REVIEW: Letters to Strabo by David Smith

(Disclaimer: I was kindly sent this book from the author. This in NO way affects my review. Thank you so much David for sending me your book to read and review!)

Image result for letters to straboINFORMATION:

Title/Author: Letters to Strabo by David Smith

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Matador

Release Date: January 28, 2017

Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Historical Fiction

ISBN: 9781785899362



Adam Finnegan Black, or ‘Finn’, an innocent young American who is insatiably curious about life, made a promise to his mother before she died: To find out what really happened to his father…

His ambition is to be a travel writer, like his heroes: Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and the ancient Greek ‘father of geography’, Strabo. His journey of discovery takes him through the radiant literary, cultural and picturesque landscape of the Mediterranean.

Following his heart and inspired by Letters to Strabo, written by his long-distance pen-pal Eve, Finn gradually learns more about himself but also about the woman he hopes will one day become his wife.

Funny, provocative, disarmingly honest, Finn’s story captures the excitement and mistakes of youthful energy and proves ultimately life-affirming in the emergence of new hope from personal tragedy.

Quite simply one of the best coming-of-age novels you will ever read: Letters to Strabo will appeal to lovers of literary fiction, good travel writing and the classic works of Ernest Hemingway.


I was actually VERY surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel. It definitely wasn’t my usual read but I ended up really enjoying it.

When I first found out that this was a “fictional autobiography,” I really didn’t know what I was about to read. I had never read an autobiography before, let alone a “fictional” autobiography. But, I did know that I was in for a life story about a character named Finn.

I found that the first 150 pages of this novel were really slow. It wasn’t too entertaining and I felt as if every page was repeating what was said on the page before. But, by the 200th page, I got very intrigued. The story began in the States, and quickly moved to France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Egypt! It was as if I was travelling around the world within 400 pages!

This book also took place between the late 70’s and early 80’s so, I guess you could say it is historical fiction. Not like the ancient history, but more like modern history. I will admit that if you ever pick this book up, you are totally in for the most well-researched history lesson EVER. It’s not even close to the boring history lecture you would get in school.

There were 4 main topics that David Smith wrote about in this story: romance, travelling, Strabo and classic literature. As the main character, Finn, was a writer, he was also a lover of old and classic fiction. His nickname “Finn” is even based off of a certain Mark Twain character. Some of Finn’s favorite authors seemed to be Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, and Homer. Finn was also on the search for romance. Although it as VERY clear that he was in love with his pen pal, it didn’t stop him from getting intimate with a new girl in every city he visited. And as you can tell by the title of the story, Strabo (as in the Greek geographer) made up a HUGE part of this story. Finn travelled to a majority of the locations that Strabo, himself, visited in his adventures. It was as if he was a mini Strabo!

One of my favorite parts of this novel was the whole Greece section of this novel! I am quite familiar with Greek mythology so it was very fun for me to read this section. One of my favorite parts was when the myths of Charybdis and Scylla were mentioned. I also sorta/kinda fangirled at the mention of Castor and Pollux. I didn’t originally know the origin of their names, let alone that they were stars in the Gemini constellation, but I definitely knew of them from The Hunger Games. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the series, but I can definitely point out names when I see them!

I was actually very happy with how this story ended. Although it was sad, AND I WAS REALLY TEMPTED TO CRY, I felt as if it was perfect. It was an ending that was very unexpected but David ended up tying it up like a pro!

If you are a lover of a good history novel, or maybe you are a fan of Strabo and Mark Twain, I would definitely suggest this book! I ended up giving it 3.5/5 stars which is actually a better rating than I though I would give it at first. If you are interested in buying the book, I am pretty sure the only place it is available from is AMAZON.

THAT’S IT FOR TODAY! I hope you enjoyed my review! Don’t forget to like, comment and follow for more posts!

Happy Reading!




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