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3.9 out of 5 stars
18
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 1 April 2009
I bought this book after hearing it read as Book of the Week on Radio 4. I was very disappointed because what was read had been heavily edited and was a pleasant tour of Italian art. The actual text however was prissy, wordy and self indulgent. I am sorry I bought it
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on 3 September 2010
This book is perhaps the most pretentious pile of twaddle I have ever read. Not only did this book make me angry, it made me laugh at the narrow-mindedness of a writer who decsribes ordinary people so condescendingly that she can only reveal her own limitations, thereby hanging herself with her own rope.
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VINE VOICEon 9 August 2009
No step of the journey is left untouched.An over-egged pudding indeed. Be prepared for the pretentious descriptions to start on the ferry. The author is also relentlessly snobbish, claiming that humble tourists who arrive on coaches can't possibly understand art -of course only a precious few can afford to pull up sticks and children and go and live abroad for several months
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on 20 April 2010
What a disappointment.I was so looking forward to reading this book,I usually average 52 books a year of all genres and I can honestly say this ranks as one of the most boring wordy patronizing drivel I have come across in a long time.It was neither Travel nor Art but endless rambling of a pretentious self promoting bigot.
She stereotypes the tourists with a vengeance,the British men"with their pints of lager,their beefy red arms folded across their chests" and the middle aged women with "their rigid helmets of hair"
She obviously has a passion for Art and describes the works with perception and knowledge but bizarrely shows the paintings in black and white print form!!
In her philosophical mode she rambles on and on to the extent that half a page of print is given over to what it means to accept a return of serve in a tennis game.
The whole book was a mixture of events thoughts and rambles promoting her self indulgence and sneering snobbery.
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on 5 July 2015
I thought the book incredibly well written but I have a very serious reservation. I have read THOUSANDS of books in my life and have never, ever experienced a book with the number of typos that this one has. I wonder if the hard copy is the same, or if it is just the Kindle version? Have I mistakenly been sent some kind of draft? I cannot believe this is a Faber publication. Utterly shocking; under other circumstances I would expect a refund - certainly no one paid for a copy editor!
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on 3 October 2010
I really loved this book. Her writing is superb and reading it is like savouring a fine Montepulciano wine - one needs to concentrate, eyes closed and remembering the walks around Val d'Orcia. Thank you for the pleasure.
Dennis Gordge
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on 17 November 2015
Rachel Cusk demonstrates a command of the English language which is unsurpassed. A lovely book not least, to me, because I have visited and loved the area in which she and her family stayed. Her descriptive powers paint pictures of delight
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on 3 September 2014
The book is beautifully written. But despite being published by Faber & Faber the Kindle version has many words missing letters throughout, which a) ruins the reading and b) is inexcusable. It looks like they used a poor version of OCR to scan a hard copy to get an electronic version
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on 4 October 2010
I bought this book on a whim, the subject matter suggested that it might be perfect holiday reading. Too often such books are at once lumbering in style and light in content. What relief, indeed, delight, to find that this idiosyncratic account was so beautifully written. To criticise Cusk for having taken off on a wonderful few months of escapism is to miss the point. Her observations are sharp and her analysis of art is spot on. I can see that some readers might not like this book; it moves slowly, cautiously, is personal and often barbed in its comments. Sometimes though, the empathy she feels for her characters is touching and it is felt through an oblique description. Nothing flat-footed here. Reading another book on Italian History alongside The Last Supper was illuminating. One which should have offered such insight and information was ruined by bad writing while Cusk, in describing her very particular sojourn, offered enchantment and a masterclass in writing. If only more books were as well written.
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on 20 November 2013
She writes to share her love of what she finds so attractive in Italy - the culture and the way of life as she travels round. She talks of the Piero della Francesca and the trail of places to visits to see the masterpieces of this influential but not widely known Renaissance artist - it is a trail well worth following.
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