some money She turns to thank him, and Armino is mortified to see that she looks like Marta, his childhood nurse In panic he flees, only to find that his problems are compounded the next day when he learns that she has been murdered Is this his responsibility And how did she ever come to be in this position, a sad alcoholic, with no place to lay her head He determines to return to his childhood home, to try to discover what had happened By the end of chapter two, we are enmeshed in this story of intrigue, which rapidly begins to escalate Skeletons begin to emerge from the past.Armino arranges events so that he can return to Ruffano anonymously, claiming to be resident in Turin There he finds the town has changed The small university of his childhood has expanded, and the university is now the focus of the city Ruffano is full of students zooming round on their Vespa motor scooters These students are deeply divided The Commerce and Economics department is set against the Arts department, and in a warped fashion, violence between the opposing factions seems to be positively encouraged by some senior members of the University Installed in Armino s former home is the Rector of the University, Signor Butali, and his wife The Rector is the one person who might have been able to stay the aggression, but he is away from home, and ill Armino is staying in temporary accommodation, and through a chance new acquaintance, Carla Raspa, he is given a temporary position in the University library.An annual festival is fast approaching, when over a day, an historical event will be renacted by the students For the past three years this has been orchestrated by the Director of the Arts Council, a much respected and charismatic man He seems to have chosen a strange theme for the pageantThe Flight of the Falcon , about the insane Duke Claudio, who, believing himself a deity, judged and punished the sins of the people of Ruffano Despite the two stories Beo had been told, the adult Armino learns the historical facts about Duke Claudio, through his access to the original documents He is filled with foreboding as he notes the similarity between the events of the early fifteenth century, and what may happen in Ruffano view spoiler Duke Claudio Malebranche, the Falcon , was trampled to death in a mad running of the horses through the walled city That was his flight , and was to form the spectacle of the pageant hide spoiler Armino meets many people he recognises from his past, as well as encountering new ones, and is often shocked by the toll life has taken on those he knew as a child Nobody recognises little Beo in Mr Fabbio, athough he is still very small in stature, only 5 5 view spoiler To his great shock, Armino learns that the Director of the Arts is none other than his brother Aldo, who in turn had believed for all his adult life that Armino and their mother had been killed Not only is Aldo still alive, but he is just as manipulative as Armino remembers him to be Aldo grotesquely seem to have taken on the persona of the Falcon , Duke Claudio Malebrache, and Armino suspects his sanity, yet is still in thrall to him But Armino knows full well that he is often unable to tell where his imagination ends and the real world begins, and begins to suspect his own memories This could not be his long lost brother Aldo Aldo was killed in a plane crash during the war, many years previously It must have been his imagination, he museshe whom I had just seen was indeed a living person, but wrongly identified with a man long dead This was hallucination This was what had happened to the disciples when they looked, as they thought, upon their Lord, the risen Christhide spoiler The latest brain research seems to indicate that when we remember something, we actually recreate the experience anew in the brain This is why sometimes we have false memories , when we may be conflating different experiences we have had, thereby creating a new memory The psychologist James Hillman suggests these images at first seem to behallucinations things seen then one recognises them as acts of subjective imagining but then, third, comes the awareness that images are independent of subjectivity and even of the imagination itself as a mental activity In a similar way, Daphne du Maurier explores the significance and origin of images and the imagination all through this novel James Hillman said that any images relating to demons or devils seem to possessprior knowledge coded information and an instinctive direction for a destiny, as if prophetic, prognostic And in the novel, Armino himself questions whether this ischance or predestination the scientists could not tell us Nor could the psychologists, or the priests As we learnand , we learn the mysterious workings of a secret society, complete with costumes and macabre rituals There are twelve disciples, all convinced that through their strange twisted moral code they are administering justice, and purging their victims of their sins These twelve also function asLost Boys , with an archetypal Peter Pan at their helm Every one of them has been rescued from horror and strife in World War II, and naturally each one is completely devoted and loyal to their leader as a result Daphne du Maurier s cousins, interestingly, were the Llewelyn Davies boys, who provided the inspiration for J.M Barrie s playPeter Pan or The Boy Who Wouldn t Grow Up .Emotions are deliberately whipped up through a series of brutal and terrifying episodes Armino is offered a part in the pageant, but he becomes increasingly concerned that it will result in bloodshed It is over five hundred years since the sinister Duke Claudio, The Falcon , lived his sadistic life of debauchery, preying on the town people of Ruffano Yet one character is determined to recreate some of this history, and as the novel proceeds with violent death and symbolic acts, the parallels between the present day and Duke Claudio s cruel regime becomemanifest The novel is suffused with a great sense of menace and foreboding Although events are shrouded in mystery, because of the skilful way the story is told, it is possible to deduce certain facts Why are there two entries in the same name in the register of births, just a few days apart Why was the humped figure so familiar Was it the semblance to a familiar religious statue We even have a suspicion of a big revelation which comes at the tail end of the story view spoiler