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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book
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,...
Published on 6 Aug. 2009 by Rosemary Kaye

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars INterest not sustained
Excellent in its first chapters - funny, interesting and informative. Some lovely descriptive writing but it became tedious with the departure of some characters leaving little if any actual plot. Humour became forced and stylistic devices long-winded. Central character not very believable- I found myself just turning over pages.
Published 5 months ago by Dorothy Barbour


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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book, 6 Aug. 2009
This review is from: The Towers of Trebizond (Flamingo) (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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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most re-readable book, 30 Nov. 2006
By 
Liz Smith (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Towers of Trebizond (Flamingo) (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read, 7 Nov. 2011
This review is from: The Towers of Trebizond (Flamingo) (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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52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A neglected masterpiece, 1 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Towers of Trebizond (Flamingo) (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A delightful surprise, 18 Aug. 2013
By 
Didier (Ghent, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Towers of Trebizond (Flamingo) (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bitter-sweet story, 10 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Towers of Trebizond (Flamingo) (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Travels of Aunt Dot, Father Chantry - Pigg and Laurie, 26 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: The Towers of Trebizond (Flamingo) (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful but not lightweight, 10 May 2015
By 
D. K. BROWN (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Towers of Trebizond (Flamingo) (Paperback)
Rose Macauley was a prolific novelist for fifty years in the first half of the twentieth century, but there is general agreement that this book, her last, is her masterpiece. The narrator Laurie accompanies her eccentric aunt Dot (ffoulkes-Corbett) and a retired High Church vicar (the Reverend Chantry-Pigg) to Turkey, along with her aunt's camel, on a mad project to convert the Turks to the Anglican Church. By turns naive, wise, ironic, and finally tragic, Laurie is a delightful character, as are all the people she encounters on her travels. I laughed out loud many times, but there is a serious, conflicted core to Laurie which only slowly emerges. This is Nancy Mitford meets Graham Greene, an intriguing mixture. The novel is autobiographical, although not directly so, as Laurie is forty years younger than Macauley was in the mid-1950s when the novel is set. While not perfect (the chapters after Laurie returns to England are less engaging, apart from the last two), it comes pretty near.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An unusual treat, 20 Feb. 2013
By 
William R. Woods (england) - See all my reviews
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Many of the most strange & compelling yet convincing novels that I have come across have been written by women, books like Wuthering Heights & the Wide Sargasso Sea. This is another. You won't find many if any that have its qualities. I had heard of it many years ago & am very glad that I at last got round to reading it. Like the others I refer to I have now read it more than once.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Towers of Trebizond, 14 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: The Towers of Trebizond (Flamingo) (Paperback)
Wonderful novel - very engaging and very funny although
curiously enough it takes people by surprise, perhaps because of the deliberate ambivilence of the sex of the narrator. My husband thinks it is one of the first 'gay' novels, and I think nothing of the sort but that one of the themes is the pain of adultery. It is entertaining taken as a travel book but works on many levels and it is still curously topical.
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The Towers of Trebizond (Flamingo)
The Towers of Trebizond (Flamingo) by Rose Macaulay (Paperback - 3 April 2010)
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