Adam Yamey is always keen to receive feedback about, and reviews of, his books either posted on websites such as Amazon or lulu.com or, if you prefer, posted to him privately
“I have just been to Albania and took this book with me. I found it a very useful addition to the Bradt guide as it gave a lot of detailed information, background historical information and personal experiences that helped understand the places that we went to.
The comparison between the visit in 1984 were extremely interesting and I even noticed changes from when the book was written, 2016, and when I travelled, 2017. Albania is changing fast!“
ALBANIA ON MY MIND
“I was pleasantly surprised at the level of knowledge of the totalitarian regime at the time in Albania. It feels like the writer spent a great deal more than a mere two weeks in Albania. However, this unknown, ‘mysterious’ closed to the outside world country had sparked his imagination at a young age. Very interesting, adding flavour to the read, it’s the away the writer comes to discover an Albanian radio station and his curiosity grew and grew until he finally visited Albania in 1984.
In my view it’s not easy to paint an accurate picture of scenes and encounters where nothing was as it seemed. The part with a long queue for a taxi is an excellent example of what went on under that oppressive regime. They, ‘Sigurimi’ were faking scenes and encounters with officials, making them up for the foreigners to see. The aim was, (from what I know of the regime…) to make the foreigners think that Albania was a prosperous country… Moreover, I found it very informative about other authors who had visited and/or written about Albania. Among many names and titles, there were few beautiful verses from Longfellow about Albania’s national hero, Scanderbeg.
A very enjoyable read, a very accurate description of Enver Hoxha’s ‘vigilant country’. Highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about Albania under Hoxha’s dictatorship and more about Albania in general.”
SCRABBLE WITH SLIVOVITZ
“I would like to highly recommend Scrabble with Slivovitz as a page turner and an honest and sympathetic account of the peoples and the times the author spent travelling within former Yugoslavia in the 1970s and 1980s. The book gave me a nostalgic feel for what the country used to be like, and the spirit and hospitality of the people living within the former Republics of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia), and, in particular, the author’s lengthy stays in and returns to Belgrade. It also portrays the country’s diversity and underlying contradictions embodied in the temperament of its people. I am a native of former Yugoslavia and felt that the book portrayed the sense of loss we all experienced with the country’s violent disintegration in the 1990s Wars, the signs of which might have been more visible to a keen visitor and traveller to that country. I found the final chapters particularly moving. The title of the book is also very appropriate for the story which Adam Yamey tells. I believe that any reader will gain an original insight into the landscape and culture of the region.”
FROM ALBANIA TO SICILY
“From Albania to Sicily is a very interesting book that describes the life and culture of Arberesh people living today in Sicily. I enjoyed reading this book not only for its rich information but also for its images and pics of Arberesh people’s daily life. I was amazed at the author’s hard work and research in writing this book. It’s written with love and passion. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of Balkan people as well as in the history of the Albanian people who left their mother land after the Ottoman Empire occupied their country around 15 century.“
“A very interesting read about a part of the world I knew very little about, especially it’s history (but now I do!). Well paced and written, made all the more intriguing because of its factual background. Hope there’s more forthcoming from this author!“
SOAP TO SENATE: A GERMAN JEW AT THE DAWN OF APARTHEID
“A compelling account of the life and times of Franz Ginsberg, a German Jewish immigrant to South Africa. Through industry, hard work and determination, Ginsberg rose from obscurity to a position of prominence not only within the Jewish community, but most notably as one of the Union of South Africa’s 32 elected senators. Decidedly ahead of his time in terms of social thinking, he voiced concerns in the 1930s about South Africa’s racist policies and tried to mitigate the implementation of its racist laws a generation before the establishment of official apartheid.
From Soap to Senate is well-written and painstakingly researched. Readers will discover an interesting biography,and ,underlying the life and times of Franz Ginsberg, a series of fascinating snapshots of life in a British colony from the 1860s through to the outbreak of WWII.”
CHARLIE CHAPLIN WAVED TO ME
“Good autobiography of travels during a young boy’s life. I enjoyed it.”
EXODUS TO AFRICA
“I found this book a fascinating and revealing account of Jewish settlement in South Africa. Since it is always assumed that all South African Jews are Litvaks, the story of the author’s German-Jewish family is particularly interesting.”
ROGUE OF ROUXVILLE
“Reading Adam Yamey’s novel is reminiscent of reading some of the great classic literature of our time. His writing style is timeless, very descriptive and his characters exude deepness, which is not readily accessible. Indeed, his main character Jakob Klein is built up in layers so that you get to know him slowly and are continually left wanting to know more about him. A very clever writing technique.
I rarely have rarely read such evocative descriptions. For instance, he describes two workmen thus; `As they moved the tool back and forth rhythmically, the beads of perspiration on their dark skins glistened in a beam of light that was shining through the dusty air from a glass window high above them.’ I don’t know about you, but I’m standing in that shed with them.
Adam’s use of dialogue is superlative, and the South African accent is captured brilliantly. As are snippets of American and, even Irish.
The plot could be described as lacking pace, but to do so would be a mistake. It ambles along comfortably and I enjoyed every moment of it. It is not an easy book to put down.
The story encapsulates a snapshot of southern Africa in the mid 1800s as effectively as a time capsule.
Jacob Klein is a complex character with many flaws, and there are numerous sides to him. He clearly has ideas above his station and is not content to scratch around in poverty, in what is an incredibly hard and cruel place for anyone without means. He relies upon a natural charm and copious amounts of guile to hoist him above his station. But several factors within his complex personality conspire to impede him. He has a drink problem, his business ethics are highly questionable and he does not cover his tracks well enough. As a consequence, rather than ascend to a higher plane, he sinks to the bottom of the world he inhabits like a stone. One’s natural reaction would be to shrug and dismiss his situation as being brought on by himself. But the way Adam Yamey has cleverly forged his character, leads to the reader really caring about him. He slowly climbs from the quagmire he is in, and the reader is cheering him on every inch of the way.
A dramatic tale well told. As with all well-written historic novels, it provides a welcome escape from the frenetic, fast moving world in which we live.”