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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On the road to ruins with Eric and Wanda, 21 Nov. 2002
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Mr. Joe (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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Eric Newby is a serious travel essayist for serious travelers. A consummate pro. ON THE SHORES OF THE MEDITERRANEAN, originally published in 1984, is his chronicle of a resolute journey around the circumference of the Mediterranean, an arduous tour of ancient cities, ruins and near ruins that would have surely daunted a lesser man. Beginning at his home in Tuscany, he shepherds the reader along to Naples, Venice, Montenegro, Albania, Mt. Olympus (in Greece), Istanbul, Turkey's Mediterranean shore (the Troad), Jerusalem, the Pyramids, Tobruk (in Libya), Tunisia, Fez (in Morocco), Gibraltar, Seville (in Spain), and Nice (on the Côte d' Azur). After 484 pages (in paperback) of relatively small print, I collapsed exhausted.
Newby has an exceptional eye for detail and history, which can provide either joy or torment to the armchair traveler. SHORES accomplishes both. He's at his very best when describing the Harem at Topkapi (in Istanbul), the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (in Jerusalem), the nightmare (and somewhat comic) bus ride from Tripoli to Tunis, and the Moroccan city of Fez. His very worst had to be the chapter dedicated to Holy Week in Seville, a migraine-inducing and seemingly endless enumeration of processions, floats, statues and religious brotherhoods involved in the Roman Catholic celebration of this yearly festivity. Enough already, for cryin' out loud! (And I was born and raised Catholic, even!) The fact that Eric has an unfortunate penchant for constructing looooooong sentences, sometimes in excess of 100 words, doesn't help.
The biggest disappointments of this otherwise laudable book were two. First, because of conflict in the city, he didn't visit Beirut, Lebanon. Second, too infrequent mention was made of his long-suffering travel companion and wife, Wanda, who would occasionally contribute a pointed remark about the latest fine mess that husband Eric had gotten them into. I liked Wanda a lot.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Eric Newby books, 7 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: On the Shores of the Mediterranean (Paperback)
Eric Newby not as funny as his other books but I did enjoy it ..love most of his books to bits...They make me feel good
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On the Shores of the Mediterranean
On the Shores of the Mediterranean by Eric Newby (Paperback - 6 Jan. 2011)
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