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Pan' e Pomodor - My Passage To Puglia [Kindle Edition]

Ian R McEwan
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: CDN$ 23.39
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Product Description

Product Description

When the journey began we didn't expect to buy a derelict "torretta" and a 10 acre olive farm in the Gargano, Puglia. My wife's father "escaped" from the village and lifestyle of Vico del Gargano. Each year he would return with his family for August and later, we too visited Vico each summer. For my wife in particular Vico always felt like home. She seemed to have a subliminal bond, perhaps acquired when she was brought to Vico as a baby and left in the care of her grandmother. We instinctively wanted to move to the area, but due to the remoteness, the dialect and strong family reaction we were deterred from doing so. Nonetheless, we continued to harbour dreams of the spur of Italy, its beautiful rugged coastline, its mountainous forested interior, its people, dialect and traditions that gave the impression that civilisation had simply passed the region by. One day the opportunity arose for us to escape the UK and we embarked on a long journey that would change our lives forever ...

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1564 KB
  • Print Length: 278 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1430325836
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0056HRDJ8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,838 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
Having abandoned their careers, friends and their home in the UK, 'Pan' e Pomodor' is the no-nonsense and compelling story of a couple who decide to start out on their quest for a new home and a new life.

After some amusing encounters and multiple disappointments to-ing and fro-ing between Switzerland and France, just when the search seemed all but doomed, Vico del Gargano beckons, like a forgotten old friend knocking on the door, out of the blue.

Far flung and way off their original brief, Vico, a small hilltop town in Northern Puglia, slowly starts to work its rugged charm; a charm unique to this part of Italy, to this community and to the abandoned wreck of a house they both fall in love with. A charm that helps the author deal with the more mind-boggling misadventures between gasps of country air, gulps of wine and hunks of wonderful, crusty bread dripping with the 'sugo' of fresh tomatoes and exquisite virgin olive oil.

This is not the Italy of travel journals or Tuscany chic.
Nor is it just the tale of a place in the sun.
This is an Italy almost unheard of...

Get a glass of wine, make yourself comfortable, and let Ian McEwan introduce you to the characters and the challenges that he meets along the way.
Was this review helpful to you?
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a bargain at half the price. Oct. 1 2014
By Bruce
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Unreadable. Once you start remarking on the inept sentence structure, the haphazard punctuation and just overall poor writing, you can't focus on anything else. And it's boring. This guy should have spent some money on a good editor.
And even then ........
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the good life.. bread and tomatoes Dec 17 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Bread and Tomatoes...the good life...A story about two people who were either very ignorant or very brave.. buying a derelict house in Italy and using local labor to restore it, come on..if there ever was a recipe for disaster..This book unfolds a story just like that. Written in an entertaining witty way it will show you a part of Italy we normally do not meet or experience.
The book takes you on a fascinating, interesting and witty years long trip from England via France and Switzerland to Italy. The couple in question had their heart set on living in continental Europe in the sunshine belt . The north side of the Mediterranean to be precise. The books starts by making the reader part of their deliberations and search to find the ideal location. An insight in their holiday visits to the birthplace of the female half of the couple in Mid Italy sets the stage and background for finding their private rural spot in the sun..Although the goal was not Italy in the first place the journey leads us via France to Italy and the search for a local house. But before we get there a lot is explained about the local Italian culture and way of living. Things we normally never would know or guess. The writer makes us part of that Italian culture without losing his English point of view.
The actual buying of the house reveals facts about Italian house ownership and Italian inheritance problems .Not to forget the extraordinary Italian bureaucracy. It will keep you entertained throughout the process of searching for and acquiring of the house followed by the long rebuilding of the mansion and its surrounding lands. It shows keen awareness of the Italian work ethics but foremost tells about the Italian way of life in that particular area of Italy. Olives play a large part in their lives off course and time or timekeeping is not that important in Italy. It is a must read for people with a weakness for Italian life but also for those among us that secretly entertain ideas of packing up and moving to a sunny part of Europe. This book will make you think twice or even thrice but makes you smile a lot and at the same time install a yearning to do the same...If there is a message in this book it certainly is that you only live once...so do not hesitate to follow your dream and enjoy the trip.
A well laid out entertaining book..the only negative point is that the story ends abruptly and leaves us hanging immersed in Italian life and nowhere to go..yearning for more..
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Kind of Italy May 28 2008
By Regina Bennett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Since I've been looking for an Italy away from the T-shirts, boutiques, monuments, museums and palaces, I have found just that in Ian R McEwan's Pan e Pomodor - My Passage to Puglia. He describes the Gargano as 'only a mother can love' and yet, it has been whispered to be 'the secret of Italy' by some and where mostly Italians vacation in August on the small and intimate beaches there.
Strange dialects, strange foods and arms-full of hospitality of the people greet one and the locals are not out to squeeze the last tourist dollar from an enchanted 'Under the Tuscan Sun' dreamer.
Pan e Pomodor won't probably make it to the big screen as the sex between the adventurous and hard working couple is definitely private, and the locals they encounter are not described in a gossipy manner. Instead the hard labour of working and harvesting the prevelant olive oil is harsh reality and all the sweeter for the results and taste of it - it is said to be one of the best olive oils in Italy if not the world. I have learnt much of what goes into it through Ian R McEwan's detailed account - maybe a detail too many - but for the purist this book is not another gloss-over but an interesting well written journey of courage to follow a dream.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like the bread of life itself, Pan' e Pomodor is steeped in human tales Jan. 20 2008
By Mark - an Englishman in - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Pan' e Pomodor - My Passage To Puglia
Having abandoned their careers, their friends and their home in the UK, Pan' e Pomodor is the no-nonsense and compelling story of a couple who decide to start out on a quest to find a new home and a new life.

