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As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning Paperback – Illustrated, 31 May 1973

4.5 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (31 May 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140033181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140033182
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Laurie Lee (1914 97) was the author of numerous novels, short stories, poems, and screenplays. He lived much of his life in Slad, Gloucestershire. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What a marvellous book.
On the face of it a simple coming of age story, that of a young man leaving home to walk around Spain. A very layman's view of it, as this however is written for the poet inside us. Wonderful language for a long lost age where you really could abandon yourself completely and travel in its purest sense.
Beware though as this book may make you want to give it all up and set off with your knapsack
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Format: Paperback
It's not often that a story grabs your attention straight away like this one did with me. On the face of it, a simple story about a young man setting off to find his fortune in a foreign land, the book has so much more. It's about youth and idealism, friendship, life on the road and the desire to just keep moving until you stop. And even though he obviously wrote it many years after making the trip (the emotions running through the tale are those of middle age not late teens), it hardly matters. Quite brilliant. Just like the 'sequel' A Rose for Winter.
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Format: Paperback
As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969) is an autobiographical account of an epic journey around Spain in the nineteen thirties.
It is 1934 and Laurie Lee, the author, is a young man. He leaves the security of his Cotswold home to embark on an adventure.
Initially he travels to London and ekes out an existence by playing the violin and by labouring on a London building site. He decides to go to Spain. It seems a rash decision because the young lad's choice of destination is based on the fact that he knows a phrase of Spanish - "¿Puede por favor dame un vaso de agua?" - "Will you please give me a glass of water?"
For a year, he tramps through Spain, from Vigo in the north to Almuñécar on the south coast. During this voyage, he experiences a country that ranges from utter desolation to extreme beauty. He manages to eat by a earning a few pesetas playing his violin. He sleeps at night in his blanket under an open sky or in a cheap, rough posada though occasionally he is rewarded with the warm and generous hospitality of poor village people that he meets along the way.
Laurie Lee provides the reader with a vivid account of life in Spain during the bleak years leading up to the Spanish Civil War. I enjoy reading travel books, especially those about Spain. "As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning" is as good as any I have read even though many of the places he visits - Vigo, Valladolid, Cádiz, Tarifa - are described as squalid, dark, decrepit, acrid, and scruffy. Even Seville is both "dazzling and squalid" according to the author. He does praise some of the places he visits- Toro, Segovia, Toledo - who wouldn't!
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Format: Paperback
I first read this book about 12 years ago and have read it every couple of years or so since, it is wonderful and really allows you to live the journey that Laurie Lee took all those years ago when the world was a very different place.
As a previous reviewer has stated there is no in depth analysis of what is happening at this important time in European history just a country boy commenting on what he saw and experienced.
This is a wonderful book and one that I will read many more times yet..
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Format: Paperback
I am in comlete agreement with the previous reviews. This may be my favourite book of all time (Homage To Catalonia by George Orwell is also of a similar content and standard.) After reading this book I too was struck by the sheer bravery of a young 19 year-old from the Cotswolds who upped himself and explored a then very foreign land.
It was one of my dreams to have met the great man, however he passed away quietly in Leeds approximately 4 years or so ago.
His legacy will live on in 2 of the most beautiful books that I have ever had the pleasure to read.
Buy It !
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Format: Paperback
its been many years since i read this book and just wish to agree with the above reviewer. This is a fantastic book, full of humour and evocative storytelling. I prefer this by far to Cider with Rosie, Lee's better known work.
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By Jeremy Walton TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
I picked this poetic travelogue off the shelf last week to reread in preparation for a trip to Andalusia next month. Here, Laurie Lee continues the story he started in Cider with Rosie, describing how he left his Cotswold village at the age of nineteen to walk to London, from where he took a boat to Spain. Over the course of a year, he walks through the heart of that country, from Vigo in the north-west to the south coast. That year (1935-6) sees the start of the Spanish Civil War, which leads to his journey being cut short when he is evacuated by a British warship. The book ends with his return to Spain the following year.

Lee is a poetic writer with an eye for detail that unfussily evokes a time and place, for example (p119): "Somewhere here, in a barn, under a roof crusted with swallows' nests, a mother and daughter cooked me a supper of eggs, while a horse watched me eating, chickens walked on the table, and an old man in the hay lay dying." In an age where travel has become commoditized, this is a book to remind you of the exhilaration of the open road, of meeting strangers and viewing far-away places with an unjaundiced eye.
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