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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and well written
This was a very easy and enjoyable book to read. Hemming had a good idea in this book, and was very fortunate to be presented with such great opportunities, which he's documented in a very amusing and engaging way.

He covered some great countries, of which there is little contemporary travel writing. I'm not quite sure whether the art theme was an after...
Published on 11 Jun 2007 by S. A. Richmond

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2.0 out of 5 stars Had great hopes
I was really looking forward to this book, but I became bored half way through and stopped reading. The writers became too wrapped up in themselves.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer


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2.0 out of 5 stars Had great hopes, 2 Jun 2014
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I was really looking forward to this book, but I became bored half way through and stopped reading. The writers became too wrapped up in themselves.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh pair of eyes on a disparate scene, 9 May 2013
By 
G. M. Sinstadt - See all my reviews
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Henry Hemming and his friend Al are twenty-two-year-old art graduates who decide to take a year travelling through (or perhaps towards) "the heart of the Middle East." Their travels take them from the border of the Czech Republic, through Austria, Turkey, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Israel. They pay their way by making art and holding exhibitions.

In many ways the eye of the artist provides a fresh perception of a Middle East that has no real homogeneity. There are numerous moments of danger but their overwhelming impression is of the warmth and hospitality of the people they meet - and whose homes they often share. At times they have the naivete of their generation but at others their awareness and willingness to learn and understand provide an illuminatimg counterpoint to the picture more often portrayed by the conventional media.
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The journey is given a unique frisson by being undertaken during the build-up to, and the completion of, the war against Saddam Hussein. Despite many warnings of danger, they are determined to reach Baghdad and do so only a dew weeks after the ending of hosilities but while there are still nightly gun battles on the streets.

Their ultimate discovery is less about the Middle East than about themsleves and their role in the world as artists. The fact that the author writes so well makes for a most unusual, memorable tale.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable account of time spent in the Middle East, 18 April 2013
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This can, at first sight, appear to be just another account by a traveller throught the Middle East. It's saving grace is partly in it's timing - the start of the second Gulf War - and partly because the author is - or at least was - an artist. This does give him a slightly different perspective on things.
He and his friend take a pickup from the UK, and travel through much of the Middle East, creating art, selling some of it, and encountering many people, some artists like themselves. They have the confidence of youth, and get into many situations that others might have avoided. The writing is always straightforward and open, but the author's artistic mind adds something to many situations that might otherwise have been missed.
The problems of the area are never far away; indeed, they account for most of the book. The complex mix of religions and nationalities - completely ignored, or misunderstood by most outside the area - cause confusion and danger. At the end, you are not really any nearer to understanding it all, but at least it adds to an awareness that it is not as simple as any politician would have you believe.
All in all, an interesting read: one of the better travelogues.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a trip....., 10 Dec 2012
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O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another... The Quran 49:13. This was a courageous travelogue of two artists crisscrossing across the MiddleEast looking for inspiration. They choose to drive across the waste lands from Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq and Israel. They discover a strange brand of Islam which means different to different cultures. The book is a quick page turner. I loved the way author presented his various experiences across the very diverse cultures. The best bit for me was their time spend in Iran which I think they enjoyed the most. Very brave young men.
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2.0 out of 5 stars an alright read., 5 Oct 2012
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I was disappointed with this travel book as it was from a hippie/artist perspective and personally I have little patience with artistic reverie. Anyone who went to art school and has sympathy with these sort of ramblings would probably enjoy it. In any case I suspect it was a kindle freebie, so I shouldn't complain at all really!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Travel Guide to the Middle East, 29 Aug 2010
This review is from: Misadventure in the Middle East: Travels as Tramp, Artist and Spy (Paperback)
This book was as captivating as the title. While the author's primary profession is art, he is not a bad writer either.

The first few chapters were reminiscent of First Overland (a fascinating account of a post war drive from London to Singapore). The situations the two misadventurers put themselves in, and the people they sought out show a level of courage (or stupidity) that few of us possess. However they weren't just on a thrill-seeking mission - their self awareness and understanding of the world around them developed with each new country they took on.

The ease with which they literally and figuratively navigated, usually with their a car, through middle eastern countries that few would contemplate as tourist destinations have added some new destinations to my already long list of places to see!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book lacks edge, 28 Aug 2012
By 
Michael J. Law "eurolease" (Teulada Spain) - See all my reviews
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I bought this book with great anticipation. My wife read it and enjoyed it. But for some reason this never engaged me. Sorry but somehow this book becomes a list of "then we did this, then we did that". I like travel books, and I do travel a lot, including Dubai, Muscat, Oman, and may Far Eastern cities, Phnom Penh, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Vientiane, Luang Prabang etc . Maybe the subject matter -Iraq War - is now a bit passé? Not a "page turner".
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masha'allah, 12 Jun 2007
This review is from: Misadventure in the Middle East: Travels as Tramp, Artist and Spy (Paperback)
A one-off piece of travel writing. Brilliantly told. I liked it like I like the finest russian beluga and the finest italian ice cream. Bursting with sentiment, capers, and wasta. It's a rough diamond.

I'm in it too, so I'm not neutral, but it is a little bit good.
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