One of the adventures of being a book reviewer is being asked to review a book I’d never buy or otherwise read. Sometimes this is a disaster, a waste of time and irritating. With Under a Croatian Sun – From Grey Britain to a Sunny Isle I was transported to a place I had never heard of and felt the sun on my face, a breeze off the sea, the taste of cheap red wine and heard the scrape of a moving van unsuccessfully maneuvering through narrow village streets.
With an eye to the ironies of life, author Anthony Stancomb makes us feel comfortable in a foreign land as he discovers the delights of the island of Vis after leaving England. He introduces us to the local DJ with his popular and not so popular political opinions; takes us civilians into a scary urban war zone with the aplomb of James Bond; with equal courage explores the battle between the sexes; and, of course, introduces us to the most interesting characters in town.
After the first few chapters, I rationed the book into one chapter each evening to spread out the enjoyment. If you are at all interested in other lands and other people, especially those off most radar screens, this will prove to be a delight. His writing style is wrapped in the British flag and is a bit old-fashioned, but I found that appealing. One warning, the prepublication copy I read had numerous typos; this was a distraction more than anything else and I assume the current copy is fine.