After some amusing encounters and multiple disappointments to-ing and fro-ing between Switzerland and France, just when the search seemed all but doomed, Vico del Gargano beckons, like a forgotten old friend knocking on the door, out of the blue.

Far flung and way off their original brief, Vico, a small hilltop town in Northern Puglia, works its rugged charm. A charm that is unique to this part of Italy, to this community and to the wreck of a house they both fall in love with. A charm that helps the author deal with the more mind-boggling misadventures between gasps of country air, gulps of wine and hunks of wonderful, crusty bread dripping with the 'sugo' of fresh tomatoes and exquisite olive oil.

This is not the Italy of travel journals or Tuscany chic.
Nor is it just the tale of a place in the sun.
This is an Italy almost unheard of...

Pour a glass of wine, make yourself comfortable, and let Ian McEwan introduce you to the characters and the challenges that he meets along the way.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ian McEwan is not a bad name for a writer Dec 21 2011
By Cynthia S. Haggard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
PAN E POMODOR is the delightful tale of how an English couple, Margaret and Ian McEwan, bought a house near Vico in the Gargano region of Puglia, southern Italy, and set about restoring it.

But it is more than that. It is really an homage to a region of Italy that the author and his wife came to love, including digressions about olive farming, local bureaucracy and the intricacies of vichese, the local dialect.

Given that this was self-published on Lulu, this is really an astonishing achievement, because the author and his wife would have been obliged to do everything to produce and market this softcover book. Nevetheless, I had two problems with the book. The first problem was with the occasional times when McEwan lapses into first person, which I found jarring as most of the story was told in third person, and there was nothing to motivate the switch. The second problem was with the way the book ended. It just stopped, leaving the reader up in the air, wondering if the couple ever caught the people who destroyed their fence and made off with some of their goods.

Ian McEwan is a good name to have in the writing world. In case you are wondering, this is NOT the famous British author, but a computer programmer turned olive farmer. Nevertheless, if you are eager to find out more about Puglia, this is not a bad book to read. Four stars.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ian needs a Publisher! May 28 2008
By Nick Achmon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent book, but I have some reservations. It starts well, then for me it clogs up a little in the next couple of chapters as Ian attempts to set the scene. Nevertheless, persistance will pay off and the story is well worth it and leaves one wanting to know more.

Only after I'd read the book did I notice that it is a "Lulu" publication. That means that Ian likely published this book himself, which is an achievment in itself and perhaps excuses the few typos and minor grammatical errors.

Well done Ian. If there is a publisher out there who could take on this book and maybe a sequel then I reckon it could be a best-seller.
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