Reviews for ‘The Rhine: Following Europe’s Greatest River from Amsterdam to the Alps‘:

‘A captivating mixture of travel and history’ – Compass

‘A piece of nonfiction that’s both a travelogue and historic account of how the river shaped Europe’ – Smithsonian magazine – Books of the Year

‘Among the finest multi-destination books is The Rhine . . . Coates’s itchy feet paddle him steadily (after a disaster in a rowing boat) on two wheels from Holland (sleeping in dunes), past Utrecht to the German border (Arnhem redolent of war in A Bridge Too Far) to sleepier Bonn. History shimmers across his hinterland, contested in two world wars, and his curiosity – Coates’s great strength – unearths the ways in which the river shaped the destinies of those who made its ever changing banks their home’ – Scotsman – Books of the Year)

‘We might question the Rhine being considered ‘Europe’s greatest river’. But Ben Coates makes a persuasive and entertaining argument for the accolade . . . My eagerness to devour each chapter was dependent less on the overall theme of the book, but almost entirely on Coates’ engaging writing style and the playful way he reveals the history of this part of Europe’ – Geographical

‘He conveys well the role of the Rhine in European culture and history: how it has been seen at different times as a “free-flowing conduit for goods, people and ideas” and as a battleground and frontier’ – Daily Telegraph

‘What a wonderful surprise. Amazingly talented, Ben Coates fluently uses his metaphoric skills to paint a vibrant portrait of this river’s influence in weaving the tapestry of European life. [A] fascinating and compelling story’ – Seattle Book Review)


Reviews for ‘Why The Dutch Are Different: A Journey Into the Hidden Heart of the Netherlands‘:

‘An insightful gem’ – Scotsman, Travel Books of the Year

‘Why the Dutch are Different is the best kind of travel memoir – witty, entertaining, thoughtful and thought-provoking, and deeply revealing of the country it’s exploring.’ – Portland Book Review

‘A book that is as quietly appealing as its subject, full of fascinating details… Coates is entirely convincing in his affectionate portrait’. – Prospect

‘Vivid and informative. Coates intertwines the nation’s journey to its modern iteration with his own adaptation to the Dutch lifestyle. An accomplished debut.’ – Geographical Magazine

‘Delightful…. Coates’ playful dalliance with the history of the Dutch people does much to further understanding of their unique culture.’ – Longitude

‘Fascinating. Thoroughly researched and well thought out, Why the Dutch are Different takes us on a journey that goes beyond red-lit windows and Anne Frank to the true depths of the country. Ben Coates’s day-to-day life sits effortlessly alongside deeper dives into history and folklore. A friendly read that strikes the right balance between teaching and entertaining.’ – Bookbag

‘Ben Coates manages to avoid all the pitfalls usually found in books where the narrator is the author himself. The book never feels self important and Coates never wavers in his determined efforts to uncover and reveal the identity of the Dutch. … His interesting and curious odyssey is a mix between engaging self discovery and cultural simulation.In much the same way as John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil … this intriguing non fiction narrative.. is packed with misadventures.’ – San Francisco Book Review

‘One of the few books on our near-neighbour, Coates gets under the skin of a nation renowned for its liberalism.’ –The Bookseller

‘With the Dutch abandoning many of the policies that made their country famous, it is yet to be seen what will happen to the famous tolerance of the Netherlands … Ben Coates senses that in some respects the unforeseen consequences of liberalism have been greater than anticipated, and the tensions that have arisen … mean the struggle for the heart of the country continues.’ – Diplomat Magazine



One thought on “Reviews

  1. Dear Mr Coates,
    I am a Vietnamese reader. I bought your ” Why the Dutch are different” accidently on my first England trip in June in York.
    That is a very interesting, thought ful books and it really help me understand more deeply about Neitherland.
    I am looking for the your new book about The Rhein. I would like to know when and where I can buy it.
    Thank you so much.
    Best regards,
    Anh Tran


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