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As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Penguin Modern Classics) by [Lee, Laurie]
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As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Penguin Modern Classics) Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Length: 208 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

A beautiful piece of writing Observer The vivid sensitive, irresistibly readable story of what happened after he left home Daily Mail A poet's book Sunday Times He writes like an angel and conveys the pride and vitality of the humblest Spanish life with unfailing sharpness, zest and humour Sunday Times There's a formidable, instant charm in the writing that genuinely makes it difficult to put the book down New Statesman

About the Author

Laurie Lee has written some of the best-loved travel books in the English language. Born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, in 1914, he was educated at Slad village school and Stroud Central School. At the age of nineteen he walked to London and then travelled on foot through Spain, where he was trapped by the outbreak of the Civil War. He later returned by crossing the Pyrenees, as he recounted in A Moment of War.

Laurie Lee published four collections of poems: The Sun My Monument (1944), The Bloom of Candles (1947), My Many-Coated Man (1955) and Pocket Poems (1960). His other works include The Voyage of Magellan (1948), The Firstborn (1964), I Can't Stay Long (1975), and Two Women (1983). He also wrote three bestselling volumes of autobiography: Cider with Rosie (1959), which has sold over six million copies worldwide, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969) and A Moment of War (1991).


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 908 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (26 Jun. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KSQBA9Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,187 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Having enjoyed "Cider With Rosie" years ago, and living not a million miles away from Laurie Lee's home village of Slad, I am perplexed as to why it's taken me so long to get round to reading this, especially as I'm also interested in the Spanish Civil War from authors' viewpoints (George Orwell, Ernest Hemingway, David Ebsworth). What triggered me to read it now is that I wanted to read P D Murphy's new travelogue, published for Lee's centenary, "As I Walked Out In Search of Laurie Lee", and felt I ought to first read the book that inspired him, to get it in context (although that's not strictly necessary).

I would gladly lap up Lee's poetic prose applied to just about anything, but this book is hugely engaging because, like "Cider", it captures a long-lost era, not as much celebrated as the Edwardian prelude to the First World War, but equally significant. He writes of an age in which it was considered perfectly reasonable for a teenager to set off "tramping" from home, with a minimum of luggage, to walk 100 miles to London, sleeping in fields and barns along the way, to find gainful employment - which turns out to be manual labour. On a whim, he extends the journey to a foreign country with no forward planning, no means of contacting home besides old-fashioned post, and no safety net. His account makes 21st century gap year traveller, with their mobile phones and credit cards, seem a bit wimpy!

Lee records how he slowly fell in love with Spain, despite its grinding povery and social inequalities, and how he becomes attuned to the embryonic Republican movement, returning later once the Civil War was in full swing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having been brought up in Gloucester I am familiar with the countryside and villages that feature in Lee's works, although not with the Spanish mainland. However so vivid are his descriptions that it feels as though one is watching a film rather than reading a book. Some of the scenes he describes are frankly horrific and yet, like a scientist, he observes, remarks, and leaves without, in most cases, changing anything.
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Format: Paperback
The sheer unaffected brilliance of Laurie Lee’s prose is what sets this autobiographical novel apart from its contemporaries. Lee’s tale of leaving his sleepy family home in Gloucestershire at the age of nineteen, in search of something he couldn’t name, oozes with restrained passion, understated lyrical power, and engaging narrative. From the opening paragraph, where the young man sees his ageing mother for perhaps the last time, to the final chapter which sees him return idealistically to Spain on the eve of civil war, I was completely entranced.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lyrical, hugely evocative of period and place and beautifully written by a natural storyteller and poet. Possibly my favourite book - and I have been an avid reader for more than 60 years. I already own a signed first edition, a signed Penguin edition, another hardback edition and another paperback edition but felt it would make the perfect first book to download to my new Kindle PaperWhite.
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Format: Paperback
I’d already read Laurie Lee’s autobiographical trilogy….

Cider With Rosie (1959)
As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969)
A Moment of War (1991)

… around 2006, and loved each book. Just magnificent.

In 2016, I reread As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969), and I am delighted to report it is every bit as good as I had remembered. Laurie Lee’s childhood, so beautifully and evocatively related in Cider With Rosie is over and Laurie Lee is now a young man. Rather than hang around in Slad, Gloucestershire, the Cotswold village where he’d spent his entire life, in 1934 he set out to find out what else the world had to offer. Never having seen the sea, he walked to Southampton, and then walked onto London to meet his girlfriend and work as a labourer for a year before going onto Spain where he walked the length of the country. For the most part he leads an itinerant existence busking as a fiddle player to generate money to eat and drink.

Laurie Lee’s poetic sensibilities are to the fore, and each page stunningly renders beautiful details of his day-to-day life: the landscape, the people he encounters, the smells, the food, the adventures, his feelings… If ever a book was written to give you wanderlust it is this one. That he is describing a lost world, on the cusp of modernity, makes it even more magical.

He leaves Spain on the brink of Civil War and, as he relates at this book’s conclusion, feels fraudulent for having left the country. He now feels personally invested in the struggle of Spain's poor and disenfranchised and, at end of this book, he arrives back in Spain to fight. What happens next is related in the third book in this marvellous trilogy - A Moment of War (1991) - and, if you haven’t read them, or even if you have, then you should read them/read them again at the earliest opportunity.

5/5
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Format: Paperback
A very personal, sensitively written account of a naive young Englishman's encounters with ordinary people as he spends a year walking the length of Spain. We gain a vivid insight into the harsh realities of life in Spain in the 30s, as the author faces poor but kind natives, coupled with blatant immorality, seething unrest and fervent faith competing with hostility toward a dominant and uncaring Church. After experiencing the first life-threatening clashes of the Civil War, he is fortuitously whisked out of danger by the British navy. The language is evocative, beautiful at times, and masterfully captures the spirit and character of the places and people along the way.
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