Jump to content


Photo

Good Holiday Reading


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 Laid Back Lil

Laid Back Lil

    Crete Expert

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 158 posts
  • Location:somewhere in the UK

Posted 12 May 2007 - 06:34 PM

Thought I'd share with you - I am in the middle of a really good book called The Island by Victoria Hislop. It's all about Spinalonga -- fiction -- but very good stuff and the author did quite a lot of research into her subject. It is very evident how much she loves Crete, the people and their culture and the book has been written with passion, and compassion about how families were separated and taken by boat to the island. A lot of research seems to have gone into the book and you feel as though you are there in person with the families. Will let you know what I thought overall if you like, once I've finished it...

#2 Tinks

Tinks

    Crete Expert

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 198 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Wigan, UK

Posted 12 May 2007 - 09:26 PM

There was a thread about this book last year. It's a very good read!

Hope you enjoy it. :D
Curiouser and curiouser.....

#3 aardigman

aardigman

    Traveler

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 94 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cork, Ireland

Posted 13 May 2007 - 11:39 PM

Hi Lil... I just finished The Island by Victoria Hilslop and thoroughly enjoyed it. and yes ..it was researched very well. This time when I go back to Crete in August and visit Spinalonga again it will be with new eyes. I did not really take in the significance of the period at the time when I was there the last time. This time however, it will have new meaning and I expect to meet the ghosts of Eleni, Elpida, Maria and many more. The walk through the tunnel will have a totally different significance
The book really should be read by anyone thinking of going to Spinalonga.

#4 Wim

Wim

    Crete Explorer

  • Club Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,141 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Hague Netherlands

Posted 13 May 2007 - 11:45 PM

I know, some people on this board are going to kill me for this reply :blink: but what the hack, I love to live dangerously :D Lil. But I visited the island several times. The first time in 1980 and that was the period before they refurbished the main house on the right after you've entered the village through the main gate.
It's the one slightly uphill.

But isn't the island, where the leper colony is/was situated, not called "Kalidona" actually Nisos Kalidona known as Spinalonga? Or, is it just like the island group of "Kolokithi", called Spina Longa as the Venetians named it. Can't have been the Turkish and neither the Germans :P ? Or is Kalidona the Greek translation of Spinalonga?

Do they mention these names in the book?

Would love to hear from you



B)
True is that adage: "He who yields to rule by wooden heads, becomes himself a fool."

#5 Laid Back Lil

Laid Back Lil

    Crete Expert

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 158 posts
  • Location:somewhere in the UK

Posted 14 May 2007 - 12:45 PM

aardigman - is good isn't it. I went to Spinalong years and years ago, too many to remember and I too didn't really take it all in. I am to visit again in July this year when we holiday with the children and like you, will look a the place in a very different light.
Wim - in answer to your question...... I haven't got a clue yet. I'm only on page 80-something but if the author does, I'll let you know. Arrdigman - can you answer Wim? It is a very good book though.... Have a good day - got to dash and take the car in...

#6 yannis_s

yannis_s

    Crete Explorer

  • Administrator
  • 1,072 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Heraklion, Crete

Posted 14 May 2007 - 12:54 PM

Wim,
the ancient name of island Spinalonga is "Kalidon" or "Kalidona".
Yannis Samatas
webmaster

#7 Wim

Wim

    Crete Explorer

  • Club Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,141 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Hague Netherlands

Posted 15 May 2007 - 06:50 PM

Thanks Yannis,

Seems a bit confusing, because on the map the fortress/leper-colony island is called Kalidona, and the main "spinal shaped island"; Spinalonga. So it seems we don't need to bother about the name.

It's simply called Kalidona if we forget about the Venetians :blink:



B)



:P
True is that adage: "He who yields to rule by wooden heads, becomes himself a fool."

#8 aardigman

aardigman

    Traveler

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 94 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cork, Ireland

Posted 15 May 2007 - 11:20 PM

HI Wim
to be honest I cant remember if the island is called by any other name other then Spinalonga. I just read the book as a beach book and for the pleasure of it. thats all

#9 Henry Hooray

Henry Hooray

    Crete Explorer

  • Club Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 311 posts
  • Location:Bath, England

Posted 16 May 2007 - 02:41 PM

When in Crete last October I picked up The Island in one of the tavernas where you can swap your books - excellent library service!

