Aegean Dream: The true story of a year on the 'Mamma Mia' island Paperback – July 30, 2011
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- Publisher : Dario Ciriello DBA Panverse Publishing (July 30, 2011)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 354 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0983731306
- ISBN-13 : 978-0983731306
- Item Weight : 1.19 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,759,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
Top reviews from the United States
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The couple remain undaunted through myriad bureaucratic snafus and just plain old laziness and inefficiency, but the grinding wheels of Greek disorganization finally undo their dream. The book illustrates the hospitality that the Greek people are known for, as well as the hypnotic beauty of its islands, but if you've ever wondered what the heck is up with Greece and why it can't seem to get its crap together and enter the global economy, you'll wonder no more after reading this book. In fact, it has made me change my mind about wanting to live there - sounds like it would be a fruitless and heartbreaking endeavor.
I'd recommend that the IMF read this book before loaning Greece any more money. I've also decided to sell my GREK (Greece index fund) shares. Greece is like a gorgeous, charming little child that everyone wants to look at - but that child won't ever grow up and make a living.
I had to subtract one star for Linda's journal entries - Linda, sweet and enduring as she seems, is no writer, and unfortunately her 'Linda Speaks' entries (usually ending with some less-than-poetic insight such as 'Wow!') merely bog down the otherwise direct narrative.
Cheers to Dario and Linda for giving it a go - you saved me a lot of trouble. I'll continue to visit because Greece is a luscious vacation - but then I'll save myself a world of money and hassle and go back home.
The other part is the emotional roller-coaster that this book provides. I had to take "breaks" a few times because the foreshadowing was so intense that I knew how the story was going to end...and I didn't want it to end. I wanted it (the adventure)to be the way Dario and Linda had envisioned it to be...so I had to keep reading to have "closure"!! I rooted for you guys throughout!!!
Thank you for detailing such a personal adventure in your life. Dario I am a MAJOR fan of your work!
And things grow worse from there. No, not the town, or the people... They are lovely, and the two transplants make many good friends in a location known for its beauty. (In fact, part of the movie "Mama Mia" was filmed there, just as Dario and Linda had to leave.) But Greek bureaucracy and governmental corruption will have its way, and for every step forward the two try to make, inefficiency, laziness, and out-and-out crookedness drives them back two steps.
"In Greece, everything is difficult."
A heartwarming, well-told true story about two people trying to live their dream, and a cautionary tale about what could be happening here in America.
I loved this story, and read it at one gulp.
Top reviews from other countries
However, obviously I understand that Greece is not the only country to behave in this way and it is a mark of human nature rather than any particular culture. I'm going to Skopelos later this year (already booked) and to be honest, as a result of this book I am a little wary. The author's pain and frustration is very well recorded and the book is immensely moving - especially as it conveys the strength of Dario's relationship and understanding with his wife. Very educational - Thank God they managed to get away.
UPDATE AFTER VISITING SKOPELOS (this review is now re-written) - I now completely understand why Dario and his wife wished to live there. I re-read the book whilst away and found it fascinating to see the places to which he refers. I think this is a wonderfully honest appraisal of Greece and despite the nightmare of absolutely stupid bureacracy, you can tell that they really adored their friends and the island. I think it is a triumph of their human spirits and would certainly recommend any traveller to Greece reads this book in order to get an extra dimension of understanding of Greece's economy & the people. I also now think the book is uplifting because both Dario and his wife, despite not being 21 anymore, managed to re-build a new life back home. Respect due guys ! Very interesting reading.
Dario is half Italian anyway, so has European roots. He and his wife Linda throughout the narrative proved themselves to be extremely likeable characters.
I, too, live in Greece and more than once found myself nodding along and shouting "yes!" out loud as they experienced similar frustrations with bureaucracy, perceived Greek 'common sense' (I mean seriously! It's not like anything you've ever experienced before, it really isn't) and the inbuild laziness endemic in the public sector in this country through years of corrupt government mis-management.
I write about the book in depth here through my blog:
Thanks, Dario & Linda for such an insightful read and for getting into the lives of the people in the country you inhabited, even though for a short time. I can tell you hold the Greek people true to your hearts.
An interesting book, but dispiriting.