Top positive review
One person found this helpful
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.