Customer Review

10 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull and disappointing, 22 July 2006
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This review is from: The Traveller's Tree: A Journey through the Caribbean Islands (Paperback)
What a dull book. It claims - or at least the one I have does - to be "the single best travel book to emerge from the islands", well if it is it doesn't say much for the others...

I can think of little to recommend it - hopping from island to island without direction, apparently lacking any sense of journey either within the region or by the writer.

There are lots of adjectives - purple prose of the type that has given travel writing a bad name - but, for me at least, they create no sense of wonder at the amazing, remote and `exotic' world the West Indies must have been 60 years ago (it can still be amazing and exotic today, even if it is no longer remote). The book comes across as a no more than dull plod through the tropics by someone with some time to spare and cash to live off.

The descriptions of Voodoo on Haiti are interesting. Haiti gets more space than anywhere else and perhaps it would have been better if he'd written a book just on it. Some of the comments on the class system on the 'British' islands are insightful and of resonance still today, again this is something that could have been developed, instead of being dropped into what at times seems to be fairly plodding diary notes.

I can't help but think of the lyrical journey Norman Lewis would have made - like PLF he would have stayed in the background, but unlike him Lewis would have brought the colour and shade of the Caribbean to life. I would have felt emotions, had a sense of being there - as it is I am there and was just glad to put it down.

Disappointing.
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4.1 out of 5 stars (14 customer reviews)
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