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It's a Long Way to Malta Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
I had expected the promised "endlessly fascinating, tensely absorbing" read, "classic travel writing". Alas, far from it. Instead of enjoying humorous tales about the islands and their inhabitants, the author subjected me to lengthy praise of his hotel and description of its surrounds, the mass-market tourism centre Bugibba. It is only in the second half of the book, that the author starts taking us on a quick tourist tour to some of the most obvious sights on the main island and Gozo. Much of the book is given over to not very amusing interactions between the author and British winter residents (of all people!), mostly fellow hotel guests of his. What I would have expected from a long-standing visitor to the islands who "lives in Malta during winter", is insightful and amusing contact with locals, insider tips for good eateries off the tourist path, and generally a feeling, what it is like to live in Malta for a time of the year. What we get is, stories about dogs weeing on the author's trouser legs, about the author's ear-wax removal, and his difficulty in holding his water. That, topped off with too many spelling errors than can be acceptable in a slim volume such as this, and some truly dodgy use of punctuation marks, tragically made this book a vastly unpleasant read. Pity.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are Irish or love Ireland you will love it as this man seemed self-absorbed in everything Irish regardless that he's in Malta!!! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Philippa M
I have been thinking about visiting Malta for a long time. This book has convinced that this will be my destination for the next holiday.Published 23 months ago by maria
Bad writing. Uninteresting stories. I could not recommend this to anyone.Published on 14 Jun. 2015 by Delia
What a terrible book! The worst example of travel writing that I've ever encountered. The author has pretensions to replicate the casual yet insightful style of great travel... Read morePublished on 24 May 2015 by Oyster Lover