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Secrets of the Italian Gardener by [Crofts, Andrew]
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Secrets of the Italian Gardener Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Length: 152 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

About the Author

Andrew Crofts is a ghostwriter and author who has published more than eighty books, a dozen of which were Sunday Times number one bestsellers. He has spent much of his ghostwriting career amongst the dictators, politicians, arms dealers and billionaires who hold the reins of power and control the wealth of the world, stationed in their lavish palaces and heavily guarded compounds in the wildest parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East as well as in tax havens like Monaco, Geneva, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 382 KB
  • Print Length: 152 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1490351841
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DC4Y4IA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #187,822 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top customer reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as I am a fan of Andrew Crofts as a ghostwriter, so was intrigued to see if he could turn his hand to fiction - and he can!
An interesting book full of unexpected twists and turns that shows a real understanding of the kind of situation he is writing about.
A very readable and short book (148 pages) perfect to curl up on the sofa with on a rainy autumn day, and lose yourself in another world. Go buy!
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Format: Kindle Edition
A ghost writer attempts to find time to speak with dictator Mo to gather materials for Mo’s ‘autobiography’, but not all the information will sit comfortably.

Secrets Of The Italian Gardener is such a clever and disturbing book. Metaphorical (or maybe more accurately, metaphysical) and philosophical, Andrew Crofts makes the reader question every underlying principle in their life. Just how would they behave in the same circumstances as the ghost writer? The terrible sense of unease this book creates is enhanced by the fact we do not get the ghost writer’s name, just a first person account, so that he could be any one of us. I think I would do exactly the same as he and his wife Caroline and this worries me. The ghost writer sells his soul to the devil, but his reasons are fully understandable. It is for this reason that I finished reading Secrets Of The Italian Gardener feeling completely disturbed.

Alongside the metaphorical elements, there is an exciting plot as the compound in which the Italian gardener, Lou, is working and where the majority of the book is set comes under increasing threat as the people in the street become violent and rebellious. I was reminded of every similar scene I’ve witnessed vicariously on television and again I felt uncomfortable as Andrew Croft made me complicit in the action just by reading the story.

The gardening theme was an aspect that Andrew Croft handled with consummate skill. Gardening is seen as a benevolent activity, but the things planted in the pristine gardens of Mo’s compound are not what we might expect and there’s so much more to Lou, the gardener, than meets the eye. This aspect of Secrets Of The Italian Gardener left me feeling shocked and not a little naive.
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Format: Paperback
Secrets of the Italian Gardener is a novella but for a short read it certainly packs plenty in. The ghost writer is in the Middle East in what he knows could be a dangerous place, trying to help a dictator to write his autobiography. It doesn't take much to imagine the situation, the surroundings, the regime and then the violent uprising as we've all seen this kind of thing unfold in the news.

The book surprised me. It started out having me wondering if it was going to be too dry for me and then completely drew me into the story. The Italian Gardener of the title is an interesting man whom the ghost writer meets at the palace. Seemingly living a simple life in the middle of his friend, the dictator's regime, there is much more to him than meets the eye.

Told in the first person by the ghost writer (who remains nameless), there is a sense of foreboding throughout. There is also a moral question here: one of how far will you go for money?

I found this book to be totally absorbing. Interestingly the author has been in similar situations to the ghost writer in the story which adds another dimension to it for me in that I'm wondering how much of the events he actually experienced himself.

This book is not quite my usual sort of read but one which I found fascinating, interesting and compelling.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I won this book on a giveaway run by RedDoor Publishing, it was on offer as the pages themselves had been inserted upside down in the hardback cover. This intrigued me so I entered hoping to gain a unique book to add to my library. I had read the blurb and it sounded interesting, but there is so much more to this book than i could have imagined.

MY REVIEW: 5*

A ghostwriter is employed by Mo, a Middle Eastern dictator, to write his autobiography. The leader's time is in demand from his family, advisors and ministers, so time with Mo is very short, sporadic and often interrupted. While waiting for appointments to meet with Mo, he spends time in the beautiful, peaceful and tranquil gardens of the palace. He meets the philosophical Lou, he is the gardener. He is from a well-known Italian aristocratic family, he is a longtime friend of Mo and not entirely what you would expect. There is more to Lou than first meets the eye. He tells the writer anecdotes and stories from their lives together.

The writer has his own troubles and heartbreak to deal with, they are wonderfully interwoven through the story as thoughts and day dreams and memories. The whole story comes together and joins up, to lead you through a tale that is unexpected. There are hardships, heartbreak, tragedy and turmoil.

This is a readers book.

It starts to simply, but as you read further you experience things from a different perspective than normal. You go through the same realisation as the writer as things start to make sense. There are some sensitive subjects in this book that have been very well dealt with.
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