Like some other books, e.g. Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow, I enjoyed the first half. After that, the interactions of the main characters (not least the non-daughter) just grew beyond the truly believable, and I only finished the book because I always do.

Much of the medical and historical side of The Island certainly has the appearance of being well researched, but the characters lacked consistency, depth and authenticity.

Sorry to disagree with the previous posters - but that was my honest opinion!

Henry.

#10 santo

santo

    Crete Explorer

  • Club Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 482 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North-West, UK

Posted 16 May 2007 - 10:16 PM

Nice to see you back on Henry, hope you and the boss are well.
:wub: B)
Santo

It's not the number of breaths you take, it's the moments that take your breath away.

#11 Henry Hooray

Henry Hooray

    Crete Explorer

  • Club Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 311 posts
  • Location:Bath, England

Posted 16 May 2007 - 11:42 PM

Thanks Santo :wub:

Yes, we're pretty good, thank you - hope you and L are too!

It was really great, and somewhat unexpected, to go to Paleochora again last October, and I even got to meet with one of our friends there - had a splendid evening in Heraklion, in spite of still feeling somewhat under the weather. Still, much better now, thanks. The boss sent me!

Hope to see you both in this neck of the woods again one of these days - I can assure you that the Eastern Eye has maintained its high standards.

Best regards, Henry.

#12 lars

lars

    Crete Expert

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 153 posts
  • Location:Malm� Sweden

Posted 17 May 2007 - 01:08 PM

The name of the island is of linguistic interest. The word Spinalonga is Italian and means long thorn (Spina-longa). The Venetians called it so because they adapted to their own language a Greek composite word "Stinelounda" meaning "to Elounda" (sten-Elounda).

I do not know but it might be right! :wub:
??????
???????? ?????? ????????? ??????

#13 SuzyCreamcheese

SuzyCreamcheese

    Traveler

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 36 posts

Posted 03 June 2007 - 11:03 PM

Nights of rain and stars by Maeve Binchy. :rolleyes:
time isn't money, it's precious !

#14 Birgit

Birgit

    Traveler

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 88 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Copenhagen

Posted 10 June 2007 - 09:18 PM

Hi Lil,

Next time you find such a good book to read as "The Island" , please add that if you are NOT on holiday you should start to read the book maybe on a Friday ... :)

From Wednesday this week we have had "Crete-weather" here in Denmark which was the perfect excuse for me to start reading "The Island" (I got my hands on it while I was in Crete in May). - And I have to admit that I have used most of the long and bright Northern nights since to read and not sleep, as I am sure my employer would have preferred. :D

It is a wonderful book!! Almost finished it ....

Now I have started to look for Maeve Binchy's book. Suzy, thank you for the tip. Maeve Binchy was the last author I would have thought had written a novel which take place in Crete!

Birgit

#15 Laid Back Lil

Laid Back Lil

    Crete Expert

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 158 posts
  • Location:somewhere in the UK

Posted 16 June 2007 - 01:33 AM

Hi there - just finished it too - last weekend - thoroughly enjoyed it. For those of you who think I probably read a page a day.... I don't - just had a bit of a trauma in the family, Blue Burmese of 22 years had to be put to sleep last week which was very stressful etc etc. However, family all back on track but missing her dearly. Off to Crete 5 weeks time and really looking forward to the break - although hubby tells me we'll be gardening a lot of the time....

#16 santo

santo

    Crete Explorer

  • Club Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 482 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North-West, UK

Posted 18 June 2007 - 08:48 AM

There's a good book out at the moment called "The Rash Adventurer: A Life of John Pendlebury" by Imogen Grundon (libri books).
He was considered the Cretan Lawrence, and has a street in Heraklion named after him.

Apparantly Hitler was supposed to have demanded his glass eye as proof of his death, so I'm looking forward to reading this.
Santo

It's not the number of breaths you take, it's the moments that take your breath away.

