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A House in Fez: Building a Life in the Ancient Heart of Morocco
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Close Report a review At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information. Would you like us to take another look at this review? No, cancel Yes, report it Thanks! As a frequent visitor to the Middle East, I'm familiar with the frustrations that Ms. Clarke expresses "Why is everything so needlessly complex?? Her constant friends throughout the book are all western or westernized Moroccans. While I can't say that I would have written a different book in her shoes the overall approach was a little too light-and-fluffy for my tastes.
By the end of if, I still just didn't feel like we'd gotten anywhere. What did she learn from this experience? I'm still not sure. Anyone looking for a similar story with some meat on its bones would do well to track down a copy of Elizabeth Warnock Fernea's " A Street in Marrakech " instead. I decided to read this book because we were thinking about traveling to Morocco in the fall and I wanted to get excited about the trip. This book had the exact opposite effect.
I'm certain it was unintentional, but the author made Morocco sound really unappealing. She obviously enjoys living there, but completely failed at conveying why she does. I also found the author to be very whiny.
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The book was mostly comprised of complaints about how difficult it was to renovate this house. I know that li I decided to read this book because we were thinking about traveling to Morocco in the fall and I wanted to get excited about the trip. I know that living in a construction zone can be challenging, but she wasn't doing it herself. She had a team of 18 workers doing the actual work. Do not read this book if you are considering a trip to Morocco.
I liked this book and part of me wants to give it another star because it is about Morocco, a country I love deeply but I at this point I just have to keep it at three starts. It was a good enough read but not as great as other books out there that are similar not that you shouldn't read this to get more of a glimpse of moving to Morocco.
I was deeply disappointed with the fact that Clarke, who was moving from Australia to Morocco part time had very little contact with Moroccans. Unfortunately I liked this book and part of me wants to give it another star because it is about Morocco, a country I love deeply but I at this point I just have to keep it at three starts.
Unfortunately, this is something quite a lot of expatriates seem to to, or get stuck in. I've heard some people say it's because western and eastern cultures are so different but I don't think it's so much that as I saw the same thing happen when I studied in France, many, many other students only stuck with other Americans.
I'm not so taken aback by her choice to study French.
It probably is much easier of a start for a lot of westerners and it does open up a lot of doors though not always the same ones that would be opened if somebody learned Darija the Moroccan Arabic dialect. There did seem to be no mention of wishing to pick up more Darija in the future, no mention of taking classes for it. To each their own but I feel this is terribly sad, and affects her experience in Morocco a great deal and that in turn affects this book, her story. Still a good read and should be placed on any "I'm moving to Morocco" book list.
Not impressive, as travel writing goes. Clarke is neither patient nor humorous enough to pull it off, and is rather ungraceful in dealing with unforeseen issues with buying a house and living in a foreign country.
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I was very disappointed in this book. I recently read The Caliph's House , about restoring a traditional house in Casablanca.
The most annoying thing for me was that that author continually talks about how much each thing costs. Prices, amounts of dirhams, and how every Moroccan is always cheating the Australian author and her I was very disappointed in this book.
A House in Fez
Prices, amounts of dirhams, and how every Moroccan is always cheating the Australian author and her husband -- if you deleted all these from the book, it would lose half its pages. In contrast, the author of the other book was also cheated and also overpaid for things, and sometimes mentioned prices, but his story never seemed like an accounts ledger. This one very nearly did.
The worse thing, stylistically, is too much telling and not enough showing -- the fatal downfall of storytelling. We are constantly being told that someone is kind or gentle or this or that, but we rarely get to see anyone being themselves. This too is a great contrast to the other book. I couldn't help feeling like these two Australians really were the new colonizers of Morocco, with most of their contacts and dinner-party companions being other foreigners who have come to live, part time, in Fez, buying up houses in the car-free Medina and restoring them.
Most of their interactions with Moroccan people are as employers, hiring cleaners and plumbers and plasterers to work on their houses, or dealing with clerks and officials in the frustrating quest to get the required building permits. I did learn some interesting things about the history of Morocco and its architecture, although the author inserts these interludes clumsily among the tedious accounts about how much money she had to pay this person and that person again and again.
Jun 02, Robert Clancy rated it really liked it Shelves: I purchased this book to read before our trip to Fez, Morocco last month. However, I only got through the first 3 chapters before we arrived in Fez. There was so much to see and do in Morocco, I didn't have one minute to pick up this account of an Australian couple who bought a riad in the heart of Fez in the ancient Medina. We also stayed at a first-class, great old riad called Ryad Mabrouka in the Medina. We also met a British couple from London - the same area where my daughter lives, Chiswic I purchased this book to read before our trip to Fez, Morocco last month.
