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As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 15 May 2014
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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).
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Each time it fills me with such joy of escapism, with both laughter and tears at the beauty and pathos of the prose, I just hate to finish it, and therefore linger for days over the last few pages. It is an invitation to his next, A Moment of War, which I urge you to read too.
Laurie Lee, whom I would have loved to have met, encapsulates the mystery of my beloved Spain. His descriptive prose are unique, although written before the hideous Civil War, it is as vivid today as then. It is simply a story of enchantment.
How many times I have yearned just to disappear into the real Spain that still exists. Where the foreigner who tries to speak the language is greatly welcomed and appreciated.
I defy anybody not to fall in love with As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning.
There a strong element of adventure, where he often sleeps under the stars, and it must have taken a great deal of courage to head off into the unknown with little money or knowledge of the country. Perhaps his in depth descriptive prose may be too much for some, but stick with it, it's well worth the effort.
It has been a delight to read this book again.
Gerry Mc Menemy.
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