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November book club - Cartes Postales from Greece

(94 Posts)
LauraGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 01-Nov-16 11:20:11

Our November book club choice is Cartes Postales from Greece by Victoria Hislop (read more about it HERE).

Winners should be receiving their copies in the next few days. Don't forget that if you do receive one, please leave your thoughts, reviews and questions for Victoria on this thread by the end of November.

Happy reading!

Auntieflo Mon 28-Nov-16 09:52:35

Help please. I managed to download the book, by googling how to do it, and managedtoremember my itunes password, phew. Now, where has it put it? I looked in my KOBO app, and also books in itunes, but how do I get to read it?

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 28-Nov-16 10:17:30


I also received the voucher for the e-reader copy though I don't recall being asked if I wanted one. I am not prepared to download itunes so will not be able to read the book this month.

We did state on the page and the entry form that half the copies would be e copies and that you should tick the ereader box only if you had a device that was NOT a kindle. Only people who ticked the box were offered e copies.

GandT Mon 28-Nov-16 13:53:07

Much thanks Pittcity. Will have a go using your instructions. ? Fingers crossed!

GandT Mon 28-Nov-16 15:29:45

Pittcity - success! I am now the proud owner of a free copy of Hislop's book to read at leisure on my iPad. I nearly pulled all my hair out getting it though ?

Cosafina Wed 30-Nov-16 19:48:32

I feel really bad! I got the link to download this book a week ago, went and got it - then dropped my iPad, shattering the screen and rendering it unusable shocksadangry.
I got a new one at the weekend but was visiting a friend so had to wait till I got home before I could transfer everything over (via the PC), and have been out every night this week so far (till today) but it's already 30th November.
So I'm really sorry but I haven't read it yet - will post as soon as I have!

inishowen Thu 01-Dec-16 11:02:15

I received my copy a few days ago and started last night. I'm enjoying it so far. I really like the illustrations. It's unusual in an adult book to have them. I've read all Victoria Hislops previous books.

grandMattie Thu 01-Dec-16 16:14:57

It is a curious book - the thread of the story is a little predictable, but the photos and vignettes that accompany the "diary" are absolutely charming and describe Greece very well. I have never been to Greece and it was very edifying.

One thing confused me somewhat was A's tour of the mainland and the Peloponnese; the places visited seemed rather random, not in a particular order - since Greece is fairly big, it seemed odd that one day he was staying in a place in the north and then he visits somewhere in the south. A little perplexing.

Despite all this, I enjoyed the book very much. Thank you.

matson Thu 01-Dec-16 17:58:18

I have finished this book with a sense of did I miss something ?! It is a beautifully illustrated and descriptive novel, but the story didn't flow and was quite boring. Maybe I need to reread it , I will be interested to see what other reviews say.

annemac101 Thu 01-Dec-16 18:08:06

Victoria Hislop is one of my favourite authors, I just love her books however I didn't enjoy this one so much. The story started well and I became interested then the short stories started and I kind of lost interest. The short stories did not endear me towards the Greeks, I hated the thought that vendettas can last for years and can go on through generations. The photos went very well with each story and it was cleverly done. I liked the book better when the main story picked up again and the ending was rounded off nicely. At the end I decided I did enjoy it just not as much as her others. I would like to ask Victoria if she has already started or has an idea what her next book will be? I really want to read her other books all over again.

granjan15 Fri 02-Dec-16 22:59:21

I thought this book was good in parts and I enjoyed the illustrations. The short stories were interesting but not very compelling and the main story line was rather weak and predictable. I did enjoy it but not as much as her other novels.

gillyknits Sat 03-Dec-16 09:48:24

This is a difficult book for me to review as, although this is classed as a novel, it is actually a series of short stories and I really dislike reading short stories.
The main character in the novel is a man who has been dumped by his girlfriend and who travels round Greece trying to take his mind off his broken heart. Along the way he meets various people who tell him their stories. I found some of them rather boring and struggled to finish them.
The other character in the book is the recipient of the postcards which have been mistakenly sent to her. This character is rather sketchily drawn and the continuity of her story gets lost at times.
The story Is set in modern day Greece and deals with the austerity and unemployment faced by many young Greeks today. The message seems to be that they have faced great adversity in the past and have always got through it. I thought that the illustrations of the postcards throughout the book was a innovative idea but I really found them to be the only colour in a rather dull book.

mbody Sat 03-Dec-16 09:50:15

The book was unusual in that it was a series of stories connected by a notebook which had fallen into the hands of someone who was inspired to travel through Greece following the travels of the notebook writer. Some of the stories were excellent others not so good. Not up to the usual Victoria Hislop storytelling but readable none the less. It did make me want some Greek sun on my back though.