that Marta was in fact Aldo s birth mother hide spoiler Yet this does not in any way impair the enjoyment for the reader If anything, it increases the tension and sense of impending doom The lines between good and evil are increasingly blurred Identities are unclear, suspicion reigns supreme There is scandal, intrigue and deep shame Malice masquerades, as in the past, as divine justice The atmosphere is gothic and heady.It is not only Armino who is fearful of riots and a catastrophic outcome We are too Armino, the only one with full knowledge of all the facts, seems powerless to stop it The last scene where view spoiler Armino and Aldo climb the high tower overlooking the city to alight on its narrow ledge, and a now winged Aldo leaps to his death hide spoiler is the only possible ending It is fantastic and weird in their proper senses It is both devastating and heart wrenchingly inevitable.Ruffano is an actual place a town in Southeast Italy There is a church built in the 16th century, above an early cave church from the 12th century A castle dating from 1626, Castello Brancaccio , overlooks the town There is a Crucifix Crypt and a grotto Grotta della Trinit in use since Neolithic times, although by the 11th century it became a religious place, with remains of Byzantine frescoes.There is a Greek word,ekphrasis , meaning to describe a work of art, either real or imagined, as a rhetorical exercise, exploring and explaining graphic works of art This novel is a modern example of this ancient device It is a kind of extended ekphrasis of the two Renaissance paintings,Raising of Lazarusand theTemptation of ChristOther novels have also used this device In Oscar Wilde sThe Picture of Dorian Graythe beautiful young man Dorian Gray, is described as havingthe perfection of the spirit that is GreekYet as he becomesanddebauched, his hideous and demonised self becomes manifest as the painting, and also in the title of the book itself Just as Dorian is haunted by his portrait, Armino Fabbio is also haunted by two graphic images the paintings which have been overwhelmingly fixed in his imagination by the forceful personality of his elder brother Aldo The two paintings are fictional, but probably based on Renaissance artwork found in the Ducal Palace at Urbino Daphne du Maurer was inspired by both this city and Ruffano Her description ofRaising of Lazaruscould give anybody nightmares, never mind an impressionable boy with a manipulative and cruel brother The startling duality, and paradox is even clearer in the second painting, theTemptation of Christ , which showed showed Christ standing on the Temple pinnacle Later on Armino muses further on this paintingThe tempter, Satan, was the same Christ in profile, suggesting, not a lack of models, but a rash attempt at truth The portrait might have lost its power to terrify, but not to cause unease I wondered that it had survived five centuries, to confound the vandals and to mock the Church Today the tourist, with his eye upon his watch, the message missed, would pass it by unquestioning Daphne du Maurier s novels are palimpsests they often contain meanings invisible to a casual reading Her novels can be read as straightforward entertaining mysteries, but looking under the surface usually reveals much deeper significances In The Flight of the Falcon, there are many references, images and hints of other myths and legends, as well as events from history The story of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun is an obvious parallel and there are allusions to Hermes, an Olympian god, moving freely between mortals and the divine He is portrayed as quick and cunning, and sometimes as a trickster There is the Madonna, birth and divine rebirth, a recurring theme of womb like caves and enclaves A decade earlier, Daphne du Maurier studied works by Carl Jung, about opposites in human nature good and evil, lightness and darkness, and masculinity and femininity Jung explored the dilemma of Christ and the Antichrist, citing the Gnostics, whoin contrast to the dismissive polarising of good and evil in the developing Christian Church, the Gnostics proclaimed that God includes the opposites, both darkness and light that God is accountable for all of creation Some symbols or allegories are used both to refer to Christ and also to the DevilLucifer, the Morning Star , means Christ as well as the Devil There does not seem to be much about the Devil in the Old Testament Some Judaeo Christians have even regarded Satan as Christ s elder brother In The Flight of the Falcon we have not one but two parallel sets of brothers the twentieth century Aldo and Armino Donati and the sixteenth century Dukes, Claudio and Carlo In both of these cases, it is the elder brother who holds the power over the younger, view spoiler and also has charisma over the imaginations of the people In both cases, it is his younger brother who eventually inherits his power and political office hide spoiler In The Flight of the Falcon, interestingly, Daphne du Maurier also seems to combine Christ with the Devil, or the principle of good with the principle of evil They are presented as two halves of the same coin She also references the philosophy of Friedrich NietzscheYour German Commandant should have quoted Nietzsche to you He who no longer finds what is great in God will find it nowhere he must either deny it or create it The character is quoting Nietzsche, who said that for the Ancient Greeks and Romans,all things, whether good or bad, are deified .Daphne du Maurier herself viewed Greek mythology as heavily influencial In her essayRomantic Love , she saysThese stories, savage, brutal, utterly amoral, are the foundation of our literary culture They spread from Greece to Rome and so throughout Europe the birth of a heavenly son to a virgin has a curious similarity to the Greek myth preceding itThe good Christ then, could be shown to have his antecedent in an amoral mythology Or perhaps everything comes back to predestination The ending is deliberately ambiguous, leaving us with questions view spoiler Why did Aldo not pull his ripcord Was he overcome by his own insanity Or did he have a vision, an insight of some unknown plane of existence Was he freeing himself from his earthly bonds hide spoiler Daphne du Maurier never wants to leave her readers entirely sure of the answer As Jung saidPerhaps who knows these eternal images are what men mean by fate


