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The View From Kleoboulos

The View From Kleoboulos [Kindle Edition]

John Manuel
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

In this, John Manuel's first full-length novel after having written four very successful travel memoirs about Greece, he again takes the reader into the tiny whitewashed streets of the village of Lindos on the island of Rhodes.

Dean and Alyson are two young people who come together in a bar one evening in their home city of Bath, UK. Alyson's mother once worked with Brian, a musician who never quite "made it", but ends up playing guitar and singing in a Lindian Bar.

Quite how Brian and Christine (Alyson's mother) come to have a devastating effect on their daughter's relationship with the man of her dreams will have you gripped, both with emotion and with intrigue.

A real page-turner, the perfect holiday read, "The View From Kleoboulos" is Thomas Hardy for the 21st century.

Sometimes the past comes back to haunt you, but occasionally it comes back to bite.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 603 KB
  • Print Length: 294 pages
  • Publisher:; 1 edition (5 Jan 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #94,175 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

John Manuel's website:

John Manuel has lived on the island of Rhodes since 2005. His Greek experience began after a chance meeting with a half-Greek girl in a bar in his home town of Bath, UK during the 1970's. What began as an antipathy developed into a tolerance and finally blossomed into a love for his mother-in-law's country. His visits to Greece [prior to moving there] have been myriad during the almost four decades of marriage, many having been made as family visits rather than as a tourist. This perspective gives him an understanding of the Greek psyche that shines through his insightful and frequently funny accounts about such visits, most of which feature in the first volume of his "Ramblings From Rhodes", FETA COMPLI!

John was a graphic designer in the UK for most of his career, his wife latterly becoming his partner in their business. His contributions to "GREECE" magazine in the UK were popular, but that excellent and much-missed publication met its end when the financial crash of 2008 led to a drying up of its main source of advertising income, Greek Real Estate Agents.

The four "Ramblings From Rhodes" books are personal, episodic accounts of all kinds of people, places and things that he's encountered and experienced in every corner of his adopted country, although the last two, "Tzatziki For You to Say" and "A Plethora of Posts" are mainly about daily life year-round on Rhodes. John's popular blog all about life on Rhodes is here:

John Manuel now lives with his wife Yvonne [Maria to her Greek friends] in the south of the island of Rhodes and enjoys the outdoors, writing and interacting with travellers and tourists. He is a self-confessed "Mac-anorak" and also loves blues, folk, reggae and progressive rock music. He also fancies himself as a bit of a Greek dancer. His wife, though, tends to disagree.

Regarding his "memoir" books he says:
"I do not profess to be a literary genius. I don't have any delusions about creating a literary classic in travel writing. My books are snapshots. They're intended to give the reader a series of moments, glimpses perhaps, of the Greek experience from someone who's come to this country from a typical English background; someone who was fortunate enough to have met and married a girl whose heritage goes back to 1940s Athens, whose relatives even now enthrall and fascinate her inexperienced husband.

My books could well be described as photo albums in words: a day spent in an olive grove during December, becoming acquainted not simply with the brutality of the work that is the olive harvest, but with the mind of a Greek man who is of the land and of the fabric of rural Greece; an evening passed at a taverna under a sparkling Greek night sky with fascinating company, perhaps you get the picture.

I don't largely tell a chronological story, I give my reader a brief vacation. He or she will hopefully be both spurred to think about going to the place they've just read about, or to feel uplifted by a short tale of one person's experience of a culture and country that once was totally unknown to him, foreign in the essential sense of the word and yet has become as familiar as that favourite old cardigan, jacket or pair of slippers.

Don't read my work, my "Ramblings", expecting a thriller, a storyline, a novel or a moral. Read them to perhaps have a chuckle, or a glimpse into something and somewhere that broadens your own view of a country with a history and outlook on life that is quite unique on this diverse planet of ours.

Some travel books are crammed with dry history and facts about places. They read more like reference books and perhaps, if viewed as such, have their merits. I prefer my travel reading to connect to living people, to impart feelings and interaction among human beings as they encounter one another, often unexpectedly, yet the result being a new friendship formed, a new thing learned, a new experience gained.

I may never become a household name. Yet judging from most of the feedback which I receive from my readers the world over, I am connecting to something within them.

There can be no greater feeling of satisfaction for a writer."

In early 2013 John Manuel's first novel "The View From Kleoboulos" became available on Amazon as both a paperback and a Kindle download. The book's title refers to an ancient tomb situated on the headland across the bay from the beautiful village of Lindos on the Greek island of Rhodes. The tomb plays a significant role in the outworking of the events in the story.

