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Crete - A Notebook: Journeys Through a Mystical Landscape Paperback – 12 Jul 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (12 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475188943
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475188943
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 178,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Clark is a writer and journalist who is currently Group Deputy Editor of the UK mass market magazines TV Times and TV & Satellite Week. The son of the novelist Douglas Clark, he has worked on an array of national newspapers and magazines including the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, The Guardian, Radio Times, The Listener, TVeasy, Soaplife, Saga Magazine, Now and for broadcasters including the BBC and ITV.

After graduating in English Literature he left England behind to teach English on Crete, an island which he frequently returns to.

The Greek Islands - A Notebook was published in September 2011; Crete - A Notebook was published in July 2012; Rhodes - A Notebook in June 2013; Corfu - A Notebook in April 2014; Richard Clark's Greek Islands Anthology in July 2014; Crete - A Notebook (New Edition) in August 2014. His Crete Notebook is currently being translated into Greek.

Richard is married with two grown up children and lives near Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

'Clark is particularly good on the colours, flavours and scents of Greece. He has got under the skin of the place in a way few outsiders have been able to.'

Multi award-winning writer Mark Hudson, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, and Samuel Johnson Prize, author of Our Grandmothers' Drums, Coming Back Brockens, The Music in My Head and Titian, the Last Days

'My library contains almost all of the noteworthy books about Greece and her islands and this will be a welcomed addition. I will place it next to my collection of books by the late and great Patrick Leigh Fermor, because I think Richard Clark's writing is as close to Fermor as we will ever come again.'

Aurelia Smeltz, author Labyrinthine Ways, A Lone Red Apple

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Miss Emma J French on 18 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Crete A Notebook: Journeys Through a Mystical Landscape by Richard Clark
`I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.'
This sparse, profound prose forms the epitaph of the celebrated Cretan writer, Nikos Kazantzakis, who Richard Clark considers to have done `more to expound the Cretan spirit than any other writer'. The thought-provoking and poignant section on Kazantzakis encapsulates everything that is intellectually, emotionally, and even spiritually nourishing about his wonderful book.
Unsurprisingly, travel literature constitutes the vast majority of my reading these days, and I devour as much online and off as I can. In examining other writers' style and content, I have become accustomed to dipping in and out of work. The extent to which I have been unable to put Richard Clark's book down is a tribute to its compulsive readability.
It ticks most of the boxes one would expect of really strong travel writing. It's got a brisk pace without sacrificing depth of detail. It's taken me into a world that I was not familiar with and made me realise how much more I want to learn. Hence, although I know several Greek islands very well, I don't know Crete yet, and it is clear to me now that it has its own highly distinctive and beguiling character. The book allows you to see its author's personality, and to like it, without it forming an intrusive voice in Clark's enthusiastic love letter to the island. It offers a wealth of culture and history that most tourists would not be aware of. It also covers, with an impartiality that is clear-sighted but not condescending, the sites even most first -time package travellers will be familiar with, from Heraklion Airport to Knossos.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Fred L on 9 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
This was an immensely enjoyable read and essential reading for anyone interested in or planning a trip to Crete. Clark captures the beauty of the island with an understanding and appreciation that is both insightful and riveting. I will soon be visiting Elounda and will be sure to put this at the top of my packing list!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By seánOseán on 4 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback
To capture the essence of the island that's termed 'the cradle of civilisation' requires a lot of passion and a lot of knowledge. Richard Clark clearly has both of these. Having been to Crete several times I was interested to see if Crete - A Notebook rekindled my memories. What an unexpected pleasure to find it brought back to mind lots of hitherto forgotten delights. Amazing to think that mere words can conjure up images and stir the soul, as this book does. This island certainly is special, as are its people - anyone that needs persuading of that should browse this book. If you do, you'll surely want to visit Crete.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on 12 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
... and a very useful aid to enhance your holiday.
The book covers all the usual places but with the addition of some out-of-the-way spots which require a certain amount of ingenuity to get to.
The author lived in Crete where he worked as a teacher. He clearly has a great fondness for the island and its inhabitants who are described with great affection. However, his love of the place doesn't blind him to its imperfections.
This is an all-round, warts and all, love affair with a (mostly) idyllic island.
And beautifully written, too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sara Alexi - The Greek Village Series on 23 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought I knew Crete. Crete was the first place I visited in Greece and my first love. Later I honeymooned there. At one time I planned to live there. So I thought a 'Crete - A notebook' would whisk me down memory lane.
I was only a few sentences in when I was revisiting familiar places, feeling the heat on my skin, smelling the aromas, hearing the noises. I was back in Heraklion Airport where I learnt the word Leoforio - bus some twenty years ago.
But before long (and the same thing happened with Greek Island - A notebook by the same author.) I was taken to places I never even knew existed, had tricky politics clearly explained and Greek Mythology thrown in which made a delightful combination. History was also included to bring the present alive and I have learnt far more than I fear I will actually remember.
I paid particular attention to the Samaria Gorge note as this is a place I one day wish to finally walk. Bad planning, hot sun and lack of time robbing me of the chance so far. I was enchanted with his description. I love the way Clark writes, it is personal, it is human and deceptively simple. A book crafted so carefully you almost believe that it's a note book, were it not for the flow.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike Gerrard on 23 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been to Crete several times, and even written about it myself - including the AA's Spiral Crete guidebook. I didn't expect much from the book, and didn't like the heavy red outline on the cover, but it was cheap and I like reading about Greece so I got it.

I was really surprised and delighted by the book. I read every word. The author is a fine writer and describes the island vividly. It's not a guidebook although there's a lot of information here that should be in any good guidebook. He travels around the island in clockwise direction, writing short essays as he goes, which are a mix of personal memoir, history, and an evocation of place. The last one he does very well, as it brought back memories to me of my own travels around the island. He really does capture places well.

I'd recommend this book to anyone planning a visit to Crete, or who has been there and wants to re-live the visit or fill in the details of places they didn't get to. I would have given it a 5-star review but it does have some typos and spelling mistakes in it, showing the value of having a good editor. For example, the top of a mountain is a peak not a peek. Other than that - highly recommended.
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