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This Way to Paradise--Dancing on the Tables Paperback – June 1, 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

..a carnival of a book that is a non-stop read and which cannot totally be described as either a travel book, a personal memoir, or a cultural study of changing times in Greece - It is all of these and more. -- THE GREEK AMERICAN<br /><br />Greece has always been lucky to have talented foreign writers who, like Gerald and Lawrence Durrell, Patrick Lee Fermor, Henry Miller and others have been able to savor or write about the timeless pleasures and troubles that are at the heart of the Greek experience. Add THIS WAY TO PARADISE to this select and honored group. --HELLENIC JOURNAL

About the Author

Willard Manus is the author of six novels: The Fixers, Mott the Hoople, Connubial Bliss, The Fighting Men, The Pigskin Rabbi and A Dog Called Leka. He's also a playwright whose work has been performed in Los Angeles, London, Berlin, Vienna, Sydney and Paris. He has also been a foreign correspondent and has freelanced for countless newspapers and magazines.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Lycabettus Press; Second edition (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9607269470
  • ISBN-13: 978-9607269478
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,600,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
The title itself explains a lot of the intentions of the author, which mainly consist of relating his experiences as an expatriate in the lovely town of Lindos on Rhodes Island.
What separates Willard Manus' book from others of the genre--such as The Island of the Second Vision by Albert Vigoleis Thelen, which relates Thelen's sometimes surreal experiences on Mallorca from the early '30s to the days of the Spanish civil war--is that Manus includes some juicy gossip about people who are in no way unknown, such as the Pink Floyd band, novelist Richard Hughes and film director Hans Geissendorfer.
The entire change the village, Greece and the world suffered from the early '60s to the late '80s can be experienced reading this book and this atmosphere of change can be felt chapter after chapter. The tone of the book subtly moves from the unencumbered times before the Greek dictatorship of the Junta to the wild times of flower power to the almost senseless times of the '80s .
Personally, I would have liked a less superficial way of dealing with the Greek folk culture and a cover that depicts a little more of the reality of the '90s in Lindos than the almost idyllic image from the late '70s. But this book makes a wonderful read!
Overall, I would say it is two thumbs up, and it is surely one of the few books that I have encountered that urged me to read it from cover to cover in one sitting.
- Alf B. Meier (This report first appeared in IslandMani...)
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Format: Paperback
The author is a journalist from New York who decides to settle in the village of Lindos on the Island of Rhodes with his Scottish wife, and this is the story of their thirty-five years there. As a lover (worshipper) of everything Greek including the Greeks I went far beyond my normal reading dose of 100 pages a day, which is to say, I couldn't put it down. The story starts in the early 60s when Lindos was still a beautiful village with cobble-stone streets, donkeys, people who cared about each other, and marriages that lasted. There were a few foreigners and a few tourists, but not many. The couple have two kids who grow up speaking English and Greek. They make solid and lasting frienships among the locals and among the foreign residents, who are mostly artists and writers. As the title suggests, this is indeed paradise. But then mass tourism rears its ugly head, as it has done in so many beautiful places around the globe, and along come drugs, vandalism, lousy taste, excess garbage, and so on. Many Greeks sell off their choice properties to the developers, and things in general become ugly, as in McDonald's. The couple survives the reign of the dictatorial coronals and build themselves a house on the ruins of a very old building that had been leveled by an earthquake. Although the author is fond of pointing out differences in Greek ways of viewing reality and getting things done, he is never patronizing or condescending. It is clear he loves the Greeks. Almost as much as I do.
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Format: Paperback
A candid insight into how Lindos on the island of Rhodes (Rhodos) grew to be what it is today.
The book is based on the experiences of the author over a 35-year association with Lindos, and provides marvellous detail of how a very typical, unspoilt Greek village became an icon for European mass tourism. But more than just a historical account, it provides a human element to the effects of change.
The characters and the interaction between the locals and the foreigners (some very famous) are described with great detail and sense of humour. Some of these encounters are quite outrageous and need to be read.
Willard Manus has included many personal details of the events that shaped the lives of himself and his family, and these are very touching at times.
The commentary relating to Greek and world events that occurred during the period covered by the book is written in such a way that it links these events with the lives of local people and close associates of the author.
Whilst entertaining, 'This Way to Paradise - Dancing on the Tables' is also touched by sadness both for the individuals described in the book and for the way that Lindos changed.
I first discovered the book on sale in Lindos Library (which bizarrely doubles up as a Laundromat!) during one of my many visits to the village. I found it fascinating and enjoyed reading every page.
If you have never visited Lindos then this book should wet your appetite. But if you are a regular visitor and have fallen in love with the place, the book should answer many of the questions that will have arisen in your mind.
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