Grannyjacq1 Sat 03-Dec-16 10:27:58

I was delighted when I received such a visually attractive book and loved everything about its presentation: the cover, the pictures, maps, the quality of the paper, the bookmark - a real box of delights. Picture books aren't just for children! I thought it would take me quite a long time to read it, but I was surprised how quickly I devoured the stories. I loved this modern take on the epistolary novel (has anyone written a novel in the form of text messages yet, I wonder?) The interwoven stories of Ellie in her dingy flat and the mysterious 'A' intrigued me, and I enjoyed the variety of tales which transported me from Greece's past to its insecure present and everywhere inbetween. A rich tapestry indeed. I had forgotten about Byron's associations with Greece. Victoria Hislop successfully transported me to Greece as I read, and I would love to visit some of the places she described. My only real criticism is for the ending, which I thought was perhaps a little cliched: having a glass of wine on the balcony is maybe a feel-good factor, but unconvincing. I have read one of Victoria Hislop's novels already, and enjoyed this one in a very different way. I will certainly try to read more. Thank you, Gransnet, for sending me this one.

Annie29 Sun 04-Dec-16 23:32:53

Thank you for my copy.
I was enthusiastic with the start of this book but as I read some more did not find it so good.
I don't usually like short stories although the format of these was a little different, some more intresting than others.
I have passed it on to my Mum who has been to Greece on holiday lots of time,will be intrested to hear what she thinks with a better knowledge of the country.

Auntieflo Mon 05-Dec-16 08:35:04

I have now found where the book went on my Ipad. It was in ' ibooks' . Started it last night, and enjoyed the first bit. Will let you know how I enjoy the rest, when, I finish .

rocketstop Mon 05-Dec-16 09:57:38

Thank you for the book.
It read more like a travelogue I suppose than a novel, maybe that's how it was supposed to be ? Like another reviewer said, maybe it's of more interest to someone who has travelled around Greece a lot as the author already has, for that reason, I passed it on to my Father in law !

Playermojo007 Mon 05-Dec-16 10:33:27

I was fortunate enough to win a copy. And I am enjoying this book so much . I highly recommend it to others. Light heart reading in little sections of different stories . So you can pick it up and put it down anytime during the course of the day.

Glosgran Tue 06-Dec-16 21:05:55

I was surprised to receive a parcel and pleased to find the book inside. I've enjoyed reading the book so far but at this time of year I don't have as much time to read as I'd like. Looking forward to some time curled up reading over the festive period and hope to be in time to comment more fully on the content of the book later.

DavidH22 Thu 08-Dec-16 10:56:01

I've read most of Victoria Hislop's previous books and enjoyed them but I'm sorry to say this was dull and disappointing. Like most books of short stories I never felt I got to know any of the characters or saw them develop in their fictional worlds. Certainly Ms Hislop's love and feelings for Greece, its people, traditions and cultures is wonderfully drawn and her writing transports you to those sandy beaches and small harbours. As rocketstop says it's more a travel book than a novel with that impression enforced by the numerous pictures. Having said all that I would not hesitate to read anything by Ms Hislop in future. And if she is still speaking to Gransnet after the criticisms could I ask a couple of questions? Are the short stories told to A your fiction or passed to you by Greeks you met? Could you say why you so obviously love Greece?

nannyto5 Thu 08-Dec-16 11:10:05

As I didn't receive the book until 25th November I am still in the process of reading. However, I am thoroughly enjoying what I have read so far. Victoria writes such brilliant descriptions of the people, the places, the atmosphere etc, that you feel you really are there. And I love the individual short stories, just long enough to read before you drop off to sleep. I'm looking forward to seeing how the story develops and concludes.

coffecup Thu 08-Dec-16 13:11:39

Always enjoy this author i like this book and would recommend her books to any memembers who have not tried them

weather Fri 09-Dec-16 11:44:54

Thank you very much for the free book it arrived just after I had returned home from hospital. I was over the moon as I had tried to reserve it at my local library but had not been able to. So looking forward to reading it after I have finished my current library book. I have loved all of Victoria Hislop's books and really look forward to enjoying this one. I have plenty of resting time to fill so I shall not be too long in doing so..I will come back when I have done so.

ecci53 Fri 09-Dec-16 13:03:34

I received a voucher to download it, but I don't do apple. Please give it to someone else. I don't remember the t&cs saying you had to have an apple device. I read ebooks all the time on my tablet, but I won't have anything to donwith apple.

Purpledaffodil Sat 10-Dec-16 07:28:42

The narrative of this book is set in 2016 and it was interesting to read current viewpoints on the Greek economy expressed by the characters. The format was short stories linked by this narrative using page colour and font to mark the differences. There were some evocative photos too.
I have read and enjoyed books by Victoria Hislop in the past, especially The Island. However the format of this one interrupted the flow and I found it hard to get into the story. The characters were stereotypes in the main and the ending felt contrived. Disappointing!

hjw2505 Sat 10-Dec-16 18:27:53

I found this book ideal for reading on my commute to work. The interwoven threads and stories at each location my have seemed disjointed if reading all I one go, but fitted well into my 2 20 minute bus journeys. I thought many of the stories had echoes of Greek myths and legends and there was a moral thread running through the whole book. The postcard images really added to the pleasure of reading this book