The hilarious true story of two pensioners and their whippet who sail from Stone in Staffordshire to Carcassonne in the South of France in a narrowboat...
Terry Darlington was brought up in Pembroke Dock during the war,
between a Sunderland flying boat base and an oil terminal.
He survived and moved to Staffordshire, where he founded Research Associates, the international market research firm, and Stone Master Marathoners, the running club.
Like many Welshmen he is talkative and confiding, but ill at ease with practical matters and liable to linger in public houses.
He likes boating but knows nothing about it.
Monica Darlington comes from Radnorshire.Her father was a gardener and her mother a housemaid, or perhaps it was the other way round.
She has a first class degree in French, has run thirty marathons, and can leap tall buildings with a single bound.
Her three children have all reproduced themselves, removing doubts about whether she and Terry are the same species.
She quite likes boating but knows nothing about it.
Brynula Great Expectations (Jim) is sprung from a long line of dogs with ridiculous names.
Jim can run at forty miles an hour.He is cowardly, thieving, and disrespectful and hates boating.
Visit their website at www.narrowdog.com
As husband-and-wife pensioners, Brits Terry and Monica Darlington sail their barge down the English canal system, along the Thames, past London, to Paris on the Seine and down the Rhine to Carcassonne, France. Along the way, they introduce the folks who make their homes on the water. They avoid teenage vandals, fail to teach their beloved whippet, Jim, to hunt rabbits and sail across the English Channel after nearly every informed acquaintance advises otherwise. The mixture of British vernacular and boating terms in this book originally published in England will leave some readers adrift. Yet the style echoes the author's clear zest for living in the moment. Frequent flashes of wit and poetic prose capture poignant emotions. The addendum of French phrases entitled "French in Fifteen Minutes" nicely sums up differences in the French and British cultures and makes clear the author's own mistakes while navigating a foreign language and culture. (Apr.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
"A richly atmospheric journey suffused with summer heat and
occasional cabin fever, reaching its climax on the flamingo-studded
inland sea of the Camargue... The writing is as muscular and lean
as its canine hero, conjuring up dawn mist or giant catfish in
prose haiku before moving on to the next killer one-liner... A rich
and winning comic debut, destined to become a classic of the
downshifting genre" * Sunday Telegraph *
"A stunning book - racy, chatty, touching and very, very funny" -- Joanna Lumley
"The most amazing canal journey of them all" * Daily Mail *
"One of my favourite books of the year" -- Emma Soames * Saga Magazine *
"An astonishing read" -- Libby Purves * Radio 4 Midweek *