  2. says:

    It s never too early for Venice Fabbio or Beo, short for beato or blessed in Italian , is engaged in a flight without purpose Fabbio, was the courier of Sunshine Toursin Italy His group was about to begin their second day of morning shopping followed by lunch refreshed from a night sleep when it s discovered that there has been a murder off the via Sicilian. within 100 yards of the Hotel Splendido where they were staying A woman was found stabbed on the church steps It s never too early for Venice Fabbio or Beo, short for beato or blessed in Italian , is engaged in a flight without purpose Fabbio, was the courier of Sunshine Toursin Italy His group was about to begin their second day of morning shopping followed by lunch refreshed from a night sleep when it s discovered that there has been a murder off the via Sicilian. within 100 yards of the Hotel Splendido where they were staying A woman was found stabbed on the church steps at 5 AM in the morning Two English teachers from London on the bus tour, were upset because they feel they could ve saved her, because they saw her sleeping there at 9 PM the night before The night before, just before everyone was retiring to their rooms for sleep, a Mr Bloom slipped Fabbio a note saying come to my room , with ten thousand lire Fabbio wasn t ever interested in going to a clients room so he walked outside and slipped that note and ten thousand lire into the pocket of the old women on the church stairs His bus tour is suppose to be headed to Naples however he s begging his supervisor to get transferred He tells him he s in trouble, doesn t tell him why or what says he want to be transferred on a different tour with a different set of clients as well He wants to to be put on a northern route Annie two were going towards the Adriatic His supervisor, Giovanni, tells him it s too early Fabbio is still begging well, then, not necessarily a coach, a tour, a private client who might consider Ravenna, Venice Giovanni finally fixes this situationFabbio gets his transfer Two Tedeschi in a Volkswagen going north and they want an interpreter who speaks German, which Fabbio does Fabbio is running for his life What he will soon discover is that what really matters is not running from the past, but the future Sound GOOD this is just the TIP of the iceburg This story is just beginning BOOK DISCUSSION INVITE For anyone who would like to read this book with a group of members here on Good Reads we will be discussing it the entire month of April Sara will be happy cough cough calling for Sara to come in here and post the link of where to find the discussion group The discussions are low key with great people I bought this book onfor 9.99 Kindle download It s possible to read this book pretty easy in 1 or 2 days but even if you ve only read the beginning it s enough to join the group Not everyone will have finished it by the start date, April 1 QUOTES I went on walking up the via dei Sogni, and so out into the via dell 8 Settembre, in front of the University It was like walking into another age The young were everywhere, pouring out of lecture rooms, laughing, talking, getting onto vespas The old building which had always been known as the House of Studies boasted New wings, windows glowing not only with fresh paint that with vitality The via Della Mira surrounding the whole city of Ruffano stretched before me, curving gently, while immediately to my left where the steps leading up to the palace and to the city above The room was illuminated by flares and torches, which throwing monstrous shadows upon the fluted ceiling and saffron walls, gave to the whole eerie, somber, flavor, medieval and at the same time, exciting The piazza was crowded with morning shoppers, and with the inevitable group of worthless individuals who, idle not from choice but from the necessity, came to the city center to stand and stare Students were everywhere, arguing, loquacious, most of them streaming out of the piazza up and northern hill to the piazza del Duca Carlo Rumor, floating from one hill to the other, and then converging from all corners to thepiazza Della Vita, emerged in the small space like smoke from a steaming cauldron There was a Communists plot to blow up the University There was a Fascist plot to take over the municipality Guests at the dinner party at the Hotel Panorama had been poisoned The private residences of the Head of Departments had been burgled A manic from Rome, having murdered one of Ruffano s inhabitants, poor Marta Zampini, in the capital, was now loose in Ruffano itself, and had made an attempt on the life of Professor Elia


