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A Bulgarian Summer

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A Balkan Summer 

( George East )

 

 

Out now in paperback  9.99


High summer in the Balkans and George East arrives in Bulgaria to investigate an apparently potty scheme to rescue a dying mountain village. While there, the eccentric travel writer gets to know an array of fascinating locals from the President Putin lookalike and Meerkat soundalike to Mr Rotavator and the man who takes his milk direct from cows. Beyond the village, George discovers much about the little-know country that Bill Bryson described as a 'near-death experience'. The book also contains historical and cultural notes and traditional recipes. In his time in Bulgaria, George finds himself falling under the spell of an ancient kingdom and its people...

Extract

Ivalin The Terrible (driver)

I thought Ivalin was reckless when speeding through the village, but off-road he drives faster and, if it were possible, even more recklessly. The potholed tarmac has been replaced by a sun-baked dirt track, riven with deep tractor ruts. It also winds sharply, and slopes alarmingly steeply downhill into the valley.  Before we left, Ivalin told me that his raspberry fields are in secret locations and I jokingly asked if I would need to wear a blindfold. Now I wish I had.

 

"It was good to read a new book from George. Reading it, I liked him all over again (so important in these books) and the way in which he met the Bulgarians who befriended and made him feel part of the village. He did not minimise the degree of their poverty - or their ingenuity. He judged them to be warm and welcoming and able to make the most of life. However, it must be said that he was visiting in summertime and I wonder if the winter months are a little bleaker in the mountain village where he stayed. Perhaps not, since he compares the climate to Spain."

Alan Samson, Publisher, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, The Orion Publishing Group.

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