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Bitter Lemons of Cyprus

Narrated by: Andrew Sachs
Length: 3 hrs and 9 mins
4 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)
Regular price: £9.99
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Summary

Lawrence Durrell's evocative memoir of living in Cyprus, just before the Greek/Turkish partition. This is a touching and atmospheric account of a place, now changed, where the two races lived side by side.
©1994 CSA Telltapes Ltd. (P)1994 CSA Telltapes Ltd.

Critic reviews

"Excellent Reader Andrew Sachs provides an assured account...The hostpitality of the local people, the quirky pace of life, and the beauty of the setting all come vividly to life." ( The Scotsman)

What members say

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Abridged and then some

Having recently visited North Cyprus, I was very keen to better understand better the complex historical context behind th 1974 Turkish invasion. A number of locals recomended this book, and as an avid audiobook listener, was pleased to find it on Audible. I noticed it was abridged, but really felt there would still be sufficient content to get at least something out of it. I was so disappointed when the narrative reached its premature end just as the history was starting to unfurl. There was the context behind Mr Durrel's relocation to Cyprus, and hardly anything else. It is really a fairly pointless offering, when the unabridged version is not available on Audible.

For balance, I will say that what little was in there was told entertainly and fluently by the author, with the different characters, although clearly exaggerated for literary effect, being portraited intelligently and sensitively. Also, Andrew Sachs, as narrator, was very much a safe pair of hands, and lent Mr Durrel just the right voice . . . .

. . . . but, please! This version was very, very severley abridged.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Peggyo
  • 28-05-13

Interesting listening

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, it covered a part of history I knew little about.

What other book might you compare Bitter Lemons of Cyprus to and why?

This book is not quite like a Year in Provence.

What about Andrew Sachs’s performance did you like?

Good reading voice

Do you think Bitter Lemons of Cyprus needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

All the interesting bits of information which would have made this listening more enjoyable was left out in this abridged edition. At least I believe it was since it seemed to skim over the time spent in Cyprus until the tensions broke into fighting. Even then, it did not really go into what happened after the author left and for those of us who are uninformed, it felt like some kind of conclusion to the situation was needed as far as this story was concerned.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kelly
  • 28-04-19

Disappointed by the rampant racism.

I picked up this audiobook because I was specifically looking for something set in Cyprus in which I could learn something about Cypriots... their culture, history and politics. Unfortunately this book is blatantly a view of Cyprus by a British man working there during the period of time when Cyprus was fighting for their autonomy from the Empire. At times it was racist, and it was almost always at least slightly negative about the native people of Cyprus.

This quote (taken from the book British Cyprus by William Hepworth Dixon) is reprehensible and it wasn't the only place I saw prejudice.

"What they are they were; and what they were they are - [Cypriots are] an indolent [νωχελικός] careless & mimetic people, but without a spark of Turkish fire, without a touch of Grecian taste. With neither beauty of body nor sense of beauty in mind, with neither personal restlessness[ανησυχία] nor pride of origin. They live on a limpid[διαυγές] state, like creatures of lower types clinging[που προσκολλούνται] to life. Holding on by simple animal tenacity [ζωικό πείσμα] through which have wrecked the nobler [ευγενέστερες] races of mankind.

I will be looking for another book set in Cyprus.

I would give this one star, but there were some beautiful descriptions of the place that kept me hoping for more.

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  • Iso
  • 10-03-19

Autobiographical and Travel book

I loved it. It is not easy to listen, but is an essential book if you want to know more about Cyprus or Cypriots.

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  • Elaine
  • 25-12-18

Wished for more

Five stars for Durrell’s elegant writing and loving evocation of the beauty of Cyprus, the character and personalities of its Greek and Turkish residents, and his great pleasures during his three years living there (1953–1956). He leaves, sad and dismayed, as a result of the Greek rebellion against British rule.
Four stars for the story, which was too short. I wanted more!
Audio narrator perfect; he could not have been better.

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  • Rajeev A.
  • 19-04-16

Durrell & Sachs are Marvelous

Durrell is one of the most under appreciated Writers of English prose in the twentieth century. This is a sweet place to start, if the Alexandria Quartet seems daunting. And Sachs' reading conveys the attentiveness, curiosity, and generosity of Durrell just exquisitely.

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  • Ervin
  • 12-12-11

very good, but does not fully cover the book

What did you love best about Bitter Lemons of Cyprus?

besides the

Which scene was your favorite?

the story around (incl. the reconstruction of the house) the tree of idleness

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, but I have read the book earlier.

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