  3. says:

    4.5 starsI have had moments in my life, as has everyone, when something in memory clicks, when we are aware of a sensation of what the French call d j vu Somewhere, some time, and God alone knew when, I had seen that bowed posture, the ample drapery spread, the arms folded, the head buried under the weight of shawls But not in Rome My vision lay elsewhere The memory was childhood s, blotted out by the years between Armino Fabbio, while in Rome carrying out the mundane duties as courier 4.5 starsI have had moments in my life, as has everyone, when something in memory clicks, when we are aware of a sensation of what the French call d j vu Somewhere, some time, and God alone knew when, I had seen that bowed posture, the ample drapery spread, the arms folded, the head buried under the weight of shawls But not in Rome My vision lay elsewhere The memory was childhood s, blotted out by the years between Armino Fabbio, while in Rome carrying out the mundane duties as courier for Sunshine Tours, has a sudden jolt, a flashback of his past that will propel him to his hometown of Ruffano, Italy, in order to unravel a mystery that will haunt him if he does not act Armino has not set foot in Ruffano since the end of WWII, when he fled with his mother and a Commandant of the German army, leaving behind the memory of a father and a brother who had both perished during the war What he finds on his return are a deluge of sensations and nostalgic remembrances that were shaped by the impressionable mind and malleable consciousness of youth The city of Ruffano is steeped in history with one legend looming large that of the fifteenth century first Duke of Ruffano, Duke Claudio, otherwise known as the Falcon His story is mirrored in a painting which hangs in the ducal palace, titled The Temptation of Christ Duke Claudio s likeness is depicted in both the faces of Christ and Satan, reflecting the dual nature of good and evil Armino reads through a historical text about the lives of the Dukes of Ruffano and gleans further testimony as to the character of the infamous Duke ClaudioHis brief life is shrouded in mystery, for contemporary authorities do not enable us to pronounce with certainty on the enormous vices wherewith tradition and innuendo have blackened his memory A youth of outstanding promise, he became intoxicated by good fortune, and casting off his early discipline he surrounded himself by a small band of dissolute disciples, and dismayed the good citizens of Ruffano by licentious outrages and revolting crueltiesWith the annual Festival in Ruffano fast approaching, an ambitious scheme to seemingly reenact the history of the city is masterminded by the much admired Director of the Arts Council The various factions of students within the university in Ruffano are already at odds with one another and it appears that the festival will somehow increase the tension and bring everything to a grand climax one which Armino fears to be very dangerous and directed within an atmosphere of fanaticism His understanding of the history of the city as well as the impressions from his own childhood will greatly influence his own role in the impending dramaThe proud would be stripped, the haughty violated, the slanderer silenced, the viper die in his own venom The scales of heavenly justice would thus be balancedAnyone that has read my reviews in recent months will probably have noticed that I have been reading several du Maurier works and that I have been pouring forth praises and enthusiasm for each novel I just can t seem to help getting caught up in the brilliance of her storytelling the psychological complexities, the intoxicating atmosphere of the surroundings, and the remarkable presence of her characters in my imagination This book is lesser known in comparison to such acclaimed works like Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel, but its impact is just as powerful and perhaps evenmeaningful The battle between good and evil, the effect of memory on the perception of current events, and the opposing natures, or perhaps even duality, of creation and destruction are all examined by du Maurier in this compelling feat of writing I don t rank this as one of my very favorite pieces by this author they can t all be number one, after all , but it is a must read for any fan and one that I recommend highly For the most part, it s a slower, reflective sort of book that will make you ponder many of the themes presented


