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Hans Norton "Hans" (London, England, UK)

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In Xanadu: A Quest (Flamingo)
In Xanadu: A Quest (Flamingo)
by William Dalrymple
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasure Dome, 24 Oct. 2006
A joy to read. There are few writers who can invoke an atmosphere, a setting, a genius locii with such taut writing and so little persiflage. Having been to at least a few of the places Dalrymple visited, it was difficult not to yell out "Yes, it really was like that". So many travel writers are guilty of at least one of the following - a) to patronise the reader "Look how clever I am", or b) patronise the locals "aren't they a funny bunch", or c) prove they are unable to understand themselves, never mind others. Some writers manage to fall into all three traps. Dalrymple is seldom, very seldom, responsible for any such rubbish. Finally, to tie his travels into that great, universal theme of The Quest is a stroke of genius. Few have been able to dance so lightly and with such gusto over words. In short, one of the great travel books. Pity he went to Oxford, but Fate always ensures no-one is perfect.

Hans Norton

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