Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Summer of My Greek Taverna: A Memoir” as Want to Read:
The Summer of My Greek Taverna: A Memoir
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Summer of My Greek Taverna: A Memoir

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  313 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Tom Stone went to Greece one summer to write a novel -- and stayed twenty-two years. On Patmos, the tiny island where St. John received the apocalyptic visions recorded in the Book of Revelations, he fell in love with Danielle, a beautiful French painter. His novel completed and sold, he decided to stay a little longer.

Seven idyllic years later, after the birth of their se
ebook, 272 pages
Published July 3rd 2002 by Simon Schuster (first published June 25th 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Summer of My Greek Taverna, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Summer of My Greek Taverna

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
May 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, memoir
I was prepared to be totally charmed by this memoir of an American living and working on a tiny Greek island. I enjoyed the insights into Greek life, but even with the interesting people and good food, the book fell flat for me. I had a hard time making it to the end. I do plan to make some of the recipes though!
I found this to be an honest memoir, and anyone who has been to the Greek isles knows how bare and simple the life is. It is not easy to create a dense and complex narrative with the scarcity of raw materials a writer has to work with. If there was more I would have accused Tom Stone of being florid with his prose, as other better-known travel writers have a tendency to indulge in.
Also, I found his descriptions of the Greek characters, and the motivations of each person, right on the mark. In m
Noelle M
Sep 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not just an interesting memoir, but a good who-dun-it and why-who-dun-it. He puts his recipes at the end, and holy cow, try the moussaka, it's to die for though I got tennis elbow by the time I squeezed all the eggplant slices.
Grāmatas par Grieķijas salām ir mana vājība jau kopš bērnības (pie vainas varētu būt Darelu ģimenes piedzīvojumi Korfu) pat, ja tās ir tik viduvējas kā šī.
Sep 25, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not much character development but interesting book about live on a Greek island
Mary Beth
Liked the descriptions of the Greek countryside and seaside. Story was ok.
Tādi jau tie grieķi ir.
Atkal bija jādomā par manu Grieķijas atvaļinājumu.
Sep 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, especially someone traveling to the Greek islands
I loved this book. It's a great story of an expat who has lived on the Greek islands for quite a long time. One summer, he decides to get involved in a partnership with a Greek tavern owner. He trusts this Greek friend who he has known for years; during his time on the island, he has often frequented The Beautiful Helen, which he calls the tavern. We get the backstory of his friendship with this tavern owner, the wonderful memories he has tied up in this place, the romance with his French wife, ...more
Jul 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
Set on the Patmos island, Greece.
Did not like the writing - author seemed to be saying that like Washington and the cherry tree - Americans do not lie, however, all Greeks do.
The American had a huge ego, of course the only way he could fail is if someone else was cheating. Further, he believed he was being cheated, but did not bother to check the finances of the business he became partner in, that is closer to stupid than naive.
Last, the recipes do not seem very appetizing, not really worth tryi
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the type of book that I really enjoy - a true story of an adventurer who doesn't have everything turn out the way he imagined. The setting of the Greek isles introduces us to various characters, both good and bad. Zorba could have fit in very easily.

The author goes through some interesting changes and it keeps your interest as he narrates his thoughts and emotions.

It seems that in today's American culture, it is unusual to find these wanderers.

I am trying out the recipes and hope they
Oct 20, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As indicated by my star rating, I really didn't like this book.

It's a cautionary tale: an enthusiastic amateur cook and bon vivante takes on the running of a taverna in Patmos for a summer. The thing that annoyed me so much is that the protagonist, despite warnings from many sides, goes blindly along towards failure.