  4. says:

    3.5 stars The proud shall be stripped the haughty violated the slanderer silenced, the serpent die in its own venom This book was fascinating not so much for the story telling but for the themes Of loss, of insanity, of obsession, of our own histories and how they influence our present The book was gothic and sinister,the characters difficult to empathise with I feel this story is bigger and deeper than my understanding and that the themes are important There is that sense of claustr 3.5 stars The proud shall be stripped the haughty violated the slanderer silenced, the serpent die in its own venom This book was fascinating not so much for the story telling but for the themes Of loss, of insanity, of obsession, of our own histories and how they influence our present The book was gothic and sinister,the characters difficult to empathise with I feel this story is bigger and deeper than my understanding and that the themes are important There is that sense of claustrophobia and repression and the duality of good versus evil, sexuality versus sexual repression, of living in another s shadow The narrator reminds me of the narrator in Rebecca, some one slightly unformed or lacking in confidence and identity An intriguing read for fans of Du Maurier


  5. says:

    Du Maurier is good, even at her least suspenseful And the plot here was not one that held any surprise for me But her town descriptions and the campus were spot on It s certainly not my favorite, and I had read it before About 1 3rd of the way through I remembered most of it Some writing becomes extremely mindset dated on a reread after decades This one didn t But then again, those 1960 s were certainly not my 1960 s so it was fairly difficult to mindset this time frame and nuance of i Du Maurier is good, even at her least suspenseful And the plot here was not one that held any surprise for me But her town descriptions and the campus were spot on It s certainly not my favorite, and I had read it before About 1 3rd of the way through I remembered most of it Some writing becomes extremely mindset dated on a reread after decades This one didn t But then again, those 1960 s were certainly not my 1960 s so it was fairly difficult to mindset this time frame and nuance of it for me, in the first place


  6. says:

    No one could walk by night for fear of the of Falcon s sudden descent into the city when, aided by his followers, he would seize and ravage Oooh, I just love Du Maurier, she always delivers the goods Armino Fabbio is working for Sunshine tours and while in Rome with his beef and barbarians Americans and Brits he comes across a down and out woman at the steps of a church, a woman who reminds him of someone from his childhood Taking pity he slips her some money, but she later ends up murNo one could walk by night for fear of the of Falcon s sudden descent into the city when, aided by his followers, he would seize and ravage Oooh, I just love Du Maurier, she always delivers the goods Armino Fabbio is working for Sunshine tours and while in Rome with his beef and barbarians Americans and Brits he comes across a down and out woman at the steps of a church, a woman who reminds him of someone from his childhood Taking pity he slips her some money, but she later ends up murdered and Armino blames himself if it hadn t been for the money no one would have robbed and then murdered her or so he reasons Distraught over the woman s identity he takes a holiday from his job and heads north to the city where he was born and where he recalls the murdered woman Ruffano Once there he finds himself and everyone around him being manipulated by a master puppeteer, who like Lazarus has returned from the dead Outside of that I m not going to tell muchas I d ruin it for the rest of you read it for yourself Du Maurier slowly builds her story into one heck of a climax as Armino finds himself in the midst of rival student factions and campus politics, all of which culminates in the final plot to recreate the flight of The Falcon, the first Duke of Ruffano, for the city festival but will this flight end as disastrously as the first one Despite a bit of a slow start, the finish was a nail biter and she keeps you guessing until the very end 4 5 stars


  7. says:

