©2000 Chris Stewart; (P)BBC Audiobooks LTD
I admit to having two goes at finishing this audiobook and I'm not sure if it was worth the effort. The story itself is hardly captivating, but nonetheless it was interesting to hear a recount of the experience of a young family making their escape from "normality" and stepping into a different culture. There's just nothing in the whole story that grabbed me as a listener. The trials and tribulations of the change in lifestyle plot are similar to many other books and movies and the narration is simply uninspiring.
Not on my top 10 list.
Chris Stewart goes out and writes about interesting life situations so I can sit back and enjoy learning about them without the trouble of cleaning up afterward.
Be adventurous and give it a whirl.
I admit - it took me awhile to get into this book. The first chapter or so is a little sluggish and sort of chugs along a bit. The first try I quit. I finally went back to it because I spent money on it and felt I owed it another try. I am SO glad that I did. It starts out slow, but really picks up speed! It is a great story about changing your life and homesteading. When he starts talking about the farm and culture I was really hooked. I am now going to get the rest of the series. The narration is quite good. He has dramatized some of the voices and I usually don't care for this style of narration. It works in this book. So, if you start to read and you get sort of...ho hum...just skip to about the 3rd chapter. I have a feeling that the next books are going to be even better because it appears that as the author progresses in his writing he really finds his voice. I have read a LOT of travel style novels and I have to say, this has some of the more interesting cultural details.
We had a three day trip across country and travelled with two pre-teen sons! Audible saved our lives and Driving over lemons was a highlight. The humor in this story was wonderful and it is a great story about someone following their dreams. The boys still talk about it. A+++++
We have another trip coming up and we have ordered four more of his books as humour played between the more serious books is great fun...
I had read this book several years ago and thoroughly loved it. Even now when I peel an onion I remember the scoundrel Pedro's papas a la pobre, made with hardly-peeled onions, and think wistfully of this part of Spain I've visited only in my mind. Hearing Chris Stewart grant his story the inflections of his choosing, hearing him imitate the many colorful characters so well, I think I actually preferred the audio book to the paperback. Wonderful, and now on to his other books. Can't wait.
Drew me in quickly. Quite a different couple than in "Under the Tuscan Sun, starting with little money and existing happily without it. Chris and Ana purchase a hardscrabble
farm in a rough valley near Granada. They are educated by the land, the weather and the locals (some helpful and some ready to take advantage. Narrated by the author with a terrific and understated, wry sense of humor. Pleasant to listen to, sharing the landscape of olive and orange trees, rosemary, sheep and goats.
"Loved this book"
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Chris recounting his life in Spain. He has met some incredibly complex and colourful characters and describes them admirably so you feel like you know them intimately. I can't wait to download his next book.
"What a delight."
This book certainly brought the sun into my day. Was really intrigued by Chris's stories about his and his family and friends lives. Quite an insight into remote living on a Spanish farm and yet light hearted and funny all at the same time. It's like listening to the reminiscenses of a good friend over a few drinks. Sometimes tragedy strikes like when their bridge gets washed away and they are cut off for several months. Sometimes he touchingly brings you into his confidence and reveals his honest feelings about real life matters like when his wife Ana gave birth and sometimes he tells funny, laugh out loud stories like when one of his friends dived at a snake to try and kill it. I've already read The Parrot in the Pepper Tree which is equally as good. Looking forward to listening to the last book in the trilogy The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society.
Preferred the smaller chapters in The Parrot to the larger ones in this book as it's easier to find and re-listen to a favourite episode.
I just loved this book.
It is just a very nice story that is most enjoyable.
I would highly recommend it.
I discovered the book via Rick Stein's tv program on Spain, I have enjoyed every minute of the book and I thought the authors narration brought it to life. Can't wait to read the next one, highly recommended.
Enjoyable read from cover to cover. Highly recommended. Dream about the way you could live your life.
Loved this book, i was transported to the spanish smallholders world and enjoyed every minute of it.
I listened to this while making Christmas cards, and enjoyed every minute. It was a great listen. Have recently been to Spain I enjoyed the pictures the descriptions brought to my mind. I had not heard about it till I watched the Rick Stein Spanish programme where he visits Chris. I had also just finished Chickens, Mules and two old mules also set in Spain.
"Rather flat rendition"
Having read this book myself I was looking forward to hearing it read by the author. Having listened, I am of the opinion that he should have used an actor to read it. His reading lacked atmosphere and character and made the story mundane.
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