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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Insight
An excellent insight into life across and around 'the wall' on the Israel/ Palestinian Border. easy to read but very informative and thought provoking. Thank you Mark Thomas for a very accessible book. We chose it for our book club and were amazed and shocked by it.
Published 19 months ago by Amazon Customer

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny in parts but flawed
I'm generally a fan of Mark Thomas's antics on TV, but my initial reaction was to give this book just 2.5 stars out of five. That was not possible, so I've rounded it up to three. It was, after all, quite funny in places - though I'm not quite sure I was laughing at the sections that were supposed to be funny. In any case, the most entertaining part for me was the...
Published 6 months ago by Ivorf


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Insight, 10 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Extreme Rambling: Walking Israel's Separation Barrier. For Fun. (Paperback)
An excellent insight into life across and around 'the wall' on the Israel/ Palestinian Border. easy to read but very informative and thought provoking. Thank you Mark Thomas for a very accessible book. We chose it for our book club and were amazed and shocked by it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great holiday read, 3 July 2012
By 
M. Summerfield "mrk156" (Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Extreme Rambling: Walking Israel's Separation Barrier. For Fun. (Paperback)
Took this abroad as a light-hearted holiday read. Really good and enjoyable book that gives a lot of insight into how the wall affects the lives of the people it encircles. Mark Thomas manages to discuss the main issues in an honest and direct way without getting tied up in the rhetoric of this very inflammatory issue! Good fun, but you probably need to have an interest in politics or the mid-east.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 8 Jun 2012
This review is from: Extreme Rambling: Walking Israel's Separation Barrier. For Fun. (Paperback)
An informative, entertaining and worthwhile project - Mark Thomas does a good job. I have friends and family who have lived and worked in Israel and Palestine (on both sides of the Barrier) so I am curious to know more about this region. I am also fascinated about journeys in difficult and challenging places. While this is not really laugh out loud stuff there is plenty of humour in the book alongside the more dark and disturbing aspects of life along the barrier. If you are curious just go ahead and read it - you will definitely learn something about the lives of ordinary people living (or trying to live) within this unbelievably complex conflict that the world often seems to forget.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Will make you laugh - and cry....., 1 Aug 2014
By 
Wynne Kelly "Kellydoll" (Coventry, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Extreme Rambling: Walking Israel's Separation Barrier. For Fun. (Paperback)
Some years ago I saw Mark Thomas when he was on tour talking about his experiences while attempting to walk the whole length of the barrier which has been erected between Israel and the West Bank. (I am immediately conscious that that sentence could be challenged as the barrier does not follow any internationally recognized lines of demarcation but instead weaves in and out of the Palestinian territory whenever and wherever it suits the builder.)

It is a serious subject but Mark Thomas is quick to see the funny side of many situations. I found much of the book very funny but at the same time I felt despondent about what I read and very angry about the way in which the Palestinian people are treated.
For instance, he met a man who land had been cut off from his house by the barrier wall. In order to farm his land he had to travel to a crossing gate which is a long way away and only open for certain times daily.”A few years ago my father was working on the other side of the Wall. He was eight-five, and he had permission – he was planting trees and picking olives – and he fell. My brother saw him; he is metres away but on the other side of the Barrier. ……My father, he crawled slowly to the gate and asked the soldiers to open it and they refused. “ This man had to lie injured until the gate was opened at the official time. He had a broken back and broken legs.

Near the village of At Tira there is a four lane highway linking Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Because of terrorist activity some years previously only Israelis are allowed to travel on this road – Palestinians must use badly maintained circuitous routes. But this highway actually separates the village from the school. The Israeli solution was to build a tunnel for the young children to pass through each day. This is a narrow concrete tunnel with no lights. On one side is lower channel through which the sewage runs from the nearby illegal settlement. So, as Mark Thomas puts it, primary children are required to walk through a tunnel of human sh**.
I could go on……..

