Review of A Valued Barber From Sicily

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Latest Review: A Valued Barber From Sicily by Michael J Flagg

Review of A Valued Barber From Sicily

Post by Standor5865 »

[Following is an official review of "A Valued Barber From Sicily" by Michael J Flagg.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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A Valued Barber From Sicily (Un Prezioso Barbiere Siciliano) by Michael J Flagg is a biography that revolves around Santo Raia, a Sicilian hairdresser who migrated to London in June 1960 and eventually established his passion there. How important is your hairdresser to you and your image? This is one profession that a lot of people easily ignore, but the author, through Santo's story, not only shines a light on the significance of this noble profession but also introduces us to a passionate individual, who has connected with numerous people through his skill, and the largest Mediterranean island, which is full of life, history, and culture.

The book brought to mind my connection with my own hairdresser, who has tended to my hair for over ten years now. I could think about a couple of times when I insisted on utilizing his services, even when I wasn't close by, due to the trust I had in him. Michael J Flagg expertly includes kind words from some of Santo's customers to illustrate why we feel this kind of connection to our hairdressers. I enjoyed reading these people's accounts, and through their words, I could understand the hardworking, welcoming, and well-rounded personality of the subject, Santo. These are all qualities that make for the best hairdressers, and the author does well to show us how Santo's roots as a Sicilian contributed to who he is.

Therefore, readers can expect a deep dive into the history of Sicily in this book, from its central position as a "stepping stone between Europe and Africa and the gateway between the East and the West as well as a link between the Latin world and the Greek (page 49)" to its culture that has elements of different cultures from around the world, including the Arabic, Greek, French, and Spanish cultures, due to the many invaders who have aimed to conquer the island in the past. I found these parts of the book educative and fascinating, and the author also did a good job of bringing this intriguing island to life by including relevant pictures of most of the art, food, wine, and sites that I encountered while reading. The "Valley of Greek" temples in Sicily's oldest town, Agrigento, were personal favorites of mine.

Furthermore, I believe that A Valued Barber From Sicily (Un Prezioso Barbiere Siciliano) is a professionally edited book since I encountered just four minor errors throughout this concise read. Nonetheless, while I enjoyed the deep dive into the history of the island that produced a man like Santo, I felt like much more time was spent discussing this aspect of the book than the actual subject, Santo, or even his son, Jack, who he later handed the business over to. This was done to the point that I was lost in the wonders of Sicily and even forgot about Santo's story at times. More could have been done to create a balance in this regard.

Besides that, I cannot think of any other aspect of the book I do not like. Therefore, I rate this book three out of four stars. Through Santo's story, the author also gives us insight into the challenges that hairdressers face, especially financially, and I can relate to these struggles. Readers who enjoy biographies and history books will love reading this piece.

A Valued Barber From Sicily
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Blessing E
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Latest Review: Zona: The Forbidden Land by Fred G. Baker

Post by Blessing E »

At this rate, there is a book written about anything. I appreciate well written reviews. This is because it gives me an idea of how to structure my reviews subsequently. Thanks teaching me what a good review is. And congratulations for having your review published.
Akinola John
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Post by Akinola John »

A story about a Sicilian hairdresser. I will love to check it out. Thanks for the review.
Elenimo Chembe
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Post by Elenimo Chembe »

An interesting review. I really like biographies because they are mostly relatable. Thanks for the review.
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