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Feta Compli! Paperback – 28 Mar 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: lulu.com; 4th Updated edition (28 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409246264
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409246268
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 1.9 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,179,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"This memoir/travel book is a slight but rollicking account of two love affairs; the first being an account of the writer's happy marriage with his wife, Yvonne-Marie. The second is of their decades-long flirtation with the country of Greece, where her family originated. The first began as extremely circumspect flirtations, but ripened into courtship and finally commitment. And so did the second, but it just took slightly longer; about thirty years of family visits and treasured vacations in the Greek Islands before circumstances allowed John and Yvonne-Marie to pack up all their remaining worldly goods into a battered second/third/fourth hand Mitsubishi L300 van. They drove the trusty, rusty van across Europe, intending to take up residence in a partly finished duplex on the island of Rhodes, and thereby hangs the rest of this tale. Most of "Feta Compli" is an episodic account, much tinged with nostalgia of how they got to that point. John was seduced by the eccentric and beguiling charms of Greece as he encountered them; erratic infrastructure, incomprehensible official authority, eccentric local characters, non-existent road signage, totally insane drivers and all. Many such local peculiarities drive long-term visitors or residents in Greece beyond the far edge of exasperation, but those who have come to love Greece madly and irrationally have a way being indulgent about such shortcomings. To someone in love with a country, the shortcomings are small things, insignificant against those pure moments of pleasure in a marvelous view, a splendid evening at a taverna with friends, a day at a perfect beach, or an orange grove in bloom, and ancient stone-built villages baking in the sun, under a pure blue sky. Mr. Manuel writes vividly of these perfect moments; anyone who has visited Greece for long has similar mental souvenirs. These episodes are interspersed with accounts of misadventures with suspiciously decrepit rental vehicles, strangely scheduled inter-island ferries, erratic electrical service and hungry goats. He writes in a wry, self-deprecating style that is very engaging, although I would have liked to have heard rather less of how recent developments in mass tourism had spoiled Greece, and rather more about the challenges of finishing the house on Rhodes, and living there as a full-time resident. The author does hint that another volume will deal with exactly that, which is to be eagerly anticipated. On the strength of this prelude, it will be like a mad combination of "A Year in Provence" and "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse"... set in Greece The only thing needed to make it perfect, would be to include a couple of recipes." -- bloggernews.net/18819

John Manuel and his wife Yvonne Maria made the decision to up-sticks and re-locate to Rhodes after 30 years of marriage and innumerable visits to Greece, both as tourists and to visit relatives (his wife's mother was from Athens).
They sold their house and virtually everything in it (or so they thought until they started packing up what was left and realised they would need a small commercial vehicle to transport everything over land to their new home).
The books opens with John negotiating to buy a 15-year-old Mitsubishi L300 van for £800 from a used car salesman. Warned not to thrash the van or go more than 60 to 65 mph they set off for a new life. The tale of their journey across Europe in the van in August of 2005 is a great reality check for anyone considering the trip themselves. Although the van never let them down, after reading the first few chapters I swore I would pay the extortionate prices Pickfords charged rather than attempt it myself!
Unfortunately, when they arrived in Rhodes things go from bad to worse, but I won't spoil the story. I didn't expect to enjoy this book but I loved it. It made me laugh out loud. A great read. -- Greece Magazine, UK

Review

John Manuel and his wife Yvonne Maria made the decision to up-sticks and re-locate to Rhodes after 30 years of marriage and innumerable visits to Greece, both as tourists and to visit relatives (his wife's mother was from Athens).
They sold their house and virtually everything in it (or so they thought until they started packing up what was left and realised they would need a small commercial vehicle to transport everything over land to their new home).
The books opens with John negotiating to buy a 15-year-old Mitsubishi L300 van for £800 from a used car salesman. Warned not to thrash the van or go more than 60 to 65 mph they set off for a new life. The tale of their journey across Europe in the van in August of 2005 is a great reality check for anyone considering the trip themselves. Although the van never let them down, after reading the first few chapters I swore I would pay the extortionate prices Pickfords charged rather than attempt it myself!
Unfortunately, when they arrived in Rhodes things go from bad to worse, but I won't spoil the story. I didn't expect to enjoy this book but I loved it. It made me laugh out loud. A great read.


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