It’s All Greek to Me, review

It's all Greek to me Book reviewOf all the books one might choose on the verge of moving to Greece, It’s all Greek to Me, by John Mole could be the least advisable. All your idyllic dreams about a new life on an island might crumble after a few pages. When facing the struggle that might be waiting for you down the road. As the back cover reads: “… John mole inflicts upon his family a tumbledown ruin on a hillside with no water, no electricity, no roof, no floor, no doors, no windows…” The list goes on. Yet, I loved it… and yes, I’m still firm on my idea of moving to Greece.

Language mishaps and cultural differences are vividly shown and bring a crisp touch of humor and humanity that had me laughing quite loud. Some things might have changed a bit with time, but the Greek essence remains much the same (thankfully in some cases).

It’s all Greek to me, a cliché?

This expression has become such a cliché we are sometimes afraid to use it. However its value is huge when you need to express that hopeless feeling in the process of adapting to a new culture. It’s a phrase becomes a part of you while you try to absorb the language and apprehend everyday rites. John Mole says: “For the first few months I went round in a linguistic fog…

Often I only realized what someone had said minutes or even days or weeks afterwards.

This linguistic fog is something that us, Greece goers, have gone through over and over. It’s no surprise to discover you are not alone trying to understand a culture through its language and vice versa. Only to find, sometime later, the real meaning of what’s been said to you. And then start laughing again at the misunderstanding. Yes, no matter how complex, life on a Greek island has fun as the main ingredient.

Characters are another chapter, essential part of the landscape, they are awkwardly real, touching and, most of the times, entertaining. Any conversation with locals can lead to tons of laughing or stirring smile. It can be provocative or bring a couple of teardrops, you choose.

We all live on dreams after all, these are the dreams of a man who worked hard to make his dream a reality. We sometimes live on impulses too, certainly this was the case. Maybe the author chose the hardest way to fulfilling his dreams, but the surroundings certainly helped him to ease the task..

One of the first lessons in Greece is that everything is difficult and nothing is impossible.

It’s All Greek to Me

Published by: Nicholas Brealey
Author: John Mole
Published: 2004

Thanks to Louise from Nicholas Brealey Publishing, for offering me a complimentary copy of It’s All Greek to Me for a Review. I was not compensated for this post, I received a sample for my review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.


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