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18 Reviews
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable - Brings back memories
I went trekking in Morroco a couple of years ago and stayed in Marrakech duiring the trip. Reading this book brought back all the memories of a place I enjoyed.
With the lyrical and evocative descriptions you could think you were there in the thick of it..
Some bits are a bit Bill Bryson-ish with comments and thoughts on situations the couple found themselves...
Published on 10 Feb 2006 by M. Webber

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Insulting the locals
As the wife of a Marrakchi who adores the city, I was excited to read this book, having had it on my wish list for some time. It was of interest to me because I have always wanted to buy and renovate a riad in this wonderfully vibrant city. However, the writing had a laboured quality about it as though Innes was trying too hard, especially with her descriptions, and I...
Published on 23 Jan 2009 by R. Willcox


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Insulting the locals, 23 Jan 2009
By 
R. Willcox - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cinnamon City (Paperback)
As the wife of a Marrakchi who adores the city, I was excited to read this book, having had it on my wish list for some time. It was of interest to me because I have always wanted to buy and renovate a riad in this wonderfully vibrant city. However, the writing had a laboured quality about it as though Innes was trying too hard, especially with her descriptions, and I often felt that her treatment of the locals was downright patronising. I am sure this was unintentional but really felt that she was unable to write humourously about the characters without being insulting, and I found much of her behaviour rather repellant. As to her difficulties, I did not sympathise with her to any great extent.

As stated by other reviewers this book is much more about house renovation than cultural exploration. If you want a vivid account of Marrakech and its characters you'd do far better to read Peter Mayne's 'A Year in Marrakech', which, despite being over 50 years old, gives a much more familiar and accurate portrayal of the place as I know it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable - Brings back memories, 10 Feb 2006
By 
M. Webber (Harrogate, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cinnamon City (Paperback)
I went trekking in Morroco a couple of years ago and stayed in Marrakech duiring the trip. Reading this book brought back all the memories of a place I enjoyed.
With the lyrical and evocative descriptions you could think you were there in the thick of it..
Some bits are a bit Bill Bryson-ish with comments and thoughts on situations the couple found themselves and their guests in.
Well worth a look
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A litany of disasters, 23 Jan 2010
By 
E. Harper - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cinnamon City (Paperback)
If you're looking for an inspirational account of Marrakech or Morocco, don't bother with this book. If you're looking for a tedious account of an appallingly haphazard building project, then go right ahead.
I was irritated most of all by the author's complete lack of common sense and the contradictory references to their financial situation.
A few photographs and the editing out of a few chapters would have made the book a bit more bearable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy read, 9 Jan 2008
This review is from: Cinnamon City (Paperback)
I received this book for Christmas having bought a Riad in Morocco. The story reflected my own experiences of buying and renovating a house. The book is a nice easy read detailing the trials and tribulations of the author's experience.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Manages to make Marrakech boring!, 20 Mar 2006
By 
S. Lowry "slbparkwest" (Belfast, NI) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cinnamon City (Paperback)
Having visited this exciting city, I was interested to read this book to get another perspective. However the title is misleading as there is scant attention paid to the city itself and the fascinating culture that exists there.There is nothing to entice a potential traveller, which is amazing as the reality is so beguiling.
Instead we are given far too much unnecessary detail about house renovation and the trials & tribulations that result. It's all been done before far too many times.
Very disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rabid consumerism and ugly prose, 5 July 2013
This review is from: Cinnamon City (Paperback)
"Thank God for books" writes Miranda Innes in Cinnamon City. Indeed. If it weren't for this book I might have continued to slightly envy designers and 'creatives' like Innes and her dysfunctional partner "the artist Dan Pearce", who regularly feature in glossy interiors magazines showing off their gloriously renovated riads, fincas and manses. This book, however, exposes them as nothing more than vapid, rabid consumers. This book is about shopping. Innes shops. And shops. And shops, and shops, and shops. When she isn't shopping, she is eating out in restaurants. She shops for entertainment; she shops to make herself happy; she shops to pass the time. She shops because she has no other urge, it seems, visits to local places of historical interest in Marrakesh, or to the desert, being utterly tedious to her. And entertained she must be, constantly; whenever anything resembling work rears its ugly head, she becomes miserable, irritable, complaining. So: shopping. But she complains about the price of EVERYTHING. Most of the book consists of her complaining unattractively about the expense of Marrakesh, like a tetchy colonial. And there must be more lyrical ways of pointing the cost of living in Marrakesh than "It cost twice what it would have cost in Harrods"; "It cost twice what it would have cost in Liberty". She is always - tastelessly given that she is in a developing country - claiming that she is "broke" and "penniless"; but this never stops her and dysfunctional Dan "plunging back into the souk" to spend their "last few pounds"/"last few euros" on luxury items. At one point she is so financially compromised she refuses to buy Christmas presents for her grandchildren; but lo! the next day Dan purchases several hugely expensive rugs (her poor children...).
Innes seems to be a woman of no discernible talent (other than spending money). She certainly can't write. Her ugly, straining prose had me clawing at the sofa. She thinks it literary to stuff prose with adjectives, with hilarious results: what are "surprising pockets"? Or "amusingly solid laptops"?! It was only when she mentioned her sister that I realised how Innes has achieved a measure of success in the lifestyle business - Jocasta Innes at least had a modicum of talent, and Miranda has clearly benefitted from nepotism. It is a shameful state of affairs however when a horribly-written book about a couple of shallow, tetchy, untalented, immature baby-boomer work-phobics and their shameless land-grab of a life, finds a publisher.
If you want to read a rewarding account of someone renovating a palace in North Africa, one which treats the country and its people with respect and love, read The Caliph's House by Tahir Shah.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful to read while in Marrakesh... taken with a pinch of saffron, 28 Mar 2010
This review is from: Cinnamon City (Paperback)
I started reading this on my second day in Marrakesh and it was lovely to read about the places I visited and would visit.
A light hearted read that fitted the holiday, although a little more about the city and less about the building work would have been nice however I did learn some interesting local bits.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a 4 star book!, 8 Jan 2008
By 
J. Fishleigh (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cinnamon City (Paperback)
I very much enjoyed this book. It took a little while to get into but I soon became absorbed and fascinated as the story unfolded. I love Morocco and feel Miranda Innes captures the place very well indeed. In particular with her background in interior decor she has a rare gift for description. Clearly this a middle class sort of couple and there is no real financial crisis in terms of the strains of doing up their new property leaving them penniless on the streets. However I still followed the twists and turns of their adventure with great interest. There is plenty of humour here and a real charm. I am looking forward to reading Miranda's other book "Getting to Manana".
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 10 July 2014
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This review is from: Cinnamon City (Paperback)
Good reading
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5.0 out of 5 stars Miranda, 20 April 2013
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This review is from: Cinnamon City (Paperback)
Very entertaining and informative for those wishing to purchase a riad in Morocco. Even though I have no wish to live there I have checked out the webiste for Riad Maizie, it's beautiful! I loved the book and will no doubt be reading it again soon. Highly recommended!
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Cinnamon City by Miranda Innes (Paperback - 5 Dec 2005)
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