The Broken Road

The Broken Road : From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos

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In the winter of 1933, eighteen-year-old Patrick ("Paddy") Leigh Fermor set out on a walk across Europe, starting in Holland and ending in Constantinople, a trip that took him almost a year. Decades later, Leigh Fermor told the story of that life-changing journey in "A Time of Gifts "and "Between the Woods and the Water," two books now celebrated as among the most vivid, absorbing, and beautifully written travel books of all time. "The Broken Road "is the long-awaited account of the final leg of his youthful adventure that Leigh Fermor promised but was unable to finish before his death in 2011. Assembled from Leigh Fermor's manuscripts by his prizewinning biographer Artemis Cooper and the travel writer Colin Thubron, this is perhaps the most personal of all Leigh Fermor's books, catching up with young Paddy in the fall of 1934 and following him through Bulgaria and Romania to the coast of the Black Sea. Days and nights on the road, spectacular landscapes and uncanny cities, friendships lost and found, leading the high life in Bucharest or camping out with fishermen and shepherds-in the "The Broken Road" such incidents and escapades are described with all the linguistic bravura, odd and astonishing learning, and overflowing exuberance that Leigh Fermor is famous for, but also with a melancholy awareness of the passage of time, especially when he meditates on the scarred history of the Balkans or on his troubled relations with his father. The book ends, perfectly, with Paddy's arrival in Greece, the country he would fall in love with and fight for. Throughout it we can still hear the ringing voice of an irrepressible young man embarking on a life of more

Product details

  • Hardback | 362 pages
  • 148 x 212 x 30mm | 539.99g
  • United States
  • English
  • maps
  • 1590177541
  • 9781590177549
  • 307,194

Review quote

Praise for Patrick Leigh Fermor: "One of the greatest travel writers of all time"-"The Sunday Times" "A unique mixture of hero, historian, traveler and writer; the last and the greatest of a generation whose like we won't see again."-"Geographical" "The finest traveling companion we could ever have . . . His head is stocked with enough cultural lore and poetic fancy to make every league an adventure." -"Evening Standard" If all Europe were laid waste tomorrow, one might do worse than attempt to recreate it, or at least to preserve some sense of historical splendor and variety, by immersing oneself in the travel books of Patrick Leigh Fermor."--Ben Downing, "The Paris Review" Praise for "A Time of Gifts" and "Between the Woods and the Water," the first two volume in the trilogy: "This is a glorious feast, the account of a walk in 1934 from the Hook of Holland to what was then Constantinople. The 18-year-old Fermor began by sleeping in barns but, after meeting some landowners early on, got occasional introductions to castles. So he experienced life from both sides, and with all the senses, absorbing everything: flora and fauna, art and architecture, geography, clothing, music, foods, religions, languages. Writing the book decades after the fact, in a baroque style that is always rigorous, never flowery, he was able to inject historical depth while still retaining the feeling of boyish enthusiasm and boundless curiosity. This is the first of a still uncompleted trilogy; the second volume, "Between the Woods and the Water," takes him through Hungary and Romania; together they capture better than any books I know the remedial, intoxicating joy of travel." -- Thomas Swick, "South Florida Sun-Sentinel" "Recovers the innocence and the excitement of youth, when everything was possible and the world seemed luminescent with promise. ...Even more magical...through Hungary, its lost province of Transylvania, and into more

About Patrick Leigh Fermor

Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) was an intrepid traveler and a heroic soldier who is widely considered to be one of the finest travel writers of the twentieth century. After his stormy schooldays, followed by the walk across Europe to Constantinople that begins in "A Time of Gifts "(1977) and continues through "Between the Woods and the Water" (1986) and "The Broken Road "(published posthumously in 2013), he lived and traveled in the Balkans and the Greek archipelago. His books "Mani" (1958) and "Roumeli" (1966) attest to his deep interest in languages and remote places. In the Second World War he joined the Irish Guards, became a liaison officer in Albania, and fought in Greece and Crete. He was awarded the DSO and OBE. Leigh Fermor lived partly in Greece--in the house he designed with his wife, Joan, in an olive grove in the Mani--and partly in Worcestershire. In 2004 he was knighted for his services to literature and to British-Greek more