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Discordia: Six Nights in Crisis Athens by [Penny, Laurie, Crabapple, Molly]
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Discordia: Six Nights in Crisis Athens Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Length: 100 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 13684 KB
  • Print Length: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (1 Oct. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009HVQ1JW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #317,836 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Discordia struck more than one chord. As a Greek who studied in Athens under the junta in the 70s and lived through the student uprising and all the hope that followed the collapse of the dictatorship, it is heartbreaking to see now Athens in such peril. Discordia chronicles events and the voices of people on the ground with honesty and integrity.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sometimes humorous, often melancholic, slightly picaresque journey to Athens after the 2008 crash. Laurie's writing and Molly's illustrations make a great combination. I feel very bad for Greece - they've been shafted by the EU & it's not the fault of the Greek people, and now fascists are taking advantage of their vulnerability to take over. It bodes ill - many parallels with 1930s Germany & the Weimar Republic.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I liked this very much-the writing is unashamedly personal, passionate and opinionated, with cracking illustrations by the wonderful mollycrabapple. If you follow Laurie on twitter (and you should) you will recognise her style. If George Orwell had visited Athens in 2012 he would have written something like this. It's good to see real travel writing done well again (it reminds me a little of Dervla Murphy and Eric Newby's works). I like reading about "Driving over lemons" and so on as much as anyone else, but travel writing shouldn't just be about how lovely the world is. Sometimes you need a writer like Laurie Penny to turn over the stone.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some writers write as if watching from outside and you watch with them but with this book you feel more like you are inside the events. Laurie Penny (and Molly Crabapple) is not a bystander here and it is clear that this matters to her, this is not cold journalism but very personal.

Her style is casual yet articulate and in places comic, as much as the subject allows, it is a sad story of a nation declining while the rest of us are busy with our own worries, it is a picture of where we could be going if we don't wake up.

The illustrations also added to the whole in a way that simple photos would not have managed.

If you are interested in politics an are in any way doubtful that we are on the right course this is worth reading.
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In a world where so much news is sanitised and cleaned up before it hits the mass media this short book / long essay bucks the trend. It feels more John Steinbeck than John Snow. It takes the reader right into the heart of the serious issues found in modern Greece through a seres of vignettes. It reminded me a little of Michael Herr's Dispatches Dispatches (Picador).

The theme throughout is how the people of Greece are suffering and adjusting from the aggressive austerity measures. They are very real stories of immigrants, artists and journalists and others, set to the background of the rise of the violent far right.

The illustrations bring the stories to life in a very personal way that would likely not be achieved through photography.

Why only 4 stars.

In the middle of the essay the story becomes slightly self-obsessed, which felt to me at odds with the rest of the writing. The second reason is there could have been a little more analysis as to the rise of the right. Indeed it would have been interesting to have heard the views of the right wing activists as well as the sympathisers.

However while written through the left-wing eyes of Laura Penny that should not put you off if you politics don't match, sometimes it is good to step out of the echo chamber.

Laura Penny has been involved with and an observer of the rise of the Occupy movement. A book in the same style, with a little more analysis would be a great book indeed.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Laurie Penny and Molly Crabapple journey to Greece to cover the state of the nation following financial collapse. Discordia reports on the struggle of normal people who have gone from living comfortably to the other side of the poverty line. They look at the failings of the government and austerity measures that are making things worse and the rise of fascism and violence towards immigrants.

It's an eye-opening look at a country many of us wouldn't hesitate to go to on our summer holidays. Perhaps it is a little one-sided but it's a side we don't really get to hear about. My heart goes out the people of Greece whose lives have been ruined by economics and the innocent who are blamed in the backlash. It's also quite critical of traditional press, both in Greece and at home, looking at the natural evolution of reporting in the digital age but Laurie also explains how it's hard making a living as an independent journalist. Sometimes she is not welcomed on either side of the picket line.

Of course, what sets Discordia apart from other pieces of journalism is Molly's wonderful illustrations. The ink and pencil drawings are the perfect medium for ebooks, something that the eInk renders well. I will admit to reading it on my iPad for the subtleties of colour but really, they don't need to be seen in colour to be appreciated. They are a mix of sketches on ruled notebooks, made on the spot, and more considered drawings done from photos and memories. Laurie's text and Molly's drawings were done independently of each other but they fit together seamlessly, drawn from the same experiences.

I didn't read the Kindle version but there appeared to be some duplication of the illustrations. This could be on purpose, but the illustrations are placed at relevant points in the text, and where the duplicates appeared they just didn't seem to correspond.
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