March 4, 2010
4 March is World Book Day (www.worldbookday.com), the biggest annual celebration of books and reading in the UK and Ireland. Here’s our pick of must-read novels set in stunning destinations worldwide:
Stockholm: Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson
Millions of copies of Stieg Larsson’s nail-biting books about journalist Mikael Blomkvist and computer hacker Lisbeth Salander have sold worldwide. Stockholm features predominantly in the trilogy and it’s now possible to take a guided literary tour: see Lisbeth’s luxury apartment first-hand and take a stroll past the Millennium editorial offices, among other highlights.
Cuba: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway lived in Cuba for over 20 years and was enormously inspired by the island. Author of The Old Man and the Sea, he cultivated a reputation as a man larger than life: someone who could out-drink anyone and catch bigger marlin than a professional fisherman.
Venezuela: The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World was inspired by Mt. Roraima, the highest of the tepuis (flat-topped mountains) in Venezuela’s Gran Sabana. Set in London and South America, the book’s explorers find themselves in The Lost World, a vast plateau with sheer cliffs all around. See the 2,810m tall rock island for yourself and the mysterious shapes and shadows of Venezuela’s surreal Gran Sabana.
Egypt: Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
First published in 1937, Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile challenges detective Hercule Poirot to solve a murder mystery onboard the paddle steamer SS Karnak.
Venice: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie’s much-loved sleuth, Hercule Poirot, is on the Orient Express when one of the passengers is discovered murdered. The train is stuck in snow and he has just a few hours to figure out the murderer’s identity. Perhaps not an ideal scenario for a holiday, but a nostalgic journey on the magnificent Orient Express is a once in a lifetime opportunity not to be missed.
Morocco: Hideous Kinky by Esther Freud
Hideous Kinky is an autobiographical novel by Esther Freud (daughter of Lucian, great-granddaughter of Sigmund) illustrating her hippy childhood in Marrakech in the 1960s. You’ll read this and won’t be able to resist the city’s mesmeric, magnetic charms.
Vienna: The Third Man by Graham Greene
Set in post-war Vienna, Graham Greene’s novel The Third Man is perhaps even better-known in its film format, starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles. A visit to the Third Man Museum will set the scene for a fascinating short break to the Austrian capital, where world-famous coffee houses, imperial architecture and impressive museums and galleries also await discovery.
Monaco: Monaco by Eric Morse
Enjoy the sportsmanship, glory and glamour of 1930s Monaco with this nostalgic historic novel by Eric Morse. Set against the background of pre-WW II Europe and Nazi Germany’s hold on motor racing, Monaco evokes the explosive world of the golden-age Grand Prix.
Cornwall: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Daphne du Maurier novels set in Cornwall have always been her most popular, perhaps because she made her home in and around Fowey – a pretty harbour town that tumbles from high on the hill right down to the water on the beautiful south coast.