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The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society: From the author of Driving Over Lemons (Lemons Trilogy)

The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society: From the author of Driving Over Lemons (Lemons Trilogy) [Kindle Edition]

Chris Stewart
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)

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Product Description


mightily entertaining.... Stewart makes an excellent reader of his accounts of Spain and life at his far, El Varo, the reading accentuating the self-deprecatory humour, adding considerably to the listener's pleasure. A welcome longer-length recording - five hours - and every minute enjoyed. (Sue Baker PUBLISHING NEWS)

a delight from the off, when he insists on relieving a dung beetle of its dung ball. Why, you ask? Listen on - it's worth it. (Kati Nicholl DAILY EXPRESS)

a highly amusing listen. (Vidar Hjardeng THE BOOK MAGAZINE)

Daily Mail, June 2, 2006

'... joyously comforting. Comedy is handled with sympathy and grace... the author's spare, sensual prose delivers feasts . . .'
(Elisabeth Luard)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1792 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0956003826
  • Publisher: Sort Of (4 Jun 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956308635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956308634
  • ASIN: B006WB7KRC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,203 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
180 of 188 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's just as funny - and even better written 1 Jun 2006
Well, I have read the book and can report it is just as funny as "Lemons" and "Parrot", and even better written. Those of us who have followed Chris's escapades in those books will be pleased to know that he is still at El Valero, his Spanish mountain farm, and still just as full of zest for life as ever. In "Almonds" we get to see Chris coping with his daughter Chlöe becoming a Spanish teenager, and laugh aloud through further farces on the farm, like when the police come to arrest his scarecrow, or when he louses up his entire olive crop.

But there is also a serious - and new - strand in this book, which is Morocco, Africa and Fortress Europe. Chris finds himself on the frontline of immigration to Europe when a group of Moroccan youths turn up, en route from a terrible, dangerous crossing of the straits to seeking work in the greenhouses around Almeria. They walk the backroads to avoid detection, and pass by El Valero. Caught up in their plight, Chris goes to work in an advice centre in Granada, and, as you would expect, he is not cut out for office work! He then retraces the immigrants' route, with writer friend Michael Jacobs, but ends up eating more jamon and drinking more wine than is strictly Muslim. It's all described as a self-deprecating farce, but beneath the humour he has a point to make about tolerance. We also get some marvellous descriptions - perhaps the best writing Chris has done in any of his books - about his own time in Morocco, a few years back, scratching a living seed collecting in the Middle Atlas.

All in all, this is another great slice of Stewart and one that remains entirely rooted in 'real life' - very far from the ex-pat ramblings of so many of his imitators. Most important, he remains an irresistibly funny writer, with a voice uniquely his own, and a style of storytelling that is never less than engaging.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An old friend 22 Dec 2006
The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society contains more stories from Chris Stewart and his farm in the hills of the Sierra Nevada. This is a collection of stories rather than one story from start to finish. I don't think it is as laugh-out-loud funny as his second book (A Parrot in The Pepper Tree) but I don't think the books are sold for their comedy value. The stories are interesting, and include re-tracing the route of illegal immigrants from Morocco after a few stopped by his farm and another story follows his travels through Morocco to harvest a particular plant for one of his money raising schemes. I almost feel part of the family because the characters and scenery seem so familiar. I really hope Chris writes another instalment but I worry that he'll run out of genuine stories soon because his life these days probably revolves around meetings with publishers in London rather than living on a small farm in Spain.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Endangered Canary 1 Nov 2006
Readers of Chris Stewart's earlier titles can rightly expect to be rewarded in his latest volume with another charming, playfully self-deprecating account of everything he turns his hand to, and an empathetic appreciation of the people he runs into.

Once again, we are treated to a delightful but informative romp through matters that most of us know nothing about - from dung beetles, frogs, dogs, trees, sheep (and their droppings), to olives, Costa wine and the eponymous almond blossom. All this set in the now familiar landscape around El Valero, the family cortijo in the Alpujarras in Southern Spain, at the junction of the rivers Trevelez and Cadiar,

As before we can count on his wife, Ana, and daughter Chloe - now a teenager, to provide quizzical counterpoint to some of his escapades, and on a charming coterie of local characters who accompany him on them.

But times change, and global issues reach even Alpujarreñan backwaters. Semi-starved illegal immigrants from Morocco ghost past his door, and Stewart feeds them, tries to simulate their furtive trek up from the coast. He works as a volunteer in an Immigrant Help centre in Granada. A seed-gathering expedition to Morocco years before is lovingly related, but hopes of helping his Berber helpers to escape their poverty trap ultimately came to nothing.

Climate change arrives with a vengeance. Life in the Alpujarras - always precarious and ever subject to extreme highs and lows, both physical and emotional - suffers unprecedented cold and severe drought. Crops are ruined, trees freeze and sheep risk starvation.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joining the Appreciation Society 19 July 2006
I've waited four years for this latest instalment of life at EL Valero and it's absolutely worth the wait. Almond Blossom contains all of of Chris' genuine charm and humour and gives some surprising insights into the way the Alpujarras are changing. It would be impossible to imagine Chris' neighbours inviting him on an Almond Blossom Appreciation walk in the first book. I loved his piece about olives and I'm glad someone has finally explained to me the best way to drink from a bota. The section on his trip to Morocco was a revelation. A lovely book to pack away and read with delight in the shade of a fig tree.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
As always, Chris Stewart writes well and amusingly about his life. As each chapter deals with a different aspect of his life and farming, it's a good book to be able to put down... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Sue Ware
5.0 out of 5 stars Book 3 of the series about life on their Spanish farm
The third book in the series about Chris and Ana's life and experiences on their farm in Spain. An enjoyable and entertaining read and you can really feel you are there with them.
Published 9 days ago by Puffin
2.0 out of 5 stars Maybe call it quits
Bit boring really, not sure what I expected but even my life more interesting than this
Published 14 days ago by Nana J
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good read,, need to read previous books in series to enjoy properly
Published 15 days ago by Mrs. J. M. Healy
4.0 out of 5 stars How wonderful life is - a reminder...
An utterly charming book. There really is nothing more to add. The author has lived the dream and put in the physical suffering at the same time. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Mr. Thomas C. H. Venour
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
entertaining, light reading
Published 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read. The wife loved it and read it twice.
Published 19 days ago by Raymond Brass
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very entertaining holiday read
Published 20 days ago by A. M. Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Item as described - A1
Published 22 days ago by R. H. Clements
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book, well recommended.
Published 23 days ago by TonyAH
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