#17 Hooly

Hooly

    Traveler

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 30 posts
  • Location:Maldon, Essex & Kalo Horio, Crete

Posted 18 June 2007 - 02:38 PM

It's been out a couple of years but I've just started to read "Falling for Icarus" by Rory MacLean, however I did a forum search and can't see any reference to it. It's the story of a man, grieving for the loss of his mother, who comes to Crete to fly his own hand built plane. Hand built on Crete, that is, with the assistance of the local villagers around Anissari.

I don't know if anyone else here has come across it, but so far I've only got through the 1st couple of chapters. To be honest I chuckled so much at these that I decided the best place to read it would be in the sunshine in Crete so I'll take it on my holiday in July.

There's a review of it which I got to via the Hellenic Book Service site on Falling for Icarus review (Apologies moderators if this link is against your rules as I'm aware there are sometimes issues elsewhere). Has anyone else read this?

Pete

#18 Tim

Tim

    Crete Explorer

  • Moderators
  • 721 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Devon . UK

Posted 18 June 2007 - 03:23 PM

Thanks to our very good friend Stelios of the Hellenic Book Service I have just started reading a copy of The Rash Adventurer. Haven't got to his 'Crete' days yet, am still reading of his days in what I, being born in Oxford must call 'the other place' (Cambridge), but it is a great read so far and I am sure it will get even better.
I was very impressed by the long list of knowlegeable people who the authors thanks- something I alwats try and take into account when reading non fiction.. It is clear that she has been researching this for quite some time, some of those thanked are, or rather were, contempories of Pendlebury and are sadly no longer with us. I think the author's sources are about as good as one can get. The foreword is by Paddy Leigh Fermor.
I can understand why Pendlebury is such an attractive character to so many people, (I think he is one of SJ's heroes), there are so many admirable facets to his character. I first came upon him in relation to his work in Crete in prior to the invasion but I don't know as much about him as I should.
Just as a matter of interest, his grave at the CWGC cemetery at Souda Bay, is one of two that our late great friend George Psychoundakis always used to visit. (The other was Dudley (Kiwi) Perkins). That too says something to me.
Re 'Falling for Icarus', a different story altogether but a good light read - and this moderator has no intention of removing the link to SJ's review- (and I trust Yannis won't either)
As usual I am reading, or trying to read, half a dozen books at the same time. One of the others is Alan Clark's The Fall of Crete, had it for many years but just dipped in and out previously looking for particular information. So far, his account of the factors surrounding the invasion of Crete, and the Allies reasons for their actions/lack of actions, is proving interesting reading.
He ends Chapter One with....'The Greeks were the only western nation to sustain a successful land campaign against the Axis on the European continent for the first four years of the war. Let that not be forgotten.So it was quite unthinkable, morally, emotionally, ideally, for Britain to desert them at their hour of crisis.
However, whole the decision to help the Greeks was unimpeachable, the manner of British intervention, its planning and execution, must be closely examined - for they were to have reactions of exceptional importance n the Mediterannean and the Far East for years to come'.
I am expecting a critical assessment of the events with no punches pulled.
Tim

#19 Pam

Pam

    Crete Explorer

  • Club Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 378 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Neo Chorio, Crete

Posted 24 June 2007 - 02:00 PM

The Rash Adventurer sounds like a great read and we'll try and get a copy before our next visit to Crete.

Also, we picked up a small book called "The Leaden-Sky years of World War II" by Kimon Farantakis while in Crete in May from one of the book exchanges and read it when in Agia Pelagia. It is translated from the diary of a schoolboy who was growing up near Maleme through the dark days of the Occupation and is a very moving account of the poverty and tribulations of those days. What was also sobering is that it isn't that long ago and there will still be old people still alive who remember those days. I wonder what they think of the changes in Crete especially over the last 10 years?

Anyway, if you see it around, I do recomend you buy it - it's only a small book, and is one that we shall keep as it will repay reading again.

Pam

#20 Wim

Wim

    Crete Explorer

  • Club Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,141 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Hague Netherlands

Posted 24 June 2007 - 11:07 PM

In case there are members who haven't heard of her :P

Mary Renault

:)
True is that adage: "He who yields to rule by wooden heads, becomes himself a fool."