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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars indispensible travel guide, 27 July 2009
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Spilsbury (UK, Liverpool) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry (Paperback)
Nasmyth writes a wonderful travellers account mixing descriptions of then recently post Soviet Georgia with a Historians eye for unearthing all of Georgias significant historical events of interest to the casual reader.
What emerges is a roguishly lovable and chaotic country at the point of a radical departure from the Communist system into the Post-Soviet space. Georgia is still finding its way with success and failure admirable qualities of the efforts at serious reform.
Nasymth describes cultural traditions by personal experience- groaning tables of endless dishes feasted and washed down with wine and endless speeches. The Tamada or toastmaster leading the party in eulogies to family, friends, country and all things toastable.
Nasymth covers all the regions with both historical and modern perspectives. The War in Abkhazia is discussed from a recent historical perspective and Nasymth at that time was well informed on leading personalities of the day.
With a wide ranging bibliography, this book will whet the readers appetite, probably as a lifelong interest, in this fascinating region with its rich and varied cultures. Enter at your own risk!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, in-depth introduction to Georgia, 1 Nov 1999
By A Customer
I have read this book before leaving for a long trip to Georgia, and it has given me an incredible insight into the country, the people, and its troubled history from 1990-98.
It is very pleasing to read as such, wether you are planning to go to Georgia or not. Despite it not being a travel guide, it helped me a lot to get a feeling for the very special Georgian atmosphere, and to know how to live and "behave" in Georgia.
The author, a journalist who has worked there in the past decade, writes almost all of his text from first-hand experience, and gives a very good idea of the diversity found in the different regions of Georgia.
If you read this book, you will want to go there!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and inspiring, 2 May 2011
This review is from: Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry (Paperback)
I would thoroughly recommend this book for anyone looking to enter into the spirit of this comparatively unknown country, in this captivating book by an author who has literally invested years of his life exploring Georgia's mountains, history and culture.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous, characterful introduction to modern Georgia, 15 May 2013
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This review is from: Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry (Paperback)
This is a marvellous, characterful and personal introduction to modern Georgia. The author gives a strong sense of what Georgians are like and how the tumultuous years since independence in 1991 have affected the national culture. Nasmyth is not clouded by sentimentality about 'plucky Georgians': he delves carefully into the victim mentality which led to two unsuccessful wars with breakaway provinces in 15 years; and he lays bare the naive gangsterism of much of what passes for local politics. He is also very aware of the threat which globalising Western tourism brings to the exotic flower of remote Georgia.

At the same time, Nasmyth is far from immune to the delights of Georgia's raucous hospitality, mountainous landscape and striking folk-culture. He brings alive the beguiling and infuriating contrasts of this fascinating land, which has so much history, such geographic variety, so many ancient forts and monasteries and whose people have such 'unconscious theatricality'.

The author's ability to tell a good story is especially evident when he recounts various personal adventures in Georgia - such as being whisked away by several young men bristling with kalashnikovs to meet a powerful local warlord. These stories are vital to explaining the 'blend of the murderous and the happy' which seems to be characteristic of the part of young Georgia which is increasingly obscure to foreign visitors, though it lies only just below the surface - and is opposed by an equally strong strain of deep culture which is at once Georgian, European and Persian.

You can also read this book as an excellent guide to the main peoples, towns, sights and regions of the country.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Georgia, 31 May 2014
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This review is from: Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry (Paperback)
Bought this as recommended reading for a forthcoming singing holioday in Georgia. A cursory glance so far but looking forward to delving deeper into it over the next few weeks
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Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry
Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry by Peter Nasmyth (Paperback - 5 Oct 2006)
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