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From Souk to Souk: Travels Through the Middle East (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 28. März 2014

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Mehr über den Autor

Robin Ratchford has lived in six different countries and visited more than a hundred others and their territories on all seven continents. Looking back, he thinks collecting colourful stamps from the age of six first sparked his interest in foreign countries and cultures all over the world. Robin has a background in international affairs, and travel, adventure and discovery are central themes in his life.

The people he meets and the cultures he has experienced are a constant inspiration for Robin's writing. Like many writers, he blends personal experience and observation with imagination. Robin's love of the spoken and written word is not limited to English: he counts learning and improving his knowledge of several European languages among his constant passions.

Born in the United Kingdom, Robin is currently based in Belgium where he lives with his faithful companion Mortimer the Fox Terrier.

Find out more at: www.robinratchford.com


Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Robin Ratchford has lived in six different countries and visited more than a hundred others. Travel, adventure and discovery are central themes in his life and a constant inspiration for his writing. Born in the United Kingdom, Robin is currently based in Belgium, where he lives with his faithful companion Mortimer the Fox Terrier.

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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I loved this book, it is smart, delightfully written and filled with Mediterranean lights.

The writer transported me into his personal Orient, with fascinating references to Lebanon, Israel and many other Middle East countries. Also young faces and modern daily life pass through these pages in a fascinating cahier de voyages.

This is the perfect Middle East lovers' emotional guide book!
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa074469c) von 5 Sternen 8 Rezensionen
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0xa066cb94) von 5 Sternen Detached but sensitive look at the Middle East 2. Juli 2014
Von Kristen @ Pretty Little Pages - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I appreciate the author's honest and sensitive portrayal of the region depicted in this book. As someone with family in Tunisia (where the Arab Spring started and witnessed it through their first hand accounts), I'm rather sensitive about the region and the general view of it. From Souk to Souk was a nice change of pace from that.

But my fault with From Souk to Souk was the detachment from the author. Whenever I read about someone's travels, I expect to learn about them as well. While the honest depiction of the Middle East is appreciated and the descriptions are so well done, I struggled with not getting a glimpse of the author. Whenever I travel, I always take a piece of it home with me. Each trip changes me and leaves it's imprint on me. I wanted to see that from From Souk to Souk.

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0xa0570f6c) von 5 Sternen A New Take on the Englishman Abroad 3. Juni 2014
Von Vincent deMichael - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Very much in the vein of Colin Thubron, Robin Ratchford approaches his subject matter with great earnestness and intelligent inquisitiveness. His observations are insightful and revealing of the reality of the Middle East today. Highly recommended for those planning a journey and armchair travelers alike,
HASH(0xa05701c8) von 5 Sternen Vignettes of visits to the Middle East 3. Mai 2015
Von Dante - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
As I write this in 2015, Saudia Arabia has been dropping bombs on Yemen. The author's visit would not be possible, or would be very different, now, as is the case in many of the places he visited just before unrest, conflict or war broke out or reemerged. That alone is a good reason to read this book. It is a necessary antidote to the violent images and stories pervasive in the current western media, and a reminder of the people there, not just of their suffering and strife.

This book is a series of physically descriptive vignettes of various cities of the Middle East. This makes it an enjoyable travelogue primer of the region. It is a book to peak one's curiousity to do further reading about each of the places he visits. For example, after describing the poverty and lack of so much in the ancient and architecturally rich Yemen capital, he nonchalantly slips in a sentence about the recently completed $68 million mosque, leaving the reader to form his own opinion about the use of this money in a country in need of so much, particularly water. It left me wanting more information on the underlying factors that could explain the various discord in the region.

I particularly enjoyed the insights regarding life behind the walls... like the one that came from the architect who designs houses in Dubai, who tells him that the basements are designed to hold the households' luxury cars and the level below that contains windowless rooms in which the household staff lives.

We also witness the author's journey as he changes and his way of seeing and reacting as a tourist evolves: the reserve and caution of his first visit (to Istanbul) transforming into the spirit for adventure and the confidence to take on a visit to Iraq. One suspects there is also another book, a very different book, Mr. Ratchford should be writing. This one skirts around it in places, but no more than at the end. It put tears in my eyes, but not for places or countries. I hope he writes that one too.
HASH(0xa0671150) von 5 Sternen Poignant Peek at the Middle East 2. Juni 2014
Von Gabriella Gricius - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
If there was a prize for being a sucker for travelogues for random places that aren’t particularly inviting to visitors, I would win. From Souk to Souk seemed to fit those requirements perfectly. Although I’m not as much of a fan of books that focus solely on the conflict aspect of the Middle East, I do enjoy books which go on and on and on about the culture.

From Souk to Souk fulfilled that. Robin Ratchford reminded me of a gentle narrator who led me by the hand through the mystical and dusty landscapes of Aleppo, Dubai, Yemen, Beirut and so many more places I couldn’t have imagined without conflict before this book. And what he did so perfectly was the combination of ancient history and his own personal travels which seemed like something out of fiction.

The flow between chapters and within the chapters themselves was a slow and meandering tale through the Middle East, citing towns and cities that I would never have sought out myself. The mark of a good travel book in my opinion is the urges I get thereafter to seek the places out, to find what he described and to travel outside of the places we find comfortable. The fact that I want to visit the Middle East as I have never felt in my life before answers the question for me.

The most poignant part of From Souk to Souk for me was the chapter titled ‘The Whore and the Potter’. I felt as though the internal world of Beirut will be forever emblazoned in my mind as the potter Joseph. His beautiful and incredible works of pottery right beside the whorish tendencies of the rest of the city, and then the heart-wrenching moment I experienced upon realizing that he no longer existed.

I can’t recommend a better book if you love travel and know little about the Middle East. Although I’ve studied the different parts of the world, having finished the book, the appreciation I feel for the more genuine parts of that world, disappearing a little every day, has doubled if not tripled in volume.
HASH(0xa06717c8) von 5 Sternen I thoroughly enjoyed reading From Souk to Souk 1. September 2014
Von Claudia Fenerol - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I thoroughly enjoyed reading From Souk to Souk. It is written in a way that makes you feel as if you are traveling with the author. The vivid descriptions of his journeys and his explorations through the countries feel as though you are walking alongside him, whether it be Turkey or Syria. These colourful stories inspired me to visit the Middle East and to look past the strife and troubles consistently in the news these days, and discover their true and ancient beauty for myself. It was a phenomenal experience, and one that I will constantly be reminded of every time I see From Souk to Souk on my shelf.
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