It’s 1963 and a depressed American, Rupert Brigg, is sent by Uncle William to Greece for a summer working vacation. Rupert is recovering mainly from t...moreIt’s 1963 and a depressed American, Rupert Brigg, is sent by Uncle William to Greece for a summer working vacation. Rupert is recovering mainly from the death of his little boy, if one can, but also from the failed marriage. Rupert was in the business of art auditions with a specialty in furniture but on the Greece trip is looking for old coins or hopefully some statuary. He forges friendships with many people during this European summer and even finds himself enjoying part of it, and he even becomes nostalgic of particular moments before they are over.
With a book title like Forgery you know something will be amiss, but what? The title gives the book a feel of a mystery and it tends to dabble slightly in that area, particularly in the middle third of the novel. There are many forgeries here and some take a while to uncover. What is not a forgery is the good writing. This book will hold up well to a second reading, and perhaps then more layers will be uncovered. I wouldn’t say this is a great book, but certainly a very good one. (less)
A different type of travel book – the ecotourism of disasters, human made of course. Blackwell puts a lot of humor in his book and it works well most...moreA different type of travel book – the ecotourism of disasters, human made of course. Blackwell puts a lot of humor in his book and it works well most of the time. At first I found him a little too smart-alecky, but I think I got used to it, mostly. There isn’t a lot of depth although on occasion he tries to get philosophical and some of the book is meandering, sauntering. The overarching summation of what this all means is littered throughout in pieces, you have to pick it up yourself. (insert sheepish grin)
What I enjoyed most was the people he met throughout his travels. Of course going to disastrous places aren’t all that appealing, but the people were. That is one of his themes -- that people do live in these very polluted spots on the earth, well except in the garbage patch in the ocean. (In that chapter the people are his shipmates.) Blackwell often mentions taking photos and I wished some were included, particularly since they came up so much. Instead we got some hand-drawn maps of the areas at the start of each chapter. That was very useful indeed. No references were provided, but at least there was an index. (less)
I really enjoyed this meandering book. It is travel without leaving your own street. Well, the author’s street: Cowley Road in Oxford. I don't live on...moreI really enjoyed this meandering book. It is travel without leaving your own street. Well, the author’s street: Cowley Road in Oxford. I don't live on a street with nearly so much history or diversity, but this author does and explores the past and present, which proves to be quite interesting. Attlee shows that you can travel in your own backyard, although he considers his exploration a pilgrimage. He saunters around related topics and spends quite a bit of time with an old, large book The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton. This book was one that made me stop and contemplate, either what he was writing about, or about my own surroundings. All in all it was a pleasure to read, and I let out a satisfied sigh when I read the last paragraph. (less)
The second book continues where the first left off, and the story did feel left unfinished. I was compelled to buy this one, which is certainly part o...moreThe second book continues where the first left off, and the story did feel left unfinished. I was compelled to buy this one, which is certainly part of why the free books to begin with...get you hooked into an author or series. If this was not a young adult book I would have felt ripped off. The two books combined really make one, but I can understand the shorter length for the younger audience. Then again J.K. Rowling has proved that young people do read very long books.
In any case the author claims the second book was only written after the fans urged her to, and really the story wasn’t quite done. Unfortunately I didn’t like this one as much and it has mainly to do with the premise. The letters Ginny was following were stolen, at the end of the first book, and she never got a chance to read the last letter. Well now they appear by someone who is basically blackmailing her. This darker tone of the story seemed unnecessary, and that she didn’t fully confide in her new Uncle seemed unlikely. I think the author really didn’t know how to finish the story and went with the wrong premise. There were a few other flaws as well, but when the main story line is wrong the rest is almost irrelevant. (less)
This was a free Friday nook ebook, one of the rare ones that looked somewhat interesting. It was a quick read, as it is a young adult book, and it liv...moreThis was a free Friday nook ebook, one of the rare ones that looked somewhat interesting. It was a quick read, as it is a young adult book, and it lives up to that. The language is simple. Overall it is a fun book, a young girl, Ginny Blackstone, goes off on an adventure and travels around Europe driven by the instructions left in several letters from her aunt who had recently passed away. It is a unique premise to travelling. Overall it was enjoyable, although quite short.(less)