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Squeezing The Last Pips From The Lemons
on 14 July 2014
I hesitate to give this book its lowest star rating so far, if only to avoid the good kicking that normally leads to in "unhelpful" votes from friends, family (I'm sure that won't be the case here), and die-hard fans who hand-out 5 star reviews unquestioningly . . .
Leaving Amazon politics to one side, I was seduced into reading this after hearing the author on the radio, and had always meant to read one of his books. Maybe it was unfair to start with the fourth (and last?) part of the trilogy (author's joke), because this book refers back constantly to the earlier books, and Chris Stewart's story is no longer that of the outsider struggling with an unfamiliar culture, landscape and property, he is now the recognised local celebrity bogged-down by signing books, opening the local fiesta and judging tuna competitions. So there's a general absence of jeopardy, save for some torrential rain, a few lost sheep and impenetrable Spanish bureaucracy. Most disconcerting for the new reader though, is the way each chapter just sort of fizzles out rather than arriving at the expected punchline that defines this genre of book. Once you have come to terms with this though, you can relax into the amiable descriptions of landscape, family and friends - the people, in fact, who are probably right now reaching for the "unhelpful" button.