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4.3 out of 5 stars
Journey Into Cyprus
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I read this during our recent holiday to Cyprus. It was written in 1972 before the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and therefore the Cyprus that Thubron walked through has in many respects disappeared with the division of the island. You are aware of times changing, old customs dying out. We weren't staying far from Kouklia in southern Cyprus and it was sad to read that it had been "an optimistic community, in which Greek and Turk still lived together" - sadly no more and it made it all the more poignant when we came across abandoned mosques: I doubt I would have noticed but for reading the book. There were more prosaic descriptions of changing times - for example "Women wearing short skirts chatted to grandmothers whose ankles had been a fiercely guarded mystery for more than half a century ...". It is odd to think that there is now luxury hotel full of British tourists close to where the first EOKA ambush against the British army took place.

We found the book useful also in fleshing out our guide books at various sites of antiquity. Thubron has a wide knowledge of the history of the area, and the myths and legends of the Levant which enhanced our understanding of the places we visited.
5 people found this helpful
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on 8 August 2014
A description of a journey through Cyprus describing the places and the history from b.c. to 1973 as he goes. You see why Cyprus has been ruled over by several countries over the years, it's not just Greeks and Turks, and for a non-religious overview it can't be beaten. I read it whilst on holiday in Cyprus and it really brought the place alive. He's got an excellent turn of phrase (which I often quoted to my wife) and he quotes the Cypriot people he met very well without being in any way condescending. He really misses the undivided island and the hope that it will become so again really shows through.
I look forward to reading his other travel writing if I have the good fortune to visit the countries he writes about in the future.
7 people found this helpful
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VINE VOICEon 4 March 2015
Colin Thubron has taken me on many interesting and enlightening journeys. This, alas, is not one of them. Too much history, too little travel, too few encounters. Too many descriptions of icons and murals the reader will never see.

The journey into the wilderness simply revealed that there was nothing of interest to be found. It felt like an invitation for the reader to admire the author's hardiness.

There are many Thubron books much better than this.
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on 23 July 2012
Colin Thubron's account of his walks through the beautiful island of Cyprus makes even the smells rise from the page. A must for anyone who has visited, or is planning to visit the island away from the tourist resorts
12 people found this helpful
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on 6 August 2017
Extremely interesting but the map did not show up well on my kindle; I had to have a Cyprus guide book to be able to follow.
One person found this helpful
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on 30 October 2017
Fabulous read
Bought it after returning from a lovely holiday in cyprus
2 people found this helpful
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on 4 November 2013
A real gem of a book. One cannot help admiring the way he tested his classical knowledge and his ability to take the reader with him as he travels on foot, mostly, and meets local people with who he has the ability to communicate at a significant level. Thubron is a master of observation and a refreshing writer way beyond the casual travel writer. His use of language is so masterful he deserves to occupy a high position among gifted language writers. Anyone with interest in literature should read this book
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on 15 May 2014
Lawrence Durrel brought the quintessence of Cyprus to the eyeballs in teardrops. This Author gives the physical romance of a time that was - but is no longer there - later with quite a jolt into the present day. Enjoy!
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on 10 September 2016
Always a brilliant writer
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on 5 February 2015
for someone who once lived on the island very interesting but some of the language would not be understood by someone only educated to gcse standard lots of classical refs still I enjoyed it very much
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