Review: Jeremy Seal’s “A Fez of the Heart: Travels around Turkey in Search of a Hat”

by writereaderly

jeremy seal fez of the heartA long lurker on the To Read Shelf, I pulled it out hoping it would be smart but not too onerous, which is a pretty good summary. Seal travelled Turkey in 1992-3 (I think), purportedly investigating the history and customs of the controversial headgear known generally as the fez. Well-read and a Turkish speaker, Seal’s account is pleasant, researched, informed and quite interesting. An enjoyable read, excluding the last quarter of the book where he seems to be fulfilling an editor’s brief of “quick, you’d better talk about the Kurds and the Armenians” (most travel narratives bore me, and here JS joined the troop). Otherwise, recommended as entertaining, well-written and informative.

Where it came from: Opshop, with post-facto authorial recommendation from KS
Time and manner of reading:
Armchair, bed, hitching and bench reads
Where it went: Farm bookshelf
Reminds me of/that: The limits to travel writing
Who I’d recommend it to: Seekers of a bit of well-written historical travel
Also reading: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon; Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; The Politics of Ecstasy by Timothy Leary; Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier