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Enrico Downer was born in Barbados. In humble beginnings as his stories will attest. He attended multiple institutions of learning that began with elementary and secondary schooling on the island and continued to the University of Rio Piedras, P.R. and Ponce Technical as a recipient of a scholarship from the International Cooperation Administration (ICA) of the United States.
Rico immigrated to America in 1961 and did some courses at UWI (Univ of Wisconsin). He subsequently joined Value Line, an investment publishing firm in NYC and later was appointed International Correspondent with Airco International in NYC and Madison, Wisconsin.
From early, as an English major, he set about to explore the mystery and magic of literary expression, dabbling originally in poetry and later finding his niche in novels and short stories always steeped in historical fiction and drawn from his upbringing in a colonial society as well as from experiences living in New York, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and from travels throughout the Far East.
REVIEW OF RACING WITH THE RAIN by Frank Birbalsingh
Professor Emeritus, English Literature, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Racing With The Rain is the first novel of Guyanese born Ken Puddicombe who, since 1971, has lived in Canada where he works as an accountant. Racing offers a fictional version of political events during a turbulent period, from the 1960s to the 1980s, in the history of Guyana, formerly British Guiana. The novel is a roman a clef, one in which people and events may be identified through fictional names assigned to particular organizations, individuals or places, for example, “Liberty House” for actual Freedom House, “Arawak Hotel” for Carib Hotel, “Kingsley” for Sydney King, and “Jack Hill” for Kelshall.
“Characters caught between deeply conflicting loyalties are driven by the politics of the dank, tropical atmosphere of a British Caribbean colony, half a century ago, only to find themselves trapped in a drama whose tragic effects still haunt them and their fellow Guyanese.” –Frank Birbalsingh author of Novels and The Nation: Essays in Canadian Literature.
“Kenneth Puddicombe’s RACING WITH THE RAIN is a gritty look at the politics of a nation and within a family that drive a young man from his home and from his country. Gripping and hard-hitting, this is a novel you won’t want to miss.” —Karen Fenech author of Gone
“From the first page…the characters come alive in…creating enough tension to want the reader to thirst for more. As a fellow author, I am impressed with this author’s writing style which left me chomping at the bit to read beyond the first chapter.” –ENRICO DOWNER, author of There Once Was a Little England, a story about man’s obsession with colour and class in colonial Barbados.
By Kat Lager
Amazon Verified Purchase
This review is from: Racing With The Rain (Kindle Edition)
I love the author’s use of descriptive language. The setting and characters jump off the pages of the book.
Racing With the Rain has many layers to it. It examines family conflict, political upheaval and personal turmoil. The reader follows the main character, Carl Dias, through a journey where he discovers what really matters in life.
Format:Paperback from Amazon
I completed this novel in 3 days for the turning of every page drove me deeper into the story, politics and human side of the characters. The author’s vision and story were well told and a remarkable representation of colonialism. Highly recommended.
FROM JOSIE ANGOD
This book was quite a journey for me! Being married to a Guyanese for almost 40 years now, I could relate to many of Carl’s childhood adventures. They rang really true to Guyanese life from my husband’s experiences, and especially from stories my mother-in-law related to me over the years. Your book helped to connect the dots. In particular, I learned much about Guyanese history after Independence that I was not aware of.
This is a very informative book that all children of Guyanese heritage should read. It would help them better understand why their parents think the way they do; the challenges they faced in their childhood and the hardships in finding their way out of Guyana.
I enjoyed your book. You are a descriptive writer who paints well with pen in hand. Your story had a bit of everything….suspense, humor, history, and romance. Most of your main characters have some redeeming qualities about them. I like that.
FROM ELEANOR GILLON
I finished Racing with the Rain this morning and WOW, what a great book. It kept me wondering what was going to happen next, full of suspense, reality of life and I got a bit of a history lesson. Thanks Ken and I hope you are working on another one!
A masterpiece!! Mar 9 2013
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
Racing with the Rain immerses the reader in a captivating plot, that leaves them scrambling to finish the current page and eagerly turn towards the next one. A must read for everyone!
Memorable April 25 2013
By Shopaholic – Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
Racing With the Rain in a memorable novel about family, human relations and life in Guyana pre and post independence. Well written, the author draws you to the relatable character of Carl Dias, a man who has to come to grips with his past, present and future while visiting a country he once fleed. Fast moving, poignant, touching, this story is well told and many generations of Guyanese immigrants now living abroad will come to appreaciate the insight this fiction provides into the realities of what their parents and grandparents endured during the struggle for independence in Guyana.
Racing With The Rain: A fast moving rain cloud in an otherwise clear sky triggers a sudden downpour and people run for cover. Is it possible to outrun the rain? Can one ever really escape the past?
In his debut novel, “Racing With The Rain”, Ken Puddicombe fictionalizes his personal experiences growing up in British Guiana within a context of racial conflict, turbulent colonial politics, boyhood exploits, and divisive family tensions. The principal character, Carl Diaz, reluctantly returns to his native land to attend his father’s funeral and through a perceptual lens tinted by 16 years of cultural exposure in Toronto, he reflects on his life in the British colony. Puddicombe holds the reader’s interest in his novel through gruesome national politics, humour, colourful characters, family intrigues, some final suspense, and simply by humanizing his several sub-plots in ways most of us can relate to. “Racing With the Rain” is a good read, the kind of stuff you’d enjoy curled up in your sofa on a rainy day!
—Ram Angod, World Traveller. Existentialist.
“Racing with the Rain evokes…personal consequences of an historic political conflict in Guyana, during the Cold War…” –Frank Birbalsingh author of Novels and The Nation: Essays in Canadian Literature.
Racing With The Rain: A fast moving rain cloud triggers a downpour and people run helter-skelter. Is it possible to outrun the rain? Can one really escape the past?
It is 1980. Guyanese born and Canadian naturalized Carl Dias’ life is unraveling. Separated from his wife and two children, he now receives news that his father, Augusto has died in Guyana.
Conflict has marked Carl’s early life. Back in British Guiana, he was a member of the left-wing ruling party. This led to a clash with Augusto, a businessman with political ambitions in the Conservative party. Adding to the conflict: Carl had taken a scholarship to Cuba, creating a great rift between father and son.
It’s been sixteen years since Carl left. His return will reignite memories of the collapse of the political and social fabric of the colony. In the background was CIA intervention and the Kennedy administration applying pressure on the British.
On his return to Guyana, Special Branch interrogates Carl. They’re trying to flush out people connected to a North American based group of expats aiming to free their homeland. Top members of this group were caught and arrested in a joint RCMP/FBI operation. Carl fails to disclose the connection he once had with the group.
Will Carl’s past catch up with him? Will Special Branch discover his links to the expats? These and other threats will determine whether Carl is allowed to leave the country and be reconciled with his family…