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Blue River, Black Sea by Andrew Eames
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Blue River, Black Sea (edition 2010)

by Andrew Eames

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403285,656 (3.58)2
Member:John_Vaughan
Title:Blue River, Black Sea
Authors:Andrew Eames
Info:Transworld Publishers (2010), Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library, Travel
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Tags:Travel, Rivers, Oceans

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Blue River, Black Sea by Andrew Eames

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An interesting travel log about the author's travels from the source of the Danube in Germany to its end in the Black Sea. Although mostly engaging it does wane quite a bit towards the middle, hence the reason I abandoned the book for quit a long time and also a reason for only 3 stars. Unlike a novel though it's easy to pick up a book like this where you last left off without any problems. ( )
  pcollins | Jul 27, 2014 |
This is my third book by this author and the geographical region of this book has certain echoes of his book on the famous Orient Express;The 8:55 to Baghdad (http://www.librarything.com/work/41869). This time however the author is motivated to follow some of the route of the famous writer, Patrick Leigh Fermor, who went this way in the 1930s and wrote the classic works of “A Time of Gifts” and “Between the Woods and the Water” with a promised third and concluding volume to be published posthumously in 2013. Inspired by these works Eames decides to travel and narrate a trip from Germany through the ”Iron Gates” to Instanbul, following – indeed partly traveling on – the “blue” Danube River.

It is 70 odd years since the famous “Paddy” journeyed through these same lands and, of course, much has been changed by World Wars, communist domination and neglect and viscous ethnic cleansing and pogroms, but Eames still discovers treasures and even peoples from those times. The author even manages to find his own aristocrats to welcome and awe him, staying in castles and Hofs with surviving descendants of fabled families of the Austrian Holy Empire.

But it is with his own generation that he most relates, the Serbian peasants and the gloriously mixed crews of the working Danube fleets as he walks, trains, drives and floats to his successful conclusion, the Black Sea.

This gloriously satisfying read is one of the best travel narratives of recent decades.
1 vote John_Vaughan | Dec 12, 2012 |
Andrew Eames follows the Danube from its source to the delta on the Black Sea. This has everything you want in a travel book; it is well written, entertaining and gives the reader a real sense of place. Eames also a facility for using the life stories of the people he meets to introduce the history of an area. ( )
  janglen | Dec 13, 2010 |
Showing 3 of 3
Another reason why writers don’t often tackle this journey is that they are walking in the shadow of one of the finest travel writers of modern times. Patrick Leigh Fermor went this way in the Thirties, his young head spinning with classics, languages, history, botany and joie de vivre, to write A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. Andrew Eames uses him as his inspiration.
His aim is to find out how much of Leigh Fermor’s romantic mittel-Europa has survived 75 years of brutalisation, hunger and upheaval, first under Hitler’s ravages and then under the dead hand of Soviet Communism. Eames rises to the challenge.
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 059305878X, Hardcover)

The Danube is Europe's Amazon. It flows through more countries than any other river on Earth—from the Black Forest in Germany to Europe's farthest fringes, where it joins the Black Sea in Romania. Andrew Eames' journey along its length brings us face to face with the continent's bloodiest history and its most pressing issues of race and identity. As he travels—by bicycle, horse, boat, and on foot—Eames finds himself seeking a bed for the night with minor royalty, hitching a ride on a Serbian barge captained by a man called Attila, and getting up close and personal with a bull in rural Romania. He meets would-be kings and walks with gypsies, and finally rows his way beyond the borders of Europe entirely.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:16 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

'Blue River, Black Sea' explores how much we really know about the new Europe. Andrew Eames doesn't shrink from analysing the difficult issues of race and cultural identity and seeks to find an answer to some of the most complex problems facing Europeans today.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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