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Kingdom by the Sea (Essential Modern Classics) (Collins Modern Classics)

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Then my optimism kicked in and decided I could not devote myself to such a boring exercise in self-flagellation.

He's scathing, ironic, judgemental without spelling the judgements out and very, very choosy about the human creations too. It's always initially difficult to see one's country through the eyes of a foreigner and this was my first attempt. The big roll of blankets, wrapped in a groundsheet because the shelter was damp, done up with a big leather strap of Dad’s. But hey, I'm still giving it five stars because Westall somehow makes undermining his own plot believable while keeping character growth in tact. Theroux does not seem to have been aware of this dimension in writing about the many eccentric people he met.Theroux was sure an interesting one: he does make such good company; however, without sounding too under enthusiastic in regards certain places in my homeland, it just isn't the same, for example, stopping off in Margate or Butlin's Holiday Camp in Minehead, when compared to reading Theroux's utterly fascinating Old Patagonian Express journey from Massachusetts all the way down to the arid plateau of Argentina's most southerly tip. Anxious that he will be sent to live with his fussy Cousin Elsie he goes on the run across the war-battered land of North East England, his only friend in his journey a stray dog that he meets on the beach. within half a dozen miles of my own home in Somerset where he could have found reasonably comfortable lodgings, good food, good wine and the company of people at least able to understand his gentle Bostonian accent.

Also, and I hope, meaningfully and purposefully, the harshest criticisms and most bile is reserved for the English. I was intrigued by his book about walking around the coast of England over a three-month period in 1982.

With Theroux, you get the increasing sense that he hates all British people, for reasons never fully described. Numb and disoriented, he evades the authorities and makes his way to the beach, where he is befriended by Don, a stray dog.

They hated them for eating raw fish, for working like dogs, and for torturing their prisoners during the war. I really felt for Harry as the end of the book I feel should’ve been extremely happy… he finds his family after believing they’ve all been killed. Indeed Harry has grown a lot over these two months, finding his kingdom by the sea and aching to stay forever. He went through another gate, over the top of another air-raid shelter, through a hedge that scratched him horribly … on, and on, and on.

When on a worrisome walkabout once, I almost slept under an upturned boat just like the character (I found a warmer hostel. The title of the book is taken from the opening lines of the poem Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe: It was many and many a year ago/ In a kingdom by the sea,/ That a maiden there lived whom you may know/ By the name of Annabel Lee.

Few of us have seen the entirety of the coast and I for one am grateful to Mr Theroux for making my journey unnecessary. Summary: Beautifully written, gloomy, depressive and funny at the same time, this exploration of coastal UK at the time of the Falkland War as a metaphor for a crumbling empire is now a travel classic.To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. SUMMARY: A young boy is separated from his family during an air-raid on England, and thinking his family is dead, makes a life for himself on the road picking up a dog and living by his own wits and the kindness of others during World War Two.

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