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Out of the West [Kindle Edition]

Kevin Sullivan
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.45
Kindle Price: $3.49
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  • Length: 352 pages
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Prime members can borrow this book and read it on their devices with Kindle Owners Lending Library.
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Book Description

"What really struck me about this book is how much it reminded me of some of the best literature that has come out of Britain in the last century. The Scottish scenes have a curious combination of dourness and excitement that remind me of both Alasdair Gray, in his seminal work Lanark, as well as the bestselling books of Alexander McCall Smith. The Greek scenes are described sparingly and they feel like they could have been written by Patrick Leigh Fermor, a great-British adventurer/writer who spent his war hiding from the German army on Crete. The battle scenes have an authenticity that come from the author himself, a journalist who was an eyewitness to some real battles in wartime Bosnia." Rupert Wolfe-Murray in The Huffington Post





Out of the West is a compelling work of literary fiction, a war novel that explores the challenges of peace. A gripping historical adventure, it paints a portrait of courage and love in the fatal shadow of global conflict that has spilled into the twenty-first century.



Citizens of Nazi-occupied Greece face daily decisions that affect their freedom and their survival. When music teacher Petros intervenes in a dispute between a Greek woman and a German soldier, he and jazz singer Thea are plunged into the brutal world of armed resistance.



Ian Chalmers, a British SOE agent, lands in Northern Greece, where he joins Petros' and Thea's network. Never fully understanding his Greek collaborators, he forms a deep bond with them.



In Scotland after World War Two, Ian is alienated from everyday life until he meets Clare, an up and coming intelligence officer. Surrounded by opportunity and courted by influential mentors, Ian and Clare learn that integrity has to be fought for in peacetime Britain just as in wartime Europe.



When Ian undertakes a final mission to Greece, now in the full throes of civil war, the weight of ideology and history descends with sudden force on the small town where former friends and enemies confront one another in a terrifying climax.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"What really struck me about this book is how much it reminded me of some of the best literature that has come out of Britain in the last century" Rupert Wolfe-Murray - Huffington Post UK

"Out of the West is an excellent book. It reminds me that old editions of classic English literature" Huffington Post UK

About the Author

Kevin Sullivan studied Ancient Greek at school in Scotland and hitchhiked around mainland Greece as a student in the 1970s. 

Though most of his career in journalism involved reporting from East Asia, he also covered the conflict in former Yugoslavia (in 1993 he was seriously injured in a landmine explosion in Central Bosnia), an experience that renewed his interest in the culture and history of Southeast Europe. 

In the mid 1990s, Kevin and his wife Marija bought an antique house in a mountain village south of Granada, and for several years lived and worked in the distinctive and infinitely interesting atmosphere of rural Spain. 

Today, with their daughter Katarina, they spend summers in the same village, walking, swimming, eating ice cream and enjoying the company of neighbours. The rest of the year they live in Sarajevo, Marija's native city and a place where Kevin has felt at home since he first visited in 1991. Their old Austro-Hungarian apartment is full of books and (homemade as well as rerecorded) music.

Product Details

  • File Size: 829 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Armida Publications (March 9, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IX2ECWE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #868,180 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Greeks, Germans, love & tragedy May 7, 2014
Format:Paperback
I bought the paper copy of this book in Sarajevo, of all places.

This is a compelling story about an obscure topic that carries with it the hints of eastern mystery and Teutonic efficiency in a bloodletting that may prove troubling for some. Recommended if you like tragic love amid wartime. It would make a good movie.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read March 17, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Out of the West is a brilliant debut novel. Kevin Sullivan has managed to get under the skin of Greece's triple tragedies of the 20th century, the disaster at Smyrna, the Nazi occupation and the Civil War and to vividly bring them to life for a 21st audience with a story that rattles along like an express train. Transparency requires me to state that I have known Kevin since the Bosnian war but our friendship in no way influences my admiration for this book. What I can say is that I am sure Kevin's experiences in the former Yugoslavia probably helped shape a central theme of Out of the West , which is that decent, moral people can and must prevail during war, when they are surrounded by the worst kind of human excesses. I know that Kevin has written other novels. I trust the publisher has the good sense to start printing the Sullivan back catalogue.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, a must - buy for Christmas ! December 5, 2013
By duncan
Format:Paperback
What a fantastic story of love and friendship in an ambiguous time. Suspense, ridiculous sangfroid under the cloud of impending doom - but whose? Hubris galore, understated emotions that make you want to throttle a protagonist, who only by living his war understands another. A book that could be very dark, but manages to capture the levity of people caught in terrible situations - I can't wait to see what comes from Kevin next!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Gem! March 29, 2014
By PLM
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
‘Out of the West’ by Kevin Sullivan is undoubtedly one of the best books I have read this year.

A gifted, dedicated and patient writer, Sullivan's work is a mixture of precision and elegance. He thought about the characters of his book carefully and took time to immerse himself in their skin. He tapped into his past, observed the minute interactions of people in his present to construct them. His patience and maturity yield dividends at every page.

Sullivan has a clear ability to convey powerful thoughts with ease which leads to delightful passages throughout:

“[…] ‘Sometimes I think the war was just a struggle to be ordinary' Clare observes after walking by children swaddled in towels by the beach.”

“[…] From the pinnacle where Petros led them, they could see the world. There were boats offshore, little specks of white on blue. Petros sat on a rock at the summit. From here, it was easy to believe that he had a power greater than ordinary men. When he came down among the soldiers who were to escort him to the sea - then, his power would desert him.' […]”

‘Out of the West’ is the emanation of an erudite and sensitive mind. It is nothing less than a gem destined to rise above the flurry of commercially endorsed books over time. It belongs to a special category: that of truly great books.”
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More About the Author

Who is Kevin Sullivan

Kevin Sullivan studied Ancient Greek at school in Scotland and hitchhiked around mainland Greece as a student in the 1970s.

Though most of his career in journalism involved reporting from East Asia, he also covered the conflict in former Yugoslavia (in 1993 he was seriously injured in a landmine explosion in Central Bosnia), an experience that renewed his interest in the culture and history of Southeast Europe.

In the mid 1990s, Kevin and his wife Marija bought an antique house in a mountain village south of Granada, and for several years lived and worked in the distinctive and infinitely interesting atmosphere of rural Spain.

Today, with their daughter Katarina, they spend summers in the same village, walking, swimming, eating ice cream and enjoying the company of neighbours. The rest of the year they live in Sarajevo, Marija's native city and a place where Kevin has felt at home since he first visited in 1991. Their old Austro-Hungarian apartment is full of books and (homemade as well as prerecorded) music.

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