One of "The Independent"'s "50 Best Winter Reads"
Short-listed for the inaugural Waterstones "Book of the Year"
"Patrick Leigh Fermor, who died last year  at the age of 96, was one of the travel-writing greats, a war hero who related his journeys as a young man through Europe in classics such as "A Time of Gifts" and "Between the Woods and the Water." Artemis Cooper draws on years of interviews with the author and his friends in this much-anticipated biography." --"The Guardian"
"He lived an inspirationally heterodox life that combined adventure and reflection in unique measure. His story has hitherto been known only in parts, and mostly through the refractive prism of his own telling. At last his biography has been detailed in full, in Artemis Cooper's tender and excellent book. Reading it is an odd experience: there is the melancholy of having one's hero humanised, joined with renewed astonishment at the miracle he made of himself." --"The Guardian"
"Artemis Cooper's funny, wise, learned but totally candid biography reveals Leigh Fermor to be an adventurer through and through. The artifice of effortless gentility is blown away and Paddy is revealed as a much more interesting character, a fascinatingly self-made and self-educated man. He is also placed in the pantheon of literary liggers, a consummate lifelong freeloader, a prince among sponge-artists, which he paid for with his unique energy, talent and enthusiasm for song, dance, talk, memorised verse, drink and other men's wives." --"The Independent"
"A captivating biography.... It is not easy writing a biography of someone who has poured so much of his own life into his books, but Artemis Cooper has done a brilliant job. The story rips along, as Leigh Fermor's life did, with friends and lovers, books and journeys and parties, all milling and jostling around him in a noisy and joyous throng. And in the quieter moments we are left with something far more enduring:show more