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It's a Long Way to Malta Kindle Edition
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I have been to Malta many times, but not to all the places Paddy' visits. However he coveys the mood and phylosophies of some Maltese quite well. If you have been there or know anyone Maltese I'd recommend you read this book.
I commute to work on the tube and this book was easy to pick up and put down.
Whilst I have been to many of the places he has mentioned in his book he talks about a whole host of places I haven't visited yet and now I am eager to go again and do more exploring, encouraged by his obvious love of his "home from home". I noted, after a bit of googling that he must have renamed the hotel he stayed in (probably to keep it a hidden treasure), but from his description of it I am pretty sure I know which one it is! I am now inspired by this book and can understand now why so many elderly people choose to winter there for three months at a time. Hopefully, God willing, in a few years time I will be able to do the same and yes I will take my own mug to the hotel with me!
The author has travelled to Malta for several winters by the time of writing, and stays in the same hotel, preferably with a sea view rather than the drying laundry in the courtyard. He gives some practical tips just by relating his journey. We learn that there is only one real Irish pub - the rest are run by Maltese with fake Irish names. We find that the most obese nation in Europe is Britain, followed by Malta. This may have something to do with the number of large British persons he meets holidaying there, enjoying their food. By contrast he minds his weight and regularly walks, including a pre-breakfast scenic hike each day.
The chapters are unbalanced in that the author spends a lengthy number of pages describing what seems to be a standard hotel breakfast, then speeds up as he recounts the recent improvements with 85% EU funding such as revamped harbour, castle walks and buses. We get a good look around Valetta, the castle, artwork, history. Then he crams in a great number of names of sites to the last chapter, perhaps realising that he was running out of time. The last chapter also visits Gozo the nearby island.
While the author seems like a personable, non-intrusive man, we enjoy some of his family recollections and chuckle at his viewpoint of the tourists around him. He has the greatest respect for native Maltese and enjoys the island atmosphere. He mentions how he started writing by taking a creative writing class, and now has several books under his belt.
The majority of readers will accept the casual, spoken style of prose, but I do wish the tutor had taught the author correct English and when to use it. "The woman that taught me creative writing" is not an object, so this should read "the woman who taught me". The presentation of the book is blog style - paragraphs have no indentation and there is a blank line between all paragraphs. This no doubt has come straight from the author's blog but it feels odd for book readers and book formatting would be appreciated.
Certainly if the reader is planning a trip to Malta and wants to check out issues first, this book would be a help. While more activities are mentioned, like the availability of diving and sailing, you will need to bring your own guidebooks on those and on birdwatching.
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