A poetic walk through Lebanon's hills, valleys and iconographical history. Thubron took four months to make his 500-mile tour, often staying with villagers, and stopping to examine every site of even vestigial archaeological interest. And to ponder. For it is the Lebanese mythology that preoccupies him--the stories of Adonis and Astarte, the region's central deities. They were the objects of pre-classical fertility cults, were adopted by the Greeks, and, somewhat transformed, became part of the legends of the Druse and Maronite communities. Thubron visited with a watchman who lived with his television in a ruin; he toured several kalwehs (village houses of council). But mainly: ""I was rambling through the countryside at will, for the domain of the goddess is wide, and to set too definite a goal is to limit the journey, only the unobtainable being worthy of so hard a pilgrimage."" To many readers this (and the many similar passages) will seem somewhat rarefied.