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CRETANS Stories of a Beach [Kindle Edition]

Alexis Mantheakis
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 214 pages
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Book Description

"Cretans – Stories of a Beach" is the story of events following a native son's return from London to Crete, the island of his ancestors.
Alexis Mantheakis returns to the ancient Mediterranean island from where his family emigrated to Africa and the United States a century ago. He decides to build a villa by the sea at Lalaria, a deceptively idyllic hamlet on the northern coast of Crete where numerous hilarious and some tragic events subsequently take place. The local peasants’ lives change drastically when the author introduces an upmarket British tour company to the hamlet.
"Cretans" is a series of anecdotal stories about the author, his British clients and the locals whom he observes at Lefteris taverna and from the terrace of his villa overlooking Lalaria Beach. Colourful and often eccentric characters, indigenous and foreign, cross the writer's path over the next ten years.
We meet Telis, the bearded Düsseldorf surgeon who has gone native, Lefteris, the shepherd running the taverna where the English clients congregate, and Minos, a diminutive reformed pimp who becomes the author's building supervisor. A convent in the hills with its young attractive nuns poses a mystery as does the presence of a strange monk with a gun on his hip living alone in another monastery nearby. A minister of the Thatcher government falls ill before help comes from an unexpected quarter. A disturbing new theory about the death in an air rally of Prince William of Gloucester, a close friend of the writer, comes to light. A woman architect and her married lover’s steamy illicit affair gives birth to mass tourism on Crete, aided by a succession of young male lovers.
The reader will meet Pericles, a Cretan psychiatrist with a strange obsession and Makis, the bulldozer driver called on to demolish a 3,500 year-old Minoan palace. The writer has heard from his parents and grandparents about mysterious phenomena on the island and scoffs until he encounters the Drosolytes, the shadowy skywalkers of the Libyan sea. East and West clash.
The narrative is written with biting humour and an observant eye that cuts like a scalpel through myth and character to reveal through its stories and characters the inside workings of a society in transition.
Mantheakis spares no one, including himself as he describes his personal journey to discover his Cretan roots in the cove of Lalaria where so much is happening under a deceptively placid surface.

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Product Description

About the Author

Alexis Mantheakis is a Tanzanian-born Stanford educated Greek political analyst and writer who has had articles published in Vanity Fair, Esquire and in many magazines and newspapers. He is the former press spokesman, adviser and inner family circle member of the Onassis-Roussel family. Interviews with him have appeared in all major international media - CNN, NBC, BBC, the Sunday Times,the Guardian, Point de Vue,VSD, Madison, Playboy, O Globo, Observer, USA Today,and many others. Former head of a Greek parliamentary party press office and spokesman for the party. He lives in Athens with his wife Dimitra Mantheakis, an archaeologist and best-selling Greek author. Alexis Mantheakis and his wife are co-founders of the International Parthenon Sculptures Action Committee Inc (NZ) that has 210,000 members worldwide through its social media groups. He is a vigorous campaigner for the cause and in November 2013 he visited Australia where he spoke at a world colloquium on the looted Parthenon sculptures issue at Sydney University and presented two satirical videos he created for the campaign. His latest book "SONGHOR - An African saga", is a rags-to-riches novel where the protagonist Emmanuel Makris, a handsome young stowaway from Ottoman-occupied Crete, finds himself forced ashore in pre-World War One German East Africa where after a few years he becomes the colony's most eligible and wealthiest bachelor before moving to a vast plantation near Lake Victoria in Kenya. Mantheakis brings his own experiences during the Mau Mau revolt to the novel and describes priviliged and quirky colonial life with its steamy love affairs and scandals that marked an era of danger, glamour and political struggle as the British Empire lived its last heady days. Alexis Mantheakis is currently working on his fourth book.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 438 KB
  • Print Length: 214 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009Z0S5K8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #187,069 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cretans Story of a Beach 24 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this ,being familiar with Crete and a regular visitor over thirty years or so. I ,like the author have a holiday home there now and can identify only too well with the encroachment of modern unsympathetic development development on traditional village life.
His descriptions of customs and endearing local characters ring true and his love of the island is evident in his descriptive passages.A must for anyone who loves this island and its idiosyncratic people

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars M2ungu 26 Dec. 2012
This is an easy book to read about Crete; a must read for those who want to understand Crete. Lots of anecdotes you will not find anywhere else. Being a Cretan in exile, I enjoyed it very much. Well done Alexis. M2ungu
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice easy read 14 Mar. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I quite enjoyed this book.
Having been to Crete a couple of times I have a love of Greek islands.
The stories were interesting, but would have benefited from more information about the author's involvement with the introduction of mass tourism, which was hinted at, but never explained properly.
I would recommend this if you want a nice, easy read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars cretans stories of a beach 31 Mar. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
riveting, funny in parts very very enjoyable i would read any other Greek books by this author. more of the same please.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but disjointed 1 Aug. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having visited Crete and read writings by Brits about the island, it was good to get the perspective of someone already living in Greece with Greek heritage. It is a collection of interesting stories about life and events but the book would have been more enjoyable with a more developed background story. I had too many questions about the author's motivation and experience of buying and developing properties and his visits to the island, and was left slightly dissatisfied.
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just spent two weeks in Crete returned home to read this funny book which brought back memories and helped count down the time to our next visit in four weeks time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant pre holiday read 25 Jun. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book especially as I am going there soon on my hols!! Very real cretan displaying astonishing factors
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4.0 out of 5 stars review 23 Jun. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed these reminiscences of a Crete before mass tourism descended. As an Hellenophile, i love reading about Greece and these stories stayed with me. It does seem a bit disjointed in places but I would recommend this book to anyone who likes trevelling, it's a great beach read or one of those books just to read in the garden should we get some sun.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The author is an old school acquaintance!!! ...
The author is an old school acquaintance!!! When reading the reference to the Lamonts, couldn't help but wonder if his Tenant had been Lawson (another future Tory Chancellor)... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Colin M Crossley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars...
Well-written, engaging and enjoyable book... thoroughly recommend!
Published 8 months ago by Penny Jones
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me I'm afraid
I didn't really like this book. Not what I thought it would be. Wouldn't recommend it but that's just me.
Published 20 months ago by Laineyc
3.0 out of 5 stars okay
I found the book a bit mixed up. Some parts were very interesting but it all seemed very muddled. Might improved with a second reading but I will probably not bother.
Published 21 months ago by M. Cox
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite interesting
An insight into Cretan life. I would have loved the recipe for a type of cheese souffle/pie that my friends' Cretan mother used to make for me!
Published 23 months ago by angela
3.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant non-taxing read.
Slightly more serious than some I have read but enjoyable, for all that. I would have liked more background information about the author instead of having to 'Google' him. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Ruby slippers 66
5.0 out of 5 stars How things change
Telling it like it was ,First visited in the 60.s- Back to Crete for the third time next month,Need I say more.
Published on 9 May 2013 by M E FOORD
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