Narrow Dog to Carcassonne

Narrow Dog to Carcassonne

3.44 (672 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Narrator 

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Terry and Monica Darlington, both pensioners, decided to take their narrowboat Phyllis May across the English Channel and through Belgium and France to the Mediterranean, with their whippet Jim. They took advice from experts, who told them they would lose their boat, their lives - and their whippet Jim. Undeterred, this is their story - a true, high adventure of two innocents and a reluctant dog. They chase rabbits in Oxfordshire, dive through six-foot waves in the Channel, experience the history of Flanders, drift across Champagne and are swept from Lyon to Avignon by the terrible Rhone. Storms, hangovers, breakdowns, vandals, trolls, aliens, killer fish and the walking dead stand between the intrepid crew and their goal - many-towered more

Product details

  • Audio cassette
  • 170 x 230 x 60mm | 599g
  • ISIS Publishing
  • ISIS Audio Books
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Unabridged
  • Unabridged
  • 0753135620
  • 9780753135624

Review Text

A retired British couple takes their canal boat on a cross-Channel expedition.When some pesky person asked why the author and wife Monica had abandoned the quiet pensioners' life and taken to the waterways, Darlington explained it as "an adventure before it's too late. They say at our age you are at the end of vigour." This became something of a running joke during their travels, since this lively pair was obviously far from decrepit. After all, they were adventurous enough to accept a friend's booze-soaked challenge to sail through England and across the Channel to France, then wind their way to Carcassonne in their 60-foot by 7-foot narrowboat, "a preposterous shape" for attempting this never-accomplished feat of seamanship. As company, they took along their trusty whippet Jim, "a dog that hates boating." Though the setup seems to promise a lighthearted travelogue, and Darlington does occasionally display a bracing, dry wit, their journey was often colored by bleak memories of the destruction and suffering the author witnessed as a child during World War II. In one the most moving instances of emotionally charged reminiscence, Darlington felt the presence of his long-dead father and longed "to press my face against his rough air-force trousers, and smell the tobacco and feel his hands on my head." Unfortunately, those moments of luminosity are rare in a text more notable for overblown vacation babble, long-winded stories, grand overstatement and pompous bombast - plus some daunting British slang impenetrable to all but the most seasoned Anglophile. Boat enthusiasts will appreciate the insider terminology about locks and dock life, however, and Darlington's gentle swipes at the French (whom he quite likes) are mildly amusing.Some entertaining moments amid the tedium, but best saved for a reader's retirement years, either as inspiration or to fill a lot of spare time. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

672 ratings
3.44 out of 5 stars
5 18% (122)
4 33% (219)
3 31% (206)
2 13% (86)
1 6% (39)
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