The people, their history and the beauty of an island on the brink of tragedy.
This is the account of a unique journey - a six-hundred-mile trek on foot around Cyprus in the last year of the island's peace.
Colin Thubron intertwines myth, history and personal anecdote in a quest from which the characters and places, architecture and landscape all spring vividly to the reader's eye.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 416 pages, map
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 07/06/2012
- Category: Travel writing
- ISBN: 9780099570257
- EPUB from £5.99
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Review by Steve38
For some reason this Colin Thubron book of 1975 has just been reissued. I can't imagine that the publishers thought that with Cyprus being in the news with its financial crisis they might take advantage. An odd thing to do but always good to read the decent travel writing of Mr Thubron.He wanders around the island at a time before the Turkish invasion but when it has already been partitioned by factional fighting. The stroll he takes is the structure of the book. He ambles from village to village bumping into churches, monastries and ruins from various periods of historical invasion. More of a history book than travel. Though some of his landscape descriptions are Turner-esque. He is remarkably unprepared for his trip seeming to have nothing with him but his sleeping bag. He depends on the strangers he meets for food and accommodation and sometimes seems to take unneccessary advantage of the hospitality of extremely poor peasants.After a while the linear narrative becomes repetitive. Mr Thrubron is a good and learned guide the the depths of Cypriot history but the meandering stroll in the end prooves a tiresome route. Too many churches, too many saints as those are what time has preserved. Nevertheless interesting to have a record of a Cyprus as it was before mass tourism and before it became a Russian off shore banking centre. In a century of two what will remain of that particular invasion?