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VINE VOICEon 3 July 2005
This book is a very humorous and well written story of a man in love with a place, and of his dreams to be a world famous restauranteur. Patmos, the tiny Greek island famed for St.John's Book of Revelations, just off Samos and requiring several hours journey by boat to get there is where Tom Stone wrote this his second novel. He is given the chance to go into partnership in a taverna on a beach named 'The Beautiful Helen'-after the former wife of its current owner . He took the opportunity, against the advice of his wife, and friends, and changed roles from tourist to cook. Taking his wife and two small children with him he was no longer able to while away his time being "the host" and drinking into the wee small hours, but had to work hard in the kitchen, developing varicose veins into the bargain. Closing the restaurant in those wee small hours, falling into bed and sleeping for a while then opening again for the fishermen at seven.
Despite the relentless hard work the book tells of many joys: the changing beauty of the island, friendships with islanders and foreigners he had known over the years, descriptions of island life, festivals , parties and traditions, and the people that Tom has had the fortune to get to know in the many years he has been there, yachts that arrived from nearby Mykonos for dinner and the everlasting support of his long suffering wife and family.
The book tells of this one summer - a time of change and of learning just who your friends are and a time of growing up for Tom. It was a very pleasant compulsive read, one that I found hard to put down and that I wanted to finish and savour along with all of the lovely foods so vividly described. I wanted to taste the cool tzatziki, the fiery chilli and the sticky pickled quince and wash it all down with endless glasses of retsina. Above all I wanted to find my own kefi on my own greek island taverna!
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on 27 January 2012
The author is very candid about how he got shafted by a Greek who he thought was a friend. His humility at laying bare his naivety when he was much younger and idealistic is refreshing. Definitely for the Grecofile, but others may well enjoy the writing style and educative way he tells you about what to love and what to hit your head against the wall about in Greece!

Try this too, maybe: Feta Compli!
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on 14 June 2006
This superbly written tale of hope, adventure, aspiration, disappointment and final triumph is quite simply one of the best travel 'reads' around - I sat on a beach in Crete last week and read it in one go! Tears on the way as I rad it but it left me with sense of real hope as someone who one day hopes to emulate Stones travel - the descriptions of the food are responsible for my expanded waste line! Don't miss it - Brilliant!
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on 26 May 2007
This is an enjoyable and well written personal account of the author's experiences of Patmos and the people he met and worked with. I think some people go over the top with the reviews on many of these books set in holiday destinations, because they love Greece and aspire to have this type of experience. It is a pleasant read and quite evocative but thats all.
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on 9 October 2012
Funny, sincere, loving description of the wonderful island of Patmos and the adventures of a "foreign" author and his family, when he decides to open a taverna. Overworked and swindled by his business partner, he cannot be fooled out of his love for the country.
At the end of the book the author has added some of his own recipes: i tried a couple and they are great!
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on 12 February 2014
I've read several travel stories along these lines but this one takes a lot of perseverance compared with the others. Obviously it's all about personal preference but I didn't find this a relaxing, easy read with the humour these book normally have. The back cover points the reader to the author's website which "is unavailable or may not exist", so no help there!
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on 6 October 2007
Very evocative descriptions of the Greek island of Patmos and some interesting insights into the Greek way of life. However, Stone comes over as rather naive in his dealings with the locals. The events took place many years ago and I suspect Stone was inspired by the current success of the travel writing genre - he admits that he got the idea in an airport bookstore.
The way Stone ended the narrative part of the book was mean-spirited, in my opinion, and detracted from my overall enjoyment.
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on 17 September 2013
I did enjoy this book. Well written and informative to. I have recently purchased a paperback copy for my friend to read. I would recommend it and if you like Greece you will enjoy reading this book.
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on 8 September 2013
bought this book to take on holiday and read it before i went fabulous book makes you feel like your actually there with the caracters defo holiday read
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on 10 May 2013
We enjoy Greece so much and anything written on Greece fact or fiction I will be taking this one to Greece in July while I am on the beach
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