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Places in novels

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I recently finished "tender" by Belinda mckeon, set in Ireland mostly and Dublin most of all. In it, the main character lives during college in baggot street and other references made to other places like Thomas street and Harcourt street in particular.

I bring this up as I know thoses places ok, I did a part time course on a small side street off baggot street while I stay in hotels in Harcourt street occasionally when at a gig, sometimes the gig being at Thomas street so for me, this helped visualise these places.

In contrast, I read maybe last month "Yugoslavia, my fatherland" by Goran vojnovic. This novels features places across the former Yugoslavia. For an idea of proximity and countries, I had my atlas at the ready while reading. As I was rapt in the book from early on, this had an affect that I was inquisitive on the particular places mentioned in it.

In "the end of days" by jenny erpenbeck, occasionally instead of place names, she used geolocation to place them

Do places in books have an affect on you or is it more that if you enjoy it, you'd be more wondering about the places?

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Every time I read a book I enjoy set in a particular place, I want to go visit there immediately.  It hasn't happened, but my husband has always said, "if we go to the U.K. again, we have to go to Guernsey" (because of The Book of Ebenezer Le Page).  I also want to go visit Lewis (Peter May's books), Iceland (all those Iceland books), Edinburgh (Ian Rankin), and Turkey, Istanbul particularly (The Architect's Apprentice).  I'm currently reading about the first explorations of the Mayan cities in Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras and am ready to plan a trip!  You can imagine what This Thing of Darkness (called by the UK name in deference to most of the people on this website) did to my travel plans. Since I read on my tablet, I usually visit Wikipedia about the locations and that makes it even more alluring.



Have added links for the benefit of members who have not come across these books, as the threads on two of them are quite old, and not that easy to find (and are two of my personal favourites :naughty: )

megustaleer (moderator)

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Oh yes. I have just finished The Jewel, about Robert Burns' wife, and I am now going to visit some Burns locations in Ayrshire.


I read Frances Osborne's book The Bolter some years ago, and ever since, I have wanted to visit Kildonan House in Barrhill in Ayrshire, the mansion built by the central character and her first husband, and now abandoned. It would be a bit of a drive for me, a couple of hours, but do-able. I could combine it with the Burns locations from a holiday cottage.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This usually does not happen with the kind of novels that I am reading (SF/F or history), but ever since I have been commissioned to translate a travel guide of Tokyo I want to go there!

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  • 8 months later...

Over Christmas, I read thirty days by annelids verbeeke and of the many things I liked was the familiarity of the surroundings. The novel was set in westhoek in Flanders. The familiarity of the places wasn't from travel but Belgium, particularly Flanders is a heartland of cycling. Kemmelberg was mentioned several times in the novel and it makes a pivotal point in tomorrow's race, Ghent wevelgem. 

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