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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 4 November 2010
Having recently read Andrea Busfield's Aphrodite's War, which was excellent, I purchased The Cypriot wondering how anything I was about to read could live up to its predecessor. The Cypriot, however, far exceeded my expectations and is excellent in its own right. It's not the longest book you will ever read but it takes you on such an incredibly powerful journey, it's difficult to forget even after you've finished reading it. I loved the way the author flitted from present day to the past so seamlessly. I also recognised some of the Cypriot proverbs and the songs in the book and this made me laugh. But most fascinating was Andonis' transition from a village in Cyprus to London life, and the contrast too, which was made more striking by the constant reliving of the past. Really amazing.

I didn't however like the phonetic translation of some Greek Cypriot words (which were also inconsistant at times). 'Nikos' is incorrectly spelt 'Nigos', 'gumandaria' is used instead of 'koumantaria'. And in other places 'Makarios' is spelt correctly and other times 'Magarios' (?). I think this is either sloppy writing, or the author did this deliberately in an attempt to convey village-speak. Whatever the reason, as a Greek speaker with Cypriot parents myself, it didn't really work for me - I thought it was unnecessary and a little irritating. I felt it made the language sound quite ugly to a non-Greek Cypriot reading it, which is a shame. That said, I think it would be churlish for me to knock a star off for this point, as it is an otherwise excellent book!

I cried at the end, I'm not sure why some reviewers didn't like the ending because I certainly was not disappointed. I thought it all came together neatly and the story was beautifully told throughout. Highly recommended.
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on 17 May 2017
Great read hard to put down, have read this book several times now. Recommended to many friends who have said the same once buying.
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on 31 July 2006
This book is not only an awesome piece of writing but it is a thoroughly educational, entertaining and moving read.

Although it is a novel, it has an autobiographical feel about it. The author has clearly questioned his own identity as a 'Cypriot' and carried out extensive research so as to put this novel together and educate, inform and try and re-unite his fellow Cypriots.

As a non-Cypriot myself, it taught me about Cyprus and the horrific division of the island. It taught me about Cypriot people and the anguish of living through such testing times. It taught me that being 'a Cypriot' is the way forward by uniting Cypriot people from whichever religious faith they belong. Living in harmony on the same island and declaring 'we are Cypriots, we are the same people' would teach the world to take example from this. This book offers a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Andreas Koumi's writing is very accessible and colourful. He writes in a non-pretentious way and clearly has wonderful literary ability. The book is also full of lovely little translations of traditional Cypriot songs and chants which are highly entertaining!

This book also invites people that invest their interest in Cyprus and its people to be 'Cypriots'. I am therefore now also a Cypriot!
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on 29 July 2006
'The Cypriot' is a beautiful and compelling story about Cyprus, its people, their struggle and love. "Zoe R" must have read a different book, or at least not read it very carefully. In 'The Cypriot' it is Andonis himself, not his son (?), who falls for a Turkish Cypriot girl. The only problem with 'The Cypriot' is that when you start reading it you cannot put it down and when you get to the end you want to read it again. Louis de Bernières, Jeffrey Archer, eat your hearts out.
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on 19 January 2007
This is a truly elegant novel written in a solid, adaptable prose which is capable of alternately drenching the reader in glorious Mediterranean sunshine and the bitter grey light of the British cityscape. Although you may approach this book from the point of view an outsider, an individual alien to the troubles of Cyprus, Andreas Koumi, through well-realised and fully-rounded characters quickly draws you into his dramatisation of the island's early-mid 20th century history.

From the very first section of the prologue, Koumi in a dazzling burst of silver and oceanic light embeds the reader's consciouness in the astounding geograhpic beauty of the island, before shattering that precious momentary escape by dragging us back into an uncomfortable London reality. This physical division between, what are instantly established as two different worlds, creates an emotional paradigm that the struggle against the metaphysical divisions of ethnicity and religion attempts to shift.

Without a doubt this is one of the most moving and evocative narratives on the traumas, momentary and life-long, caused by the unecessary and irrational enforcement of artificial boundaries on the movements of the human heart. Consequently, this just might possibly be one of the great fictional stories of this century just as its subject matter is one of the greatest factual tragedies of the last.

This is the first the literary world has heard from Andreas Koumi, let us hope we hear from him again.
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on 22 March 2007
I must admit I am left surprised, impressed and inspired.

After buying this book, I kept it on my bookshelf for a few days without even glancing at it until the day I finally decided to give it a brief look in order to at least justify the fact that I got into the trouble of buying it! What a "dreadful mistake" that was to make in the middle of an exam period...By the 20th page I was literally hooked and did not want to put it down, not even to eat. I ended up reading it back to back in less than 2 days. I rarely catch my self reading anything that can keep me so "magnetised", let alone for hours. Being familiar with Cypriot culture and history obviously meant that I could relate to the characters, sceneries and events described a bit easier than the average reader(I suspect) but this takes away nothing from the proficiency and charisma with which these have been depicted on paper. "The Cypriot" was for me an unexpected surprise and a thoroughly entertaining read. I highly recommend it!
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on 29 July 2006
I wasn't born in Cyprus - my parents were and I've been to Cyprus a few

times. What I love about the book is that Andonis's village could be

any village on the island. The author deliberately doesn't name it. The

book made me think of my mum's village and paints an evocative picture

of Cyprus as I remember it. I recommend this book to people who love

Cyprus. And it made me cry at the end.
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on 3 August 2006
The Cypriot is one of those books that transfixes you and this becomes obvious from the very first chapter .

In my opinion the author has written the Cypriot in a style that evokes a myriad of feelings , emotions , colour .Take the example of the character description of the army captain , I could clearly visualise him in front of me having read his introduction into the book .

The passion behind the author's writing combined with the skilful introduction of love , conflict , happiness , sadness made me feel that I wanted to see all that I was reading portrayed in front of me so maybe Andreas Koumi can work on a film version of his excellent book as his next project .

I often pass books that I have read to family and friends but I shall be holding on to this one .
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on 1 August 2006
I'm so relieved this book has come out because I genuinely think it can make a difference for Cyprus. It's a love story but not just the one between Andonis and Funda. It's the story of the love Cypriots have for their country. It's a book about loving Cyprus.

Everyone talks about 'Bitter Lemons' but this is the second book about Cyprus. It reeks of Cyprus. The food, the culture, the language. People who don't understand Cyprus need to read it to understand why there is a problem between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots and between the Cypriots and the British.

It's a deeply political book but it's a different sort of politics. The politics of knowing you can be caught up inside a cliche or nationality but you can be different. You can change. Diversity is what it's about. It's about recognising that there were good British people and maybe bad British people - colonialism wasn't all bad. You can't right off the church. It isn't all bad. Or the communists. Or the Greek or Turkish Cypriots - and that's what's been happening in Cyprus. It's a really good book for British people. It is the sort of book that talks about a new politics where people don't leave things to their 'betters', their politicians. It's about people doing things for themselves and understanding that Cyprus is not going to change unless Cypriots work together to change it.

A fabulous character in the book is the British officer, 'the captain' who went native and became Cypriot. It shows that everyone who goes to Cyprus with an open mind and an open mind can become Cypriot too.
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on 1 June 2006
A wonderful book that works through the love and pain of cypriots in love while the island is going through agonising times.

I truely recommend this book to all on all levels wether you just like a good love story, interested in cyprus or like to learn more about cypriots.
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