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Under a Croatian Sun - From Grey Britain to a Sunny Isle: One Couple's Dream Comes True Paperback – 5 Jun 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd (5 Jun 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 178219911X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782199113
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 2 x 13.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 191,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Many dream about upping sticks and leaving the humdrum of urban living for a new life of blue skies, warm sun and sparking seas - so for Anthony and Ivana Stancomb, moving from Fulham to the island of Vis, the remotest island off the coast of Croatia, was an easy enough decision. However, fitting in with not the friendliest of islands, was one of the hardest things they'd ever had to do, and it took time to win over their new community.

Under a Croatian Sun takes the reader on a journey to a bizarre, ramshackle village by the water - a place defined by its colourful and often tragic history, its unique café culture, its fishing tradition and its potent wine.
It traces their transformation from foreigners to islanders against a backdrop of feuding families, fearsome grandmothers, star-cross'd lovers, mafia-run night clubs, and the establishment of an island cricket team. A warming and amusing account of how home can be wherever you make it.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Haire on 29 Sep 2014
Format: Paperback
For a small island in the Adriatic, Vis certainly gets a lot of attention. Since 2003 this enchanting location and its remarkable cricketing history has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines from the Daily Telegraph to Wisden Cricketer, in a couple of books (Batting On The Bosphorous, The Ascent Of Mount Hum) as well as on TV and radio.

All of the above have correctly credited the foundation of Vis' cricket team, Kriket Klub Sir WIlliam Hoste, to the vision and enterprise of club President, Oliver Roki. One name missing from any of the accounts of the club's creation is that of the author of Under A Croatian Sun, which makes his tale of co-founding the club stand in a very lonely minority of one.

There is a very simple explanation for this distinction: the author's involvement in the club's formation was negligible, and he is not the key figure in the development of cricket on the island that the book makes him out to be. In fact, to call him a peripheral figure would be to overstate his contribution enormously.

The truth is that the key events or milestones in the club's establishment claimed in the book — founding the club, ringing round for equipment, applying for a development grant, organizing practice, arranging the transportation of an artificial pitch, organizing the club's first opponents, even umpiring and scoring matches — were the work of a number of other people; and the reason that the account in Under A Croatian Sun has a ring of plausibility to it is because specific details have been taken from some already-published accounts.

The author's actual involvement, by the way, was limited to donating some equipment that was so old that the club had to throw it away, and a new bat for one of the team's players.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Catsunstein on 23 Jun 2014
Format: Paperback
I bought this title after a friend alerted me to it - after all it was a memoir about living on the same Croatian island where I own a house. I thought it might be fun to read about a place and people I know very well.

It's a shame that this book veers away from the usual memoir standards, because it's well enough written, if a little haughty and pompous at times. Laughing at the habits of the locals is all well and good but the author's continual inferring that he might be above such antics wears a little thin - laughing with rather than at is a far better angle. Peter Mayle won't be losing any sleep over his sales figures.

Where this review slips from 3-4 stars to near none at all is when it strays well off the path of the factual. There's a chapter - and more, actually - dedicated to the author's love of cricket and his involvement in the unlikely founding of a cricket club on the island. This is where I got pretty cross, because not only do I know many of the guys mentioned in the book (the names have been changed but it's quite clear who's who) but I am also a member of the club and was heavily involved myself in promoting it to touring sides from the UK.

Essentially the author has reshaped the historical narrative with himself as the principle driving force behind founding, setting up and popularising the club, which baffled me no end. The book strays dangerously into fictional territory, which if it were a novel would be all well and good (fun stories have always been appropriated and re-cast to excellent effect in fiction), but in a supposedly truthful memoir this is a fatal mis-step, and one that makes me question everything that came before it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 16 Sep 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Much ado about nothing
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B Chadwick on 4 Aug 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Boring
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By Colin Duncan on 15 Dec 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
a wonderfully charming read
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Nelson on 16 Oct 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very enjoyable book giving a good insight into life in Croatia.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra Elizabeth SUGDEN on 28 Jun 2014
Format: Paperback
"Under A Croatian Sun" is a delightfully jolly romp - full of vintage Jilly Cooper-esque humour - around a little known Croatian island far out into the Adriatic Sea. The Stancombs arrive and purchase the wreck of a large house on the sea, and set out to re-build it. Sadly, their overtures of friendship and efforts to be accepted by dour and unresponsive Croatian islanders meet with little or no success. Anthony therefore launches a series of strategic charm offensives - with mixed results. His efforts are hilarious - and include offering to put a local's boat into the sea after the winter and thereby, very nearly reversing off a cliff in his tiny Deux Chevaux. And nearly blowing up the car in the process.

Anthony's adventures finally achieve success with the formation, with enthusiastic others - of a moderately successful cricket team. The Stancombs are finally accepted on Vis..

Anthony Stancomb can write and does so effortlessly. "Under A Croatian Sun" is full of bon mots and philosophy and it is rare to come across a writer who knows his classics as well as he does his mechanics and who possesses the literary skill to amuse his readers with both.

Buy this book and read it. But do not read it on public transport because you will laugh out loud.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jules on 19 Oct 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed this book - would recommend it.
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