Friday, 30 November 2012

The Greek Islands - A Notebook by Richard Clark

Kindle - Amazon

This is a beautifully written book, not just a travel companion but a journey in itself through Greek History, it’s culture and the countryside.

From the opening pages listing mouth watering food, to the useful brief Greek History lesson, the detailed descriptions of architecture, towns and harbours and the lovingly recounted memories of his time in Greece, it is clear that Richard Clark is a devotee to the country.

He was lucky enough to see the islands during a more innocent time, before tourism beckoned it’s grubby and bejewelled finger and yet he also has seen the effect, both good and bad on the country.
Reading this book was an escape unto itself, I sailed the Mediterranean, explored the streets, ate the food in tavernas and enjoyed the hospitable and often comic nature of the Greeks. It was like returning home. I recognised scenes and occurrences again and again.

Unlike most travel books which just list destinations and regurgitate senseless and boring historical facts, the author describes the locations wonderfully. He recounts tales, explains folklore or interesting sayings and instils in the reader a profound sense of empathy for the Greeks, their rich and tapestried culture and heritage. Reading this book is an education in itself and I found myself so much the richer in having read it.

The only negative thing I have to say is that after putting this book down, I felt a sense of melancholy, to be far away from my spiritual home brought so vividly to life on these pages. Bravo, Richard Clark!

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