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Driving over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia (edição 2000)
por Chris Stewart (Autor)
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Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia por Chris Stewart
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Un libro divertido e intuitivo que encanta desde la primera página a la última... y es que alguien que, sin tener ni idea y sin pensárselo dos veces, se mete a reconstruir y llevar un cortijo en un rincón perdido de la sierra de España, claramente no puede estar haciendo nada malo, todo lo contrario, puede ser que por esa razón haya logrado vender un millón de libros y se haya traducido a quince idiomas.
While the book isn't bad, neither the writing, the characters, or the story really resonated with me. Part of the problem is that I never quite understood the author and his motivations, and I had no idea whatsoever about his wife. Stewart does integrate into the community, and I particularly liked the stories of raising and marketing sheep.
> Wherever Cathy and John go, half the villagers go along for the ride – but never more than half. There are two opposing factions in the village as the result of some fifty-year-old dispute concerning a poplar tree and a goat, and only one of the factions can be accommodated at any one time. For the christening we had the west of the river faction.
Really enjoyable story of Chris and his wife Ana who relocated to a remote farm in Spain
English couple settle in remote Andalucia
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Entre limones es una de esas cosas raras y maravillosas: un libro divertido e intuitivo que encanta desde la primera página a la última…y es que alguien que, sin tener ni idea y sin pensárselo dos veces, se mete a reconstruir y llevar un cortijo en un rincón perdido de una sierra de España, claramente no puede estar haciendo nada malo. Chris nos transporta a Las Alpujarras, una excéntrica región del sur de Granada (España), y nos mete en una serie de contratiempos con una combinación simpática de granjeros y pastores campesinos, viajeros New Age y expatriados.
Meet Chris Stewart, the eternal optimist.At age 17 Chris retired as the drummer of Genesis and launched a career as a sheep shearer and travel writer. He has no regrets about this. Had he become a big-time rock star he might never have moved with his wife Ana to a remote mountain farm in Andalucia. Nor forged the friendship of a lifetime with his resourceful peasant neighbour Domingo...not watched his baby daughter Chloë grow and thrive there...nor written this book.Fate does sometimes seem to know what it's up to.Driving Over Lemons is that rare thing: a funny, insightful book that charms you from the first page to the last...and one that makes running a peasant farm in Spain seem like a distinctly gd move. Chris transports us to Las Alpujarras, an oddball region south of Granada, and into a series of misadventures with an engaging mix of peasant farmers and shepherds, New Age travellers and ex-pats. The hero of the piece, however, is the farm that he and Ana bought, El Valero - a patch of mountain studded with olive, almond and lemon groves, sited on the wrong side of a river, with no access road, water supply or electricity.Could life offer much better than that?
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Sistema Decimal de Melvil (DDC)910 — History and Geography Geography and Travel Geography and Travel
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Chris Stewart, a young (we think) nomadic Englishman, decides to buy a remote farm in Andalucia with his wife. Rural is not the word. The farm is cut off on one side of a river such that the only way to access it is via a handmade bridge made of a single log which is only expected to last for a few months of the year before it's consumed by the river. When they first move in there's no running water to the house, with 'house' sounding an overly grand way to describe it - a few barely habitable outhouses would be closer. It's primitive beyond belief, and Stewart's book is about their first years living there, as they become accepted by the local peasants (who all seem to be invariably drunk on cheap wine from early hours of the day and dirt poor, subsisting almost entirely on the fruits of their land).
Stewart writes of interesting characters and the challenges of adapting to the environment as they get in tune with the topography of the area and work to find a balance between modern methods of farming and the ways that have served the locals well for hundreds of year. In many ways it's a warm and charming tale, but yet it feels full of glaring gaps.
The book jacket tells us that Stewart was the original drummer of Genesis, yet at no point in the book does he refer to this. By the end of the book he's as elusive as he was at the beginning. We're not entirely sure what age group he falls into or what drove his decision with his wife to embrace not just a life in a new country, but a peasant-like existence on a remote shack of a farm. Beyond a few lines about sheep shearing in England and writing a bit for Lonely Planet we know nothing about him, and that makes the book difficult to fully engage with. He writes enthusiastically about the local shepherds, but who is he, our protagonist and narrator? And who is his wife? It takes a very unique woman to embrace a home with no basic creature comforts which is chock full of uninvited creature guests of various crawling guises, but we never get to know her. What drives her to want to live this cut off life? Even the photos that commence every chapter beg more questions as opposed to answering some. They're tiny close ups which leave you wishing they were larger and showing more of the periphery to fill in some gaps. What did the house really look like? What was the view like from the house? Who are Mr and Mrs Stewart?
3.5 stars - enjoyable yet perplexing. Christ Stewart, in seeking this life off the beaten track, obviously closely guards his privacy and wishes it to remain that way. A shame, as this book would have worked so much more had he let us have a glimpse of who he really is. ( )