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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Novel
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...
Published on 1 Mar 2004 by Ross Tulloch

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spain before it all happened!
Laurie Lee belonged to a generation (those who were young in the 1930s)who both had it tough, but were fortunate enough to have been born at a time which demanded of them a sense of purpose. Their generation was at Europe's great crossroads, the decades in which communism, fascism, and liberal democracy met, and did not like the look of one another. All these political...
Published on 26 July 2009 by Strangerbird


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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Novel, 1 Mar 2004
This review is from: As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Paperback)
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 (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Paperback)
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
By 
R. D. Bovington "Robert Bovington" (Roquetas Spain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Paperback)
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! However, Lee's descriptions of the places and peoples that he has encountered are couched in an extremely well written and sometimes poetic prose.
Laurie Lee must have been a good communicator. If we are to believe that he only had one phrase of Spanish then he did extremely well communicating with the people on his travels. His first port of call was Vigo and, I suspect that in July 1935, the ordinary people of that city would have spoken Galician. He would no doubt acquire more words of Spanish as he travelled through Spain but in Córdoba, Seville, Cádiz, Algeciras, Málaga and his final destination, Almuñecar, he would have encountered the Andaluz dialect. A novice in Castilian Spanish might experience some difficulty in understanding the spoken word of the ordinary people of Andalusia.
I enjoyed this book very much. I would recommend "As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning" as a thoroughly good read.

Robert Bovington
March 2011
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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
By 
M. J. Taylor (St Martin, West Indies) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating journey through a now-vanished world, 7 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Paperback)
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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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
This review is from: As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Paperback)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poetic and evocative, 30 Sep 2009
By 
Jeremy Walton (Sidmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Paperback)
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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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and all the more beautiful for it., 13 Dec 2004
This review is from: As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Paperback)
I first read this book about 12 years ago and have read it every couple of years or so since, it is wonderful and really allows you to live the journey that Laurie Lee took all those years ago when the world was a very different place.
As a previous reviewer has stated there is no in depth analysis of what is happening at this important time in European history just a country boy commenting on what he saw and experienced.
This is a wonderful book and one that I will read many more times yet..
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the most beautiful books you could hope to read, 18 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Paperback)
its been many years since i read this book and just wish to agree with the above reviewer. This is a fantastic book, full of humour and evocative storytelling. I prefer this by far to Cider with Rosie, Lee's better known work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LAURIE LEE As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, 3 Sep 2008
By 
Blue Yates (Staffordshire UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Paperback)
Widely regarded as one of the greatest examples of travel writing ever made, 'As I walked out one midsummer morning' is a massively engaging book.
At once visceral, heartfelt, honest, bursting with humanity and in some part disturbing, this account of a young man's walk through the Spain of the 1930s is a vicarious experience that transports the reader into an unforgettable but lost world.
There are occasions when Lee seems to have arrived at truly momentous turning points. After crossing the Guadarrama peaks he first sees Madrid in the plain of La Mancha and his knowledge of Spain is to become transformed by his experience of the capital. And then later, when he meets a Spanish sailor who portentiously warns "I don't know who you are, but if you want to see blood, stick around -you're going to see plenty."
Lee's politics are not overtly expressed, but his love of the people and their way of life is clear. Written later and first published in 1969, a lesser writer would have a built in nostalgia for a lost ideal, but not so here. His record of the Spanish rural way of life is far from idealistic.
This is a book that I would recommend to all readers, young and old alike, and is one of the best books that I have ever read.
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As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning
As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee (Paperback - 31 May 1973)
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