Farewell Alexandria 
Derek Adie Flower

I rather looked forward to getting a chance to read this book. As the title suggests its mostly set in Alexandria and Egypt. There is intrigue, romance and a war in the middle of it all. The book had the potential to be a literary tour-d’force. Alas, it is a turgid insipid novel which meanders through its pages and end up boring one to tears.

The book is surely at least 100 pages too long with one of those middles that just goes on and on. Quite why the book was released in a large trade paperback with about 200 words a page is quite beyond me. It wasn’t even that well proofread either. Aesthetically the book does not satisfy in any way.

What most struck me is that this book is like one of those three part mini-series that actually could have been one night of excellence. There is far too much here that is irrelevant and distracts from the story-line about a man who makes a success of himself, but has far less success at love. The character is one that is quite endearing and should have been the entire focus of the novel. His failures in love are down to society and timing…you do feel for the poor fellow.

There is an interesting element of how Egyptian society developed over the last century and this is quite rewarding if you stick with it. Alas, some of the characters are less than full ones and a few show up for seemingly no reason.

There is no doubt the author of this book has talent and a gift for storytelling. He just needs to have a good editor and friends who will guide him to write something that is a bit tighter and less meandering.

A disappointment all around it has to be said, which is all rather sad.

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