Robin Ratchford (Troubador, Paperback ISBN: 9781783062805, £9.99, Ebook eISBN: 9781783067282, £4.99)
This account is based on the author’s experiences and impressions of places he has visited in and around the region. From the bazaar to the bizarre, a chronological travelogue it is not. Rather, as the author neatly puts it, his writing weaves observations with perceptions and memories with imagination. It is a captivating read, offering a personal insight into the Middle East, from Istanbul to the historic bazaar of Aleppo in Syria and the street markets of Baghdad. It is clear from these pages how much is available to the visitor, and how, despite the societies he encountered being so markedly different to his own, their desires and aspirations are not that dissimilar. Since completing the book, the Middle East was swept up in the Arab Spring, turning millions of lives on their heads. All the more reason then, to immerse yourself in a different side to life as you trail from souk to souk.