Customer Review

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yemen part is good, the Ethiopia part drags, February 24, 2001
This review is from: Eating the Flowers of Paradise: One Man's Journey Through Ethiopia and Yemen (Hardcover)
I must admit that I was a bit disappointed with this book. Ethiopia & Yemen have to be two places that most westerners are completely ingnorant of, so I thought I would find the book completely fascinating. This, however, wasn't exactly the case. Rushby is an adequate story teller, and his observational skills are quite astute most of the time. The part of the book from Yemen is infinitely better than the part from Ethiopia. You can tell Yemen is where Rushby's heart is, he just did the Ethiopia thing in emulation of Sir Richard Burton (whose works are repeatedly alluded to.) There are some very funny parts including a Yemeni gas station where "you buy 4 drinks & you get a free hand grenade." Other interesting things about the book is his comparison of how different countries either exalt or villify qat. Overall, the book is worth reading, but it drags in some places...it took me a couple of months to get through it because I would get bored reading certain parts, but then would pick it back up and it always got better again. If you are into horticulutre, botany, or Yemeni culture I would definately recommend it, otherwise you are probably better off reading something else. For a great middle eastern travel book...I recommend "Baghdad Without A Map."
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