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Another Fool in the Balkans: In the Footsteps of Rebecca West Paperback – 10 Sep 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Cadogan Guides (10 Sept. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860111513
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860111518
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.2 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 493,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


One of this year's key novels.' - Time Out An astonishing and audacious novel.' - Michael Bracewell

About the Author

Tony White's latest novel Foxy-T, was recently published by Faber and Faber to acclaim. He was also a featured writer in the All Hail the New Puritans anthology. His fiction is published in the former Yugoslavia and he has given numerous readings for the British Council in Croatia. White is Literary Editor of The Idler magazine and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dave Filipovic-Carter on 8 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
As someone from the UK who has lived in the Balkans, and who reads avidly anything he can find in English on the region, I bought this book as soon as I saw it. For me, the resonance is greater since I bought it in my local bookshop in Nis (southern Serbia). However, I was disappointed almost from the start. The focus is very much on the writer's credibility, his contacts, and inteed himself. He certainly does not follow in Rebecca West's footsteps (see previous reviewer's comments) - nor does he write with anything like her style, passion, intelligence, insight or ability.

If you want to read something about the region, look elsewhere.

If you want to read something about Tony White, then this is probably the book for you.

Oh, and please, please, please do not let him lead you astray - what he portrays is far from being a realistic reflection of life there. At best, it simply reflects a narrow view of a very thin slice of the so-called noveau inteliigencia in Belgrade and Zagreb... Hardly an insight into life in the Balkans.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
After reading this book, I'm not quite sure what to make of it and, judging by its format, design, print type etc, I'm not wholly clear that the publishers do either! It doesn't fulfil the role of being either a good travel guide or a particularly insightful commentary. In addition, I think the subtitle about following in the footsteps of Rebecca West is a bit misleading and sets itself up for a failure to deliver what it promises. There's no Bosnia, Kosova, and, in particular, Macedonia while including Istria where West didn't visit. Overall, this could have been a fascinating read, as suggested by the title, but it really falls way short of achieving this. Even the inclusion of some photographs and drawings would have helped.
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By H. Marsh on 19 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
Tedious and disjointed, I continued reading only because I had paid for the book. It has the dubious honour of being the most badly written book I've read in a long time. If Tony wanted to write a political history he should have done that and missed out the totally pointless snippets of travelogue. I bought it hoping for a general insight of the region but got instead a lot of pseudo intellectual politico name dropping and the odd mention of what Tony was eating for dinner. Possibly I can get my moneys worth out of it by using it to prop up a wobbly table or something.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Obviously well researched and written 28 Nov. 2006
By Reader Views - Published on
Format: Paperback
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (10/06)

Tony White's "Another Fool in the Balkans," subtitled "In the Footsteps of Rebecca
West," is a book that I had to read twice. Let me start by saying that it is a book that hit very close to home. Having been born and raised in Yugoslavia it is definitely a work that talks about the country of my youth, of people and places that are near to my heart and that are very well known to me. I had to read it twice, since I found it hard to believe that a `Westerner' could gain such deep understanding and deep appreciation of the melting, bubbling pot that is called the Balkans.

Tony White's collection of essays, dated between 1993 and 2005, touches on some of the most disturbing and difficult times that this part of the world went through. White tries to make some sense of the whole senseless mess, delving deep into history and talking to people who lived through the horrors of war. He tries to keep his descriptions balanced and fair although I am afraid that he will still manage to make some people upset. Such are the results of a political, fratricidal war, I am afraid.

His descriptions are vivid and colorful. I have a distinct feeling that he really immersed himself in the places he visited and events he participated in. At times he sounds slightly surprised, sometimes even amazed, but he never sounds judgmental or condescending. His descriptions of post-war Beograd and Zagreb made me cry more than once, his sketches of night-life and parties made me chuckle time and again. Both are so much part of my beloved Yugoslavia and both are written with infinite grace. White maintains a poise and elegance regardless of which facet of the Balkans he is writing about.

Obviously well researched and written with sensitivity and tact, this book should prove extremely enlightening to anybody who is brave enough to try and comprehend the Balkans. If this book whets your appetite to learn more, White included an absolutely fantastic Bibliography at the end of it. If it is not there, you probably don't have to read it. Once again, kudos to Tony White - "Another Fool in the Balkans" is by far the best work on the Balkans that I've ever read. And it made me put Rebecca West's Black Lamb and the Grey Falcon on my reading list - if it so greatly influenced White's writings, it should be real good.

Received book free of charge
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