Faboy's book of the week
Date: Sep 22nd, 2008 6:02:39 pm - Subscribe
Mood: alone

A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople - From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube


The best travel book ever written.

Patrick Leigh Fermor at the age of 18 inspired by the classical education that he'd gathered piecemeal from various establishments before slung out decided to walk the length of Europe. From Holland to Constantinople. Its split into three books -- two of which have been published -- he's now 93 and working on the final volume. As this was in 1933 months after Hitler had come into power the books are as much a journey into a turbulent time as much as a place. He has been criticized for his lack of awareness on the rise of Nazism but truth be told he as is all to evident in his books - a neophyte, a wandering scholar at home in barn and schloss, depending on the kindness of strangers whoever they may be -- and quite the disparate group they are. Grafin and gooseherd. He discribes a disappeared world elthough he might recognise some of the little villages that Kurt and I visited in Northern Romania and the inhabitants thereof. His occasional patch of purple prose while describing a monastery or a cathedral is a delight, conveying the youngsters enthusiasm and ability to lose himself in his surroundings both physical and emotional are wonderful.

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