The author himself is a Thomas Hardy fan and likes to feel that the book could best be described as "21st century Hardy", since the story is a very human one of misunderstandings and their consequences, which include heartbreak and tragedy. It's a tale in which the reader will hopefully engage with the main characters, all of whom are like the little humans that the ancient Greek Gods would play with at whim. The plight of the "human condition" and how it can defeat people who try to make something of their lives ought to strike a chord with one and all. The book's many twists will also keep the reader guessing right until the final few pages.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John Manuel does fiction too! 23 Aug 2013
By Kkitty
The View from Kleoboulos.

A Novel by John Manuel.

This first novel from John Manuel, author of four books about life and living in Greece, is a revelation.

A story mostly centred upon the lives of four main characters and the twists and turns that life is capable of throwing at all of us.

This book is a "must" for any Grecophile if only for the vivid descriptions of the journey of the book's main character, Allyson, throughout Greece to her final destination, settling in Lindos on the island of Rhodes.

As a resident of Rhodes himself John Manuel shows his love, affection and knowledge of this island in such a way that anyone who has ever visited can only be infected by his prose and detailed depictions of Lindos - both during the busy Summer months as well as the true beauty of this ancient village in the Winter time.

His book's secondary characters serve beautifully to enhance the book's main charm, which in my opinion, is encapsulated in the book's opening quote from Proverbs: 18:13... "To answer before listening - this is folly and shame."

To read this book and not see the beauty in the tragedy that so many people experience in the course of this life is... to answer before listening.

Having just read the other reviews of this book I would like to say to John: I want to know about Claire & Julia's subsequent lives!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not a good read. 23 Oct 2013
By Janie S
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Predictable from start to finish, and so long-winded as to be boring. We don't need to be told every reason behind every thought, and certainly not at such length. The books about his own life in Rhodes were very interesting - this is not in the same league.
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I have to admit to bing an avid Grecophile to begin with , and have travelled the Greek Islands on and off during the past 30 years.
It was this that led me initially to reading John Manuel's blog , and his previous travel memoirs (which I can also recommend - very funny and his love of Greece shines through - as any like minded Grecophile will pick up on)

I read The View from Kleobolos on my very recent holiday on Rhodes (always helps to read them in the right environment - but you will be transported there anyway once you get into the book)

Loved it !- very easy to get into , and all the way through I couldn't help but imagine it as a Richard Curtis type production -(remember you heard it here first !) a great story.

Ps - can I have first dibs at playing Claire ; ) .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Greek lover 30 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoy the books by john manuel. The story followed through. I then visited Rhodes and was able to track down many of the places referred to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT 16 Sep 2013
By morwyn
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Intriguing plot, quite surprisingly. The several twists keep the reader enthralled to the very last word. Ending a little normal but it was a happy one!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A lot to answer for!! 12 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Downloaded this to read prior to my holiday to Lindos. I enjoyed it very much, so much so I wanted to walk to Kleoboulos tomb myself. Big mistake! Not the gentle stroll along a well trodden path at all! Took an hour over rough uneven ground that even a goat would think twice about. Not worth the effort, believe me! Still, it was a story and maybe should have realised the author would have used her imagination to romanticize it! The fact I was sucked in must say a lot for the story teller, well done.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent foray into the world of fiction 14 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As someone who loves anything to do with Greece and especially Rhodes, I have been an avid reader of John Manuel's travel books and his blog for the last few years. I find his style of writing these travel books and blog very easy to digest, informative and, above all, amusing. If I was to try and compare his writing style to someone else then Bill Bryson would spring to mind.

When I heard that John was pulling a work of fiction together I was a bit concerned that he would not be able to pull it off. When I discovered that what he'd produced was "A novel of love, loss and consequence" I was even more doubtful as to whether it would be for me (you're more likely to find me reading about Jack Reacher than Mr Darcy!). However, I need not of worried.

The View from Kleoboulos is an excellent first novel that kept me gripped from beginning to end. Its a very easy read with plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing right to the end how things would work out. It was also amusing to see some of the autobiographical elements of the author with recognisable traits of him from his travel writings cropping up in a couple of the characters.

If I was to make one minor criticism it would be that sometimes the author struggles to make the break from the informative nature of his travel writings and, on occasion, pads out with a bit more descriptive detail of the locations and/or connections (e.g. Pink Floyd) than is required. As I say though, only a minor criticism, and one that did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the book and giving it 5 stars.

Whether you are drawn to this book and/or author, as I was, because of the author's previous work and the connections with Greece and Rhodes or because of a more general love of romantic fiction, take the plunge and hopefully you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was.
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