Mark Thomas has done a sterling job in highlighting the plight of Palestinians in the West Bank. Well done, Mark.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative without being worthy, 23 Dec 2012
This review is from: Extreme Rambling: Walking Israel's Separation Barrier. For Fun. (Paperback)
One of the challenges of educating yourself about the Palestinian / Israeli issue is that most books you pick up on the topic are what academic tomes, and you have to really be passionate about the topic to read them through. What Mark has achieved here is to write a book that gives a good background on the topic as an incredibly readable and humourous journal. It is just what the topic needed. Highly recommended for all those who say that they don't understand what's going on, or who fail to make an opinion because they find the issue too complex. Mark himself started this from a point of being fed up of the whole issue in the light of the Palestinian intifada, but picks it up again after Israel's 2008/09 attack on Gaza. I never expected to be in stitches reading about this topic, but this book got me there.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, 17 Sep 2012
This review is from: Extreme Rambling: Walking Israel's Separation Barrier. For Fun. (Paperback)
Very funning, though provoking book. Mark Thomas at his best - takes you on a fantastic journey and you feel you are with him.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny in parts but flawed, 7 Jan 2014
This review is from: Extreme Rambling: Walking Israel's Separation Barrier. For Fun. (Paperback)
I'm generally a fan of Mark Thomas's antics on TV, but my initial reaction was to give this book just 2.5 stars out of five. That was not possible, so I've rounded it up to three. It was, after all, quite funny in places - though I'm not quite sure I was laughing at the sections that were supposed to be funny. In any case, the most entertaining part for me was the general bemusement of his guides at these Brits' insistence on walking right up by the fence regardless of terrain. Another thing that made me smile was Mark Thomas and his photographer allowing the immigration officers at the airport to believe that they were a gay couple. By the way, Mr Thomas, be careful which Middle Eastern countries you try that in! Not everywhere in the region is quite that welcoming to gay people.

If you read this book as an amusing - if rather odd - travelogue, then it's fine. Where it fell down for me was when it attempted to look at the issues which caused the barrier to be erected in the first place. I noted Mark Thomas's concern about the situation of the Palestinians. Whether he has an equal level of concern about the well-being of civilians on the other side of the fence, I couldn't really tell. Perhaps it was my reading of the text that was at fault. It is true that he does make a gesture towards balance by visiting the site of one of the suicide bombings that led to the barrier's construction. However, for me the book failed to reflect the complexity of the issues involved. I am certain that the vast majority of Israelis would like to see a peaceful, long-term solution that would make the barrier unnecessary. What they will not accept, however, is explosions on buses, in restaurants or in markets.

It is certainly true that the barrier is not 100% effective and does cause hardship for many. However, if it were protecting the area of London where the writer and his family live, I suspect that he would want it left in place.

Carry on entertaining us, Mark, but if you want to deal with serious issues, then please do so in greater depth and look at the wider context.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars waste of money, 11 Nov 2013
This review is from: Extreme Rambling: Walking Israel's Separation Barrier. For Fun. (Paperback)
tries to merge humour with a reflective account of the affects of separation wall in israel.mark does,nt come across as that funny or reflective his walk seems to be a linkage of meeting councillors and mayors which as hard as it is to believe gives a rather local politicians view to the whole book.every now and then mark erupts into anger and it is the sort of anger one vents when one has mistakenly tried to get money out of a cash point with a library card a bit sad really but it must be hard to be funny with a dash of social conscience for all these years
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2 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Extreme ribbish, 1 Jan 2013
This review is from: Extreme Rambling: Walking Israel's Separation Barrier. For Fun. (Paperback)
This is such a one sided version of the situation in the middle east. I've made such an effort to finish this book but I just simply could not. It is pure propaganda. A waste of money.
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4 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars bilge, 17 May 2012
This review is from: Extreme Rambling: Walking Israel's Separation Barrier. For Fun. (Paperback)
I purchased this book in the hope that it might give me a bit of an insight into Israel as I am due to fly out there for a holiday. Failing that I thought it might be a funny book as the author is supposedly a comedian, how wrong I was! This book is utter drivel from start to finish unless you enjoy puerile humour and party political broadcasts on behalf of Hamas! Avoid unless you are a guardian reader.
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