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Books > Product: 199539

The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos (NYRB Classics) Hardcover – March 4, 2014

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Product Description

Imported from USA

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*Starred Review* 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 (1915–2011) 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
volume—and 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. --Brad Hooper

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“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.” —Robert F.
Worth, The New York Times Book Review

“Fermor’s gift of observation transcends time, fusing the classical with the modern in prose of voluminous richness.”
—Robert D. Kaplan, The Wall Street Journal

“When you put down The Broken Road you feel what [Leigh Fermor] himself felt on departing from Mount Athos…‘a great deal
of regret.’” —Daniel Mendelsohn, The New York Review of Books

"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." —William Dalrymple, The Guardian

“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.” —Anthony
Sattin, The Observer

“In the end, it’s his moments of joy, his revelling in a young man’s moments of epiphany, which stay in the mind.” —Neal
Ascherson, London Review of Books

"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." —Ben Downing, The Times Literary Supplement

"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." —The Independent

“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…” —Longitude

"A fitting epilogue to 20th-century travel-writing and essential reading for devotees of Sir Patrick’s other works."
—The Economist

"How fitting, for a man so young at heart, with such a boundless appetite for life, that his last published words should
be those of a wide-eyed 20-year-old, embarking on what will be a lifelong love affair with Greece. His editors, Colin
Thubron and Artemis Cooper, have put this book to bed with skill and sensitivity. Friends and fans, acolytes, devotees
and disciples can all rest easy. It was worth the wait." —Justin Marozzi, The Spectator

"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." —The Scotsman

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 Romania... sampling the
tail end of a languid, urbane and anglophile way of life that would soon be swept away forever.” —Jeremy Lewis, Literary

“A book so good you resent finishing it.” —Norman Stone

"The greatest of living travel writers…an amazingly complex and subtle evocation of a place that is no more." — Jan

"In these two volumes of extraordinary lyrical beauty and discursive, staggering erudition, Leigh Fermor recounted his
first great excursion… They’re partially about an older author’s encounter with his young self, but they’re mostly an
evocation of a lost Mitteleuropa of wild horses and dark forests, of ancient synagogues and vivacious Jewish
coffeehouses, of Hussars and Uhlans, and of high-spirited and deeply eccentric patricians with vast libraries (such as
the Transylvanian count who was a famous entomologist specializing in Far Eastern moths and who spoke perfect English,
though with a heavy Scottish accent, thanks to his Highland nanny). These books amply display Leigh Fermor’s keen eye
and preternatural ear for languages, but what sets them apart, besides the utterly engaging persona of their narrator,
is his historical imagination and intricate sense of historical linkage…Few writers are as alive to the persistence of
the past (he’s ever alert to the historical forces that account for the shifts in custom, language, architecture