Away to it All
Away to it all goes Mr Sansom, with his paint-box of words and his uncanny knack of noticing things which other travellers have passed by. He is indeed an artist in travel. Lisbon and the Tagus, Barcelona, Andalusia, The Scilly Isles, Gotland, Connemara, Finland: these are a few of the places which he describes - their people, their architecture and landscape, their customs and their food - as he saunters around Europe, observing, commenting, discovering and enjoying.
The pace is terrific. From the photoelectric convenience of a Swiss hotel to the fish ckaes you can get in Lisbon with your wine, from a student ritual in Uppsala to the dominant hues of Austria, he carries the reader along ina surge of description. If he dawdles for a moment, as in Connemara, it is only to thicken the colours. The result is sometimes a little larger than life. It does not matter. These are intoxicating pages.
His eye flicks over Ibiza, Cascais, Ravello, Connemara, the Piazza di Spagna, Malaga, or Zermatt...a little farther from the beaten track he describes all the delights - food, fun, scenery, buildings, sport, and above all 'local life'...In description, of course, he is unbeatable. His eye of colour and form is so exact; and with his luxurious vocabulary he gives what he sees a verbal extravagance that must excite even the dullest reader.
Most original...In description he is unbeatable...he gives what he sees a verbal extravagance that must excite even the dullest reader.