An amusing and erudite account of Harry Bucknall's 183-day journey through the Greek islands from Venice, in the West, to Istanbul, in the East.
In the summer of 2006, Harry Bucknall travelled from Venice to Istanbul - a journey across the Aegean of more than 5,500 miles that included the glories of Mount Athos, 36 islands, and every island chain in the Greek Archipelago. It also involved 57 sea passages on 35 ferries, 4 landing craft, 3 hydrofoils, a fishing caique, a sea plane, 11 buses, 2 trains, an open-top Land Rover, and a duck-egg-blue 1961 Morris Oxford.
Recounted with humour, pathos, and at times drama, this is not only a journey through the Greek islands but also a journey through Greek history, mythology, custom, and folklore - a Greek island companion loaded with adventure, mishap, and laughter offering a contemporary image of Aegean life today.
©2012 Create (P)2012 Create
Had I read the print book, I might've come away thinking it "not bad" probably, though somewhat slight. The audio production, however, is a mess. I had an inkling of that from the sample, but figured, "Well, I really like travel narratives, so how bad can it be?" Bad enough.
To start, there was obviously no editing whatsoever - on occasion, Bucknall starts a sentence, loses his track, and then just ... tries again, like hearing an echo. Secondarily, he gives Americans rather cartoonish accents - including a university professor. Guess that's considered funny among non-Americans, but when you're trying to sell copies TO Americans, might wanna re-think that, eh? Moreover, he himself sounds like Bertie Wooster with a mouth full of marbles much of the time. If that's "upper class", I'll pass.
Read a cheap print copy if you must; otherwise, you've been warned!
I'm an avid enthusiast of travel related books and thought In The Dolphin's Wake would be an interesting insight into a fascinating part of the world. However, I found the narrator's continuous drinking and swallowing too distracting and I gave up listening. I hate to sound too picky and this is common on many books, but it was much too frequent and prominent on this one.
If you know about Greece you might like the book. Hard to follow if you do not know the geography.
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