    I adore the writing of Daphne du Maurier She blends suspense, moving description and psychological intrigue in a way that few other writers have mastered The Flight of the Falcon is not one of heracclaimed works, it is largely overlooked, but I have always thought it one of the best There is a deeper meaning hidden within its pages, that would appear to me to be about temptation, self illusion, the struggle of good and evil within a man, and the importance of being willing to dare and t I adore the writing of Daphne du Maurier She blends suspense, moving description and psychological intrigue in a way that few other writers have mastered The Flight of the Falcon is not one of heracclaimed works, it is largely overlooked, but I have always thought it one of the best There is a deeper meaning hidden within its pages, that would appear to me to be about temptation, self illusion, the struggle of good and evil within a man, and the importance of being willing to dare and to try and to perish in the effort.Armino Fabbio is a nondescript tour guide, making his way through the familiar territory of Rome, when he is plunged into his past by a chance encounter with a woman, a drunken destitute woman, who reminds him of his childhood nurse, Marta Because of this encounter, he returns to his roots, a town named Ruffano, where his father was the curator of a museum before his death during WWII In Ruffano, he discovers that the past that he believed to be dead and gone is alive and all consuming.Woven throughout this story are religious images, but not a moral treatise Christ and Satan seem at war here, but which is which is sometimes difficult to determine At one point a fellow character quotes him Nietzsche, He who no longer finds what is great in God will find it nowhere he must either deny it or create it Much of this book is about that need to believe or create Nothing about Armino s past seems cut in stone, everything malleable, and as the pieces unfold he must determine how these truths alter his present and future What is clear is that he will never be able to be an anonymous, uninvolved, unattached tour guide again.I hope to re read many of du Maurier s novels this year It has been long enough on each of them that they come to me fresh and alive, and sometimes even surprising She writes the way Hitchcock directs, with pace and development that build to a crescendo I love that feeling of being swept along by the wind and then plopped back to earth again I m pleased she took me along on the Falcon s flight


  8. says:

    I read this with a buddy group on GR and am so thankful I did They added so many layers to it that I would have missed if I hadn t been reading it with them Nobody but nobody writes atmosphere like Daphne DuMaurier and, in this one, I actually heard music being played in the background.


  9. says:

    There is no writer like Daphne du Maurier another winning story for me.


  10. says:

    Armino Fabbio ne Donati was the youngest son of Aldo Donati and Francesca Rossi His father was the superintendent of the ducal palace in Ruffano and he grew up with all the tales of the mad Duke Claudio, the Falcon , who had run the city in the 16th century Evidently the Duke had some form of God complex he had a painting commissioned where he took the place of Christ and he believed that it was up to him alone to mete out justice to the citzenry for any perceived slight, misdemeanour o Armino Fabbio ne Donati was the youngest son of Aldo Donati and Francesca Rossi His father was the superintendent of the ducal palace in Ruffano and he grew up with all the tales of the mad Duke Claudio, the Falcon , who had run the city in the 16th century Evidently the Duke had some form of God complex he had a painting commissioned where he took the place of Christ and he believed that it was up to him alone to mete out justice to the citzenry for any perceived slight, misdemeanour or crime For example, a page boy once forgot to provide lights for his evening meal and he had his head set alight and left him to die in agony.Armino apparently left Ruffano aged 11 just after the war, his father having died in a camp and believing his brother, also called Aldo, to have been shot down from his plane in the fighting Following a degree in modern languages in Turin, he lands himself a job as a courier for a holiday company, Sunshine Tours While escorting a party round Rome he sees a woman he recognizes from his childhood, Marta the family nurse, begging in the streets Pitying her and feeling guilty, he gives her a ten thousand lire note which had been given to him by a client who had been hoping for a little extra room service The next morning, however, she is found murdered and it at this point that the story really gets going He finds himself returning to Ruffano after a twenty year absence intent on unraveling the mystery of her murder He finds Ruffano a hotbed of intrigue and mystery itself a secret university society and various rags being perpetrated, so it would seem, by rival factions of students against each other.The pace of this novel is extraordinary once Armino is back in Ruffano All the events of the novel take place within a week or so and they are many Practically every chapter ends on a cliffhanger I found all the characters believable and fully realised Du Maurier s descriptive prose was as sublime as ever A couple of the plot points I was able to guess in advance, but not sufficiently early to mar my enjoyment Du Maurier created a brilliant atmosphere of intrigue and forboding.I thought this was wonderful and highly recommend it


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