Long Slow Affair of the Heart, A

Ansley, Bruce

  13 Reviews

A memoir from writer Bruce Ansley documenting he and his wife Sally's year long adventure buying a canal boat in Holland and sailing it through Belgium to France. The author delivers not only a picturesque travelogue but the more personal journeys experienced in trying to make a dream come true. Humorous and easy to read. NZ Interest

Comments from Groups

A gentle meandering story that never really got anywhere. Paihia 003.

Book well received, though a bit repetitive. Wellington 047.

Interesting discussion, especially for some of our group facing retirement and planning "adventures". We enjoyed the author's writing style and humour. Palmerston North 006.



Most found the book more tedious than we had all expected. However those who had travelled in the area, and especially those who had been on canals, were more tolerant of and interested in the subject matter. We enjoyed the photos.
AUCK 009
A good read. We found it interesting and funny and mostly beautifully written. But what a pillock he was!! Selfish and self-centred. Every woman whose husband even hints at doing this should read it - and learn.
RICH 005
Mixed reactions to this book. Some enjoyed it while others thought it was repetitive and boring. Did provoke a lot of discussion about travel.
NAP 023
Comments generally favourable. Much discussion of the "near breakdown" of the marriage - not surprising when cooped up in such close environs for a year, when Sally didn't really want to be there, and hated the locks!
ASHB 024
All members enjoyed this book. They thought it a "pleasant, easy read". Many commented that it needed a map.
TAUR 015
An interesting travelogue, but one that highlights the reality, ideals and personal relationships that need to be worked through when under-taking an overseas adventure.
The group felt that the title was apt - long and slow! Some of the writing was laugh-out-loud, but there was no real sense of the places/countries/people. A map of their journey would have been interesting. There was a strong feeling of sympathy for Bruce Ansley's wife...
AUCK 153
An easy read. Most of us now don't want to spend a year on a canal boat in France, though.
Loved the food and wine and those hidden villages, but felt the slow meandering of the canal boat mirrored the journey. In our opinion journalists do not necessarily make good authors, and while Bruce Ansley was a hit with McPhail and Gadsby, his continual attempt at humour seemed misplaced, and didn't even lighten their holiday for us. The obsession with boats seemed to weigh heavily on the marriage, as Bruce seemed to be unaware of his wife's interests.
WELL 024
It's great that it's a Kiwi author and that there are Kiwi refences within the story. There is too much that is hinted at, but not really explained however. A pleasant, gentle read.
RUSS 004
An ok read, but missed out so much detail. Everything glossed over really.
Laugh out loud in some places!
Mixed views on this. Those in the group with boats or who had had canal boat holidays, enjoyed the book. Others thought Bruce did not take his wife's feelings into account enough. Luckily their marriage survived. Good discussions had.