We also met a British couple from London - the same area where my daughter lives, Chiswick - who also own a riad in Fez and are rehab-ing it. For the past 4 years! After spending a week in Fez, I pick up Clarke's book and it was tremendously more enjoyable -- I felt like I was right back in the alleys and souks of the Medina. Like our trip to Morocco, this book tells you not only a lot about what it's like to live in an exotic, foreign country, but it also put's into perspective your own home life in America.
What we take for granted, how we live, and the things that are better and not so good of our own American lifestyle. Who would have thought that free toilet paper in rest rooms was such a luxury? In Morocco, it's non-existent. We also have read the author's husband's blog - A View from Fez -- and find it educational if you're planning a trip to this ancient city. May 24, Lexi Kate rated it really liked it. This is a wonderful book for anyone looking for background on Morocco's history as well as insight into the daily life of a foreigner in Fez. It was particularly poignant for me as after reading it I could practically smell the tanneries mingling with the cooking smells of dates, couscous, almonds and sweet mint tea.
A House in Fez: Building a Life in the Ancient Heart of Morocco - Suzanna Clarke - Google Книги
I can visualize the 'Blue Gate' that the french built when they conquered fez and thought the best way to control the population was by granting them architectural concessions. Walk This is a wonderful book for anyone looking for background on Morocco's history as well as insight into the daily life of a foreigner in Fez.
Walking through the ancient Medina Suzanna Clarke brings to life the everyday of extraordinary Morocco. Very informative book about life, culture and buying and restoring an old house in one of the traditional and oldest parts of the ancient Moroccan city Fez. Looking forward travelling to North Africa. Esse livro foi uma surpresa pelos motivos mais inusitados. Norrell, e eu achei que esse livro era dela, o que o tornaria automaticamente um bom livro. Agora olhem de novo o nome da autora na imagem.
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I enjoy books that allow me to learn about a different country and it's culture. The author and her husband bought a house in Fez and restored it to its "original splendor". There were frustrations along the way. It was just as well my high-school French didn't run to swear words. They chattered on happily in Darija and I had no idea what they were saying, but I understood the sentiment.
Having shared our lives with them for so long, they felt like family. We would miss them all. Enjoyed the intensely personal story of the trials and tribulations of a couple who purchase and restore a vacation house in Fez. There were interesting snippets of history and information about present-day Fez but the primary focus was on all the effort that goes into renovating a house. Stressful enough in this country, I learned how much harder it is when it is a whole different culture. I loved the image of the little donkeys, the dismay when they are seized, the exultation when they were re Enjoyed the intensely personal story of the trials and tribulations of a couple who purchase and restore a vacation house in Fez.
I loved the image of the little donkeys, the dismay when they are seized, the exultation when they were returned and then there was a little lone donkey that set off because he already knew where he was going. Didn't learn a whole lot about Morocco, or even a lot about Fez, but I did enjoy the little that was there. Jun 18, D. Gallin rated it it was amazing. I loved this book and the way it talks about the adventure, ensuing complications and financial drain of renovating a house in the medina of Fez. Permeated with a love for Morocco and its people, this is a very realistic and personal story describing with total honesty the contrast between us, the rich, comparatively spoilt westerners, and the poor inhabitants of the medina: The lively characterisations of the people and their art makes me want to fly over there in an instant and save an archite I loved this book and the way it talks about the adventure, ensuing complications and financial drain of renovating a house in the medina of Fez.
The lively characterisations of the people and their art makes me want to fly over there in an instant and save an architectural gem while connecting with the locals. A great achievement by a writer who must have a big heart! Jul 29, Ana rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Anyone who loves a mix of culture and architecture. I found it fascinating to read the account of an Australian couple who buy a riad in the Fez medina and slowly restore it.
I've noticed some people mention the tediousness of Clarke's descriptions of the building and renovating work, however that really is the whole point of the book. The title alone should give you a hint as to what the contents are, particularly the word "Building". I didn't find this tedious; I like the way Clarke writes and thought the story flowed rather nicely. It made me I found it fascinating to read the account of an Australian couple who buy a riad in the Fez medina and slowly restore it.
It made me want to buy my own dilapidated riad and do it up myself. It goes without saying that the mark of any good book is it's unfailing ability to pull you into it's world. Initially I was a little put off by the author's tone. It did smack a bit of a Western superiority complex. But by the end I had grown in appreciation of what she and her husband were accomplishing with the renovation of the Moroccan riad.
I would probably be a little smug, too, if I had fixed a place up in a way that honored tradition and looked fabulous. It was interesting seeing how her acceptance of the Moroccan way of doing things grew. I appreciated getting a foreigners view of Moroccans f Initially I was a little put off by the author's tone.
I appreciated getting a foreigners view of Moroccans from someone who chose to spend a considerable amount of time in Fez. Jul 31, Rebecca rated it liked it. What I like is Clarke's openness to the culture in which she and her partner find themselves when they decide to renovate a home in the ancient medina of Fez.