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One of the better 'good life abroad' books
on 24 October 2012
In the last twenty years or so there seems to have been hundreds of books written by Brits who have given up everything and moved abroad to follow a dream or a whim. Some of them have been pretty awful.
This book by Chris Stewart is one of the better ones. It is hard to say exactly why; I think his character is the chief reason. Already a fairly laid back, pragmatic person before the move, this allowed him - at least in print - to take everything that the change threw at him and deal with it.
The book has a lot of the usual 'local characters' who seem to populate these books, but most of them do ring true. He also admits that he got one or two character judgements spectacularly wrong along the way. He also errs on the side of seeing himself as needing to understand and work with the locals, whereas in so many of these books, it is the locals who are expected to accept the newcomers without question.
He does introduce one or two innovations to the area, which are generally welcomed - it is other foreign visitors who accuse him of destroying local traditions!
Overall, a well-written account of the start of his adventures; now to read the sequel...