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The Towers of Trebizond (Flamingo) Paperback – 3 Apr 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo; New Ed edition (3 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006544215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006544210
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 1.5 x 12.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Rose Macaulay was born into an intellectual family in 1881 in Rugby. When she was six, the family moved to a small coastal village in Italy, where her father made a living as a translator of classical works and editor of textbooks. There, she developed a sense of adventure that was to be a dominant feature of her life.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Rosemary Kaye on 6 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
The discovery of this book has been one of the greatest pleasures of my year so far. It is a beautifully told story of three eccentric characters and a camel travelling to Turkey to start a High Anglican mission. Usually I find this kind of thing very irritating, but Macaulay writes entirely without condescension or coyness. There are many references to High Anglican, and Muslim, practices and ideas, and I very much enjoyed the way in which they were simply introduced, without explanation - I was happy to look them up for myself.

The story moves along at a cracking pace, and can be read on several levels - as an adventure, a travel book with marvellous descriptions, an observation of the often hilarious relationships between the travellers, and as a slightly mysterious story about the narrator's own personal life. Information is skilfully fed to the reader as the journey progresses, and the ending is one of the most poignant I think I have ever read.

Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By xanadu on 7 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
My copy of this wonderful book has a quote from Anthony Burgess on the back, "I would put it among the twenty best novels of the century" and who am I to disagree.
From its quirky opening line, see also Burgess's "Earthly Powers" for one of the best)it gets better and better. A delightful sendup of travel writers, The BBC and the Church of England, with a touch of Alice in Wonderland in the main character and possibly echoes of an Anglican response to Brideshead Revisited at its core. The first half of the book are a constant delight and surprise, but as the action moves out of Turkey the tone changes and the second half of the book is more serious and religious with the ending being as unexpected as the beginning.
This is a book to read over and over throughout ones life, I would rank it, along with Malcolm Lowry's "Under the Volcano" as one of the great neglected novels of the second half of the 20th Century.
Oh and its really funny!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Liz Smith on 30 Nov. 2006
Format: Paperback
I have just finished this book for the 4th time. Each time it amuses me more and moves me more deeply. It's a book that you grow with.

To enjoy it to the full you need some knowledge of Anglicanism and its funny ways: also, some acquaintance with the Muslim faith would add to your appreciation.Although the book was written 50 years ago it's bang up-to-date in the problems it tackles.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Didier TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
I took this book with me on a holiday to Austria, and I must confess it was a strange experience reading about aunt Dot, Laurie and Father Chantry-Pigg travelling around Turkey and the Levant on their camel, through sun-baked plains or lush forests, while I myself had a splendid view of the Austrian Alps in front of me. But I guess one could read this book just about anywhere in the world and yet be instantly transported to the region of the book, so beautiful and evocative are the descriptions of the landscapes, the cities and ruins Laurie visits, and the fishing she and aunt Dot do while camping near a river, or the local inhabitants (lots of men replying 'yok' to their questions), and the fellow-Englishmen they meet.

Though the narrator is Laurie and one gets to know her best, each of the three main characters is exquisitely drawn and (to my Belgian eyes at least) prime examples of that inimitable species, 'the English eccentric'. What would never occur to think or do seems quite normal to them, and the flair with which they go about their travels is often quite hilarious and always heartening. Wouldn't life be so much more fun if more of the same kind of people were around?

The only aspect that was a little lost on me were the sometimes rather lengthy bits on the differences between different kinds of Anglicanism, Roman-Catholicism, etc. (and religion in general), but Im' sure it's different for people born and bred in the U.K., and it really didn't spoil the fun for me either. A warm, funny and yet deep book, heartily recommended!
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
If I had to pick one English travel book I would have little hesitation in choosing this one - as funny as Evelyn Waugh but without the underlying cruelty and snobbishness and written with a tenderness and understatement which is profoundly moving.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bookrat on 10 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very oddball book. It is obviously autobiographical. It starts out as a (not-terribly funny) comic travel story, and I began to tire of it a bit, although the details of Turkish geography and history are interesting. There are also rather over-long discursions on religion and religious guilt - a bit reminiscent of Graham Greene. However, towards the end, it suddenly switches to a disturbingly surreal mode and the final chapter is one of the most beautiful, tragic, heart-wrenching pieces of writing I have experienced. So, see it through; and do read it properly rather than skipping over what appear to be boring God bits - it all makes a terrible sense in the end. I'm looking forward to reading her biography.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Madelaine Cooper on 26 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read this superb novel so many times and always with immense joy and delight: I would therefore like to bring it to the attention of readers who have perhaps not come across Rose Macauley and this tale full of wit and wisdom, travel, history, philosophy, humour and sadness, nostalgia , views on life and religion, love and loss. And who could resist a book whose opening words are " "Take my camel, dear" said my Aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass" Oh yes, there is The Camel! I buy this book for everyone I care about. Please read it!
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