Read this book if you're considering going into the restaurant trade and have very little experience behind the counter.
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Poorly written memoir of the author's attempt to co-run a taverna on an isolcated Greek island, despite the many warnings of his various Greek friends. While the descriptions of life on the island and various insights into Greek culture, for the most part the book is predictable and not terribly engaging. It runs its course to a very much anticipated ending which mercifully came rather quickly.
Account of the author's several years on the Greek island of Patmos, culminating in one summer where he rents a beachside restaurant from the larcenous owner. Entertaining, but I'd probably have liked it more had it been set in a town with more local characters. The last 20% of the book is essentially padding, a few dozen recipes for the dishes mentioned in the book; you can easily find better versions of all of them.
Jul 24, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book, used, as a light read on my 10 day vacation/work trip to Greece. It served its purpose well. I enjoyed Tom Stone's book...but I didn't find the Greece he did, obviously. In fact my visit to the islands (a one day trip on the tourist boat) was a big disappointment. But hey! What did I expect? I did enjoy my visit to Greece and this was just the kind of light read to pack in my luggage.
Marianne D. Wallace
Hopeful, blissful time spent on a Greek island as naive expectations are dashed by the Greek mentality and behavior of the taverna owner. Still, although a cautionary tale of entering into a business arrangement with a Greek living on a Greek island, the setting as vacation spot was very attractive.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
I have a friend whose father
is Greek and started a Greek
restaurant; I'd hoped to
send this with her when she
arrives next week. But the
book is too bleak about Greeks.
A very thin tale.
Having spent some time in Greece long years ago I was attracted to the notion of re-entering some of the glorious life there—glorious and chaotic! I did enjoy the sensation of the warm sun, the extraordinary geography, the fun loving people and their rather slippery business dealings. I was disappointed by the last third of the book which seemed weak. A pleasant read.
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-ask-for
1.5 stars. I really wanted to like this book, but I found it tried to be too many things (travel memoir, culinary memoir, cookbook, etc.) and so ended up addressing any number of topics without going into the kind of depth that would have made them compelling subjects. Also, a bit too much doom-and-gloom foreshadowing for my taste.
Beth Harper
A memoir of American expatriate running a beachside taverna on a Greek island one summer. Filled with memorable characters and observations of local and tourist life on the island of Patmos. I listened to the audio version of this book, and the experience was heightened by listening to it walking to and from work in January and February.
Food and Greece. Food in Greece what could be better. Made me long to go back. I have been to Patmos and the food is great! The book brought me back to a place that is so dear to my heat.
I do not think picking up and moving to another country is as easy as Stone makes it sound. At least, not with two children. Otherwise, I think we would do it.
May 28, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit poorly written, not much plot, and the author is annoying. It's interesting to get his point of view, and it was fun to read while on a Greek island. It's pretty light, but i think there are better books about Greece and better memoirs involving Greek islands.
Shelly Brander
I thought the insights into the Greek culture were very interesting, and loved the recipes at the back of the book! I did not love his style of writing, seemed disjointed and rambling, with frequent off-putting comments about women's breasts
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't know that I'll actually get around to finishing this. I kept looking for something particularly interesting about Stone, but didn't find it. And I was hoping that the story would inspire me to visit Greece, but he didn't make it sound very appealing.
Karl Lehtinen
So easy to read - and a great cure when you're jonesing to travel the Earth and are stuck at home.

Will also make you love and hate the Greeks at the same time.

Some authors just make picking up and moving to another country seem so damned easy. Try it.
Jul 10, 2008 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I have been reading this for a while. It's not a huge page turner, but I am enjoying learning more about this man's time on a Greek island.
A good memoir and introduction to Greek island life for the uninitiated.
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked the feeling of being there in Greece and evoking memories
Nov 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in travel and food.
Shelves: memoirs
I read this for a culinary literature class in college. It was an interesting book, with recipe's to boot.
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Suggested reading for anyone planning a trip to Patmos.
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story wasn't all that interesting to me. But the Greek islands are some of my favorite places on earth, and it was nice to visit them through these pages.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Eurydice Street: A Place in Athens
  • A House in Corfu
  • Blue Skies and Black Olives: A Survivor's Tale of Housebuilding and Peacock Chasing in Greece
  • Evil for Evil (Billy Boyle World War II, #4)
  • Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter
  • The Insane Train (Hook Runyon #2)
  • The Collaborators
  • The Groom to Have Been
  • Living Cuisine: The Art of Spirit of Raw Foods
  • Home Cooking Made Easy
  • Reflections on a Marine Venus: A Companion to the Landscape of Rhodes
  • The Brendan Voyage: A Leather Boat Tracks the Discovery of America by the Irish Sailor Saints
  • Blanche Passes Go (Blanche White series Book 4)
  • One Last Look
  • The Nightingale
  • Hemelvaart
  • The Pearl Harbor Murders (Disaster Series, #3)
  • The London Ritz Book of Afternoon Tea

TOM STONE has pursued a multi-faceted career as a novelist, travel writer, historian, and stage- and screenplay writer. Simultaneously, he has had a very successful career in the professional theater as a director, lighting designer, and stage manager.
While at Yale, where he gained a BA in English Literature and an addiction to the theater, he spent his summers toiling backstage at the prestigio
More about Tom Stone...