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As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Penguin Modern Classics)

As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Penguin Modern Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Laurie Lee
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description

Product Description

'The stooping figure of my mother, waist-deep in the grass and caught there like a piece of sheep's wool, was the last I saw of my country home as I left it to discover the world'

Abandoning the Cotswolds village that raised him, the young Laurie Lee walks to London. There he makes a living labouring and playing the violin. But, deciding to travel further a field and knowing only the Spanish phrase for 'Will you please give me a glass of water?', he heads for Spain. With just a blanket to sleep under and his trusty violin, he spends a year crossing Spain, from Vigo in the north to the southern coast. Only the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War puts an end to his extraordinary peregrinations . . .

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 764 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0241953286
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Re-issue edition (26 Jun 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,014 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Novel 1 Mar 2004
What a marvellous book.
On the face of it a simple coming of age story, that of a young man leaving home to walk around Spain. A very layman's view of it, as this however is written for the poet inside us. Wonderful language for a long lost age where you really could abandon yourself completely and travel in its purest sense.
Beware though as this book may make you want to give it all up and set off with your knapsack
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful piece of writing 6 Nov 2003
By Donald
It's not often that a story grabs your attention straight away like this one did with me. On the face of it, a simple story about a young man setting off to find his fortune in a foreign land, the book has so much more. It's about youth and idealism, friendship, life on the road and the desire to just keep moving until you stop. And even though he obviously wrote it many years after making the trip (the emotions running through the tale are those of middle age not late teens), it hardly matters. Quite brilliant. Just like the 'sequel' A Rose for Winter.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning 13 Mar 2011
As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969) is an autobiographical account of an epic journey around Spain in the nineteen thirties.
It is 1934 and Laurie Lee, the author, is a young man. He leaves the security of his Cotswold home to embark on an adventure.
Initially he travels to London and ekes out an existence by playing the violin and by labouring on a London building site. He decides to go to Spain. It seems a rash decision because the young lad's choice of destination is based on the fact that he knows a phrase of Spanish - "¿Puede por favor dame un vaso de agua?" - "Will you please give me a glass of water?"
For a year, he tramps through Spain, from Vigo in the north to Almuñécar on the south coast. During this voyage, he experiences a country that ranges from utter desolation to extreme beauty. He manages to eat by a earning a few pesetas playing his violin. He sleeps at night in his blanket under an open sky or in a cheap, rough posada though occasionally he is rewarded with the warm and generous hospitality of poor village people that he meets along the way.
Laurie Lee provides the reader with a vivid account of life in Spain during the bleak years leading up to the Spanish Civil War. I enjoy reading travel books, especially those about Spain. "As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning" is as good as any I have read even though many of the places he visits - Vigo, Valladolid, Cádiz, Tarifa - are described as squalid, dark, decrepit, acrid, and scruffy. Even Seville is both "dazzling and squalid" according to the author. He does praise some of the places he visits- Toro, Segovia, Toledo - who wouldn't!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an experience in reading, a window on life 31 Oct 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book in the first half of the 1970's. I have often thought of it since and am delighted to have at last found the means to purchase a copy and read it all over again. I probably do not recall any of the text but 40 years later I still feel the way it touched me.
An earlier reviewer wrote "beware, it may make you get up and leave",. That's very true, I did ... what a book!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
A fascinating journey through a now-vanished world. Spain, when Laurie Lee walked its length, was almost mediaeval in parts.
He's a wonderful, lyrical storyteller and (like all the best travel writers) has a love of people and places. The combination makes for a stunning book.
Anyone who knows modern Spain, particularly the Costa del Sol and Andalusia, will find the book amazing. Fuengirola is a small fishing village.
It brings home how much the world has changed in 50 years. I'm also filled with admiration for the bravery of a young man, who spoke no Spanish, but who caught a ship and went exploring.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poetic and evocative 30 Sep 2009
I picked this poetic travelogue off the shelf last week to reread in preparation for a trip to Andalusia next month. Here, Laurie Lee continues the story he started in Cider with Rosie, describing how he left his Cotswold village at the age of nineteen to walk to London, from where he took a boat to Spain. Over the course of a year, he walks through the heart of that country, from Vigo in the north-west to the south coast. That year (1935-6) sees the start of the Spanish Civil War, which leads to his journey being cut short when he is evacuated by a British warship. The book ends with his return to Spain the following year.

Lee is a poetic writer with an eye for detail that unfussily evokes a time and place, for example (p119): "Somewhere here, in a barn, under a roof crusted with swallows' nests, a mother and daughter cooked me a supper of eggs, while a horse watched me eating, chickens walked on the table, and an old man in the hay lay dying." In an age where travel has become commoditized, this is a book to remind you of the exhilaration of the open road, of meeting strangers and viewing far-away places with an unjaundiced eye.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love travel-logs, you'll love this 27 Nov 2001
By A Customer
I am in comlete agreement with the previous reviews. This may be my favourite book of all time (Homage To Catalonia by George Orwell is also of a similar content and standard.) After reading this book I too was struck by the sheer bravery of a young 19 year-old from the Cotswolds who upped himself and explored a then very foreign land.
It was one of my dreams to have met the great man, however he passed away quietly in Leeds approximately 4 years or so ago.
His legacy will live on in 2 of the most beautiful books that I have ever had the pleasure to read.
Buy It !
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