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The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos
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New York Review Books 2014
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Description
Patrick Leigh Fermor recounts the last leg of his epic walk across Europe as he makes his way through Bulgaria, Romania, and finally Greece. 
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 adventure.
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Street Date:
03/04/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781590177563
ASIN:
B00F1W07FU
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APA Citation (style guide)

Patrick Leigh Fermor. (2014). The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos. New York Review Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Patrick Leigh Fermor. 2014. The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos. New York Review Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Patrick Leigh Fermor, The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos. New York Review Books, 2014.

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Patrick Leigh Fermor. The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos. New York Review Books, 2014. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: 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 relations.
        Colin Thubron is the president of the Royal Society of Literature. Among his books are The Lost Heart of Asia, Shadow of the Silk Road, and most recently, To a Mountain in Tibet.
        Artemis Cooper is the author of the biography Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure as well as the editor of Words of Mercury, a collection of Leigh Fermor's writings. She has written several works of history, including Cairo in the War.
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title
The Broken Road
fullDescription
Patrick Leigh Fermor recounts the last leg of his epic walk across Europe as he makes his way through Bulgaria, Romania, and finally Greece. 
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 adventure.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Robert F. Worth, The New York Times Book Review
      • content: "An unforgettable book, full of strange encounters with a prewar Balkan cast of counts, prostitutes, peasants, priests and castrati. The greatest pleasure of all, as usual, is Leigh Fermor's own infectious, Rabelaisian hunger for knowledge of almost every kind. His memory seems eidetic; his eyes miss nothing. He seems to carry within himself a whole troupe of sharp-eyed geographers, art historians, ethnologists and multilingual poets."
      • premium: False
      • source: Robert D. Kaplan, The Wall Street Journal
      • content: "Fermor's gift of observation transcends time, fusing the classical with the modern in prose of voluminous richness."
      • premium: False
      • source: Daniel Mendelsohn, The New York Review of Books
      • content: "When you put down The Broken Road you feel what [Leigh Fermor] himself felt on departing from Mount Athos...'a great deal of regret.'"
      • premium: False
      • source: William Dalrymple, The Guardian
      • content: "By any standards, this is a major work. It confirms that Leigh Fermor was, along with Robert Byron, the greatest travel writer of his generation, and this final volume assures the place of the trilogy as one of the masterpieces of the genre, indeed one of the masterworks of postwar English non-fiction."
      • premium: False
      • source: Anthony Sattin, The Observer
      • content: "The descriptions of waking in unfamiliar places are so seductive that even the most home-hugging reader will long to wake somewhere unknown. And some of the evocations of landscapes and views will live long in the memory."
      • premium: False
      • source: Neal Ascherson, London Review of Books
      • content: "In the end, it's his moments of joy, his revelling in a young man's moments of epiphany, which stay in the mind."
      • premium: False
      • source: Ben Downing, The Times Literary Supplement
      • content: "The Broken Road is superb, towering about the usual run of travel books....The Broken Road is better than any gleaming capstone: while giving us a more than satisfactory idea of Leigh Fermor's Balkan adventures, it also, in its raggedness, accentuates the seamless magic of the books that came before, and it wraps the whole enterprise in a pathos that humanizes his superhuman gifts."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Independent
      • content: "In a lamplit frenzy of mystic dance and song, among Homeric fisherfolk and swains, young Paddy discovers the underground ecstasies of rebetika in all its 'quintessence of fatalism.' Glimpsed from the future, he sets a course for the Greece that would keep his prose dancing ever after."
      • premium: False
      • source: Longitude
      • content: "The now-complete trilogy documenting his journey is essential curriculum for any traveler....Fermor's youthful forays across Bulgaria and Romania to the coast of the Black Sea make the reader wish all of life were one long journey of slow mornings on Turkish divans, welcome platters of raki and Turkish delight, crackling firelight and long conversations in various languages...Even those who have never seen the Danube will be struck with nostalgia--not for the author's memories, but for their own, encapsulated in that same crystal mien of idealized youth..."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Economist
      • content: "A fitting epilogue to 20th-century travel-writing and essential reading for devotees of Sir Patrick's other works."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Scotsman
      • content: "The youthful joy shines through, and the deep cultural learning that was superimposed in later years is there in sufficient quantity to lend wonder to this fragmented tale....Anybody who loved its two preceding volumes will fall upon it hungrily. Anybody who has not read the two preceding volumes should do so without delay."
      • premium: False
      • source: Ben Downing, The Paris Review
      • content: 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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Thomas Swick, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
      • content: "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 enthusia
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        January 15, 2014
        A posthumous completion of an adventure British author and adventurer Fermor (1915-2011) began more than 70 years ago: a walk from Holland to Istanbul. In 1933, then 18, "Paddy" Fermor--the subject of co-editor Artemis Cooper's biography Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure (2013)--set out on that long trek. As he recounted in A Time of Gifts (1977) and Between the Woods and the Water (1986), both written half a century later, he encountered all sorts of people, not least of them the Nazis and nationalists who would soon set Europe aflame, whereupon Fermor began a guerrilla life that James Bond would have envied. When he died, he left behind bits and pieces of this closing volume. Why he never completed it is a mystery; as Cooper and co-editor Colin Thubron observe, "The problem remained obscure even to him, and The Broken Road is only its partial resolution." On reading it, one wishes that Fermor, a fluent and supremely literate writer, had spent more time in closure; the book seems a touch unfinished and not quite up to its predecessors. Even so, he is in fine form as he travels from the Iron Gates of Bulgaria toward his destination, meeting a succession of beguiling women and, as ever, being in the right place at the right time. As readers will learn, the title of the book is just right; and if Fermor encountered endless obstacles as well, his enthusiasm for description and discovery remain undiminished, as he recounts the ethnographic and historical details of life in the Balkans: "When their crust of frowning aloofness is broken, and their guard down and the maddening banter lulled, they are often spontaneous, enthusiastic and--despite the opposite intention--extremely naive and transparently innocent"; "Brandy in large quantities pumped in a fresh impetus, which was hardly needed by this time, and we danced and sang." Incomplete but lovely nonetheless. Admirers of Fermor's writing will not be disappointed.

        COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from February 1, 2014
        Reading classic travel writer Fermor's body of work reinforces the conviction that a beautiful style is nearly requisite in travel writing to combine immediacy and resonance. Fermor (19152011) primarily made his name with two companion books, A Time of Gifts (1977) and Between the Woods and Water (1998), which chronicled his walk across Europe as a teenager in 1933 and 1934. A third volume, to complete an intended trilogy, did not see publication during his lifetime. Now, his literary executors (one of whom, Artemis Cooper, is the author of the recent and defining Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure, 2013) have prepared the manuscripts he intended to use for the third volumeand thus the trilogy is complete. The notably handsome and inexhaustibly curious Englishman walks, on this final portion of his trek, through Bulgaria and Romania. Being on foot, he naturally experiences the landscape and the locals on an especially intimate level. As history has spilled heavily over these two countries since the time of the Ottoman Turks, history is woven into Fermor's enlightening account. People, customs, and geography are what good travel writers seek and share, Fermor foremost among them.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
Patrick Leigh Fermor recounts the last leg of his epic walk across Europe as he makes his way through Bulgaria, Romania, and finally Greece. 
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,...
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Broken Road From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos
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