Posted 20 hours ago

Narrow Dog To Carcassonne

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It's described (as can be seen from the cover above) with words like "classic" and "comic" on the lines (I guess) of Three Men in a Boat or Bill Bryson's travel books, and some reviews are 5 star raves. I think this is what prevents his book becoming a classic - the reader, or at least myself, never comes completely emotionally immersed in the story - how Terry and Monica cope, or their relationship with each other, or indeed their relationship with all the characters that make their brief appearances.

I found no problem with the writing style at all, it's always pretty obvious who's saying what to whom, absence of quotation marks notwithstanding. I thought it might have improved if they had sunk at the end but the only way to improve this was if it sant at the beginning! To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average.

There is maybe 1 worthwhile mention of canal travel detail per chapter, so the book can be a fast scan looking for these mentions. There are supermarkets the size of a city that seem to be open from time to time, but they are not - they are going round behind you making faces. You visit the France nobody knows - the backwaters of Flanders, the canals beneath Paris, the heavenly Yonne, the lost Burgundy Canal, the islands of the Saône, and the forbidden ways to the Mediterranean. We loved the gangling shape and the long windows, we loved the curve of the bow and the front deck where you could sit, and the teak and oak saloon running on and on into the galley.

Last year I read The Narrowboat Summer and was delighted with it and the wonderful relaxing sense of moving slowly down a canal in a narrow boat. We are experiencing delays with deliveries to many countries, but in most cases local services have now resumed. Goodness, said Monica-but we are really pleased with her shape, Mozza: the low line, the big windows, and we've kept the grey. Aliens, dicks, trolls, vandals, gongoozlers, killer fish and the walking dead all stand between our three innocents and their goal - many-towered Carcassonne.It has also reached the heart of a daughter-in-law who has lurchers - the big version of the dog in the story. I read this books for my book group out of 10 of us only 2 had finished it and normally we have all completed the book, clearly I was not the only one to who's enthusiasm ran out. When they retired Terry and Monica Darlington decided to sail their canal narrowboat across the Channel and down to the Mediterranean, together with their whippet Jim. A tale of travel, travail, dubious wine, a balky pump, and a boat built for only a few feet of water, this exuberantly inventive and hugely entertaining odyssey of the spirit, senses, and heart will enchant lovers of France, England, and all that lies between.

We keep crashing into things and running out of fuel and falling in and people shout at us and stick notes on the door. The story of a man, his wife and his whippet who sail their narrowboat from the Midlands to the South of France including a Channel crossing would be interesting however written but the main selling point is the author's sense of humour. I like the genre of travel writing because it really takes me away from the diurnal details of my life and make me dream of being in other places without the annoyances and irritations of actual travel so this was quite fun and even got me thinking about narrow boats in the future, though I might find negotiating and navigating the locks a bit difficult in practice.Narrow Dog to Carcassonne” is a 397 page version of Aunt Edna’s slide show of her trip to the Corn Palace. Aliens, dicks, trolls, vandals, gongoozlers, killer fish and the walking dead all stand between our three innocents and their goal – many-towered Carcassonne. I found that the level of detail in the book discouraged me from finishing it but that is a matter of personal taste. Written with the author's glorious sense of humor, this is one of those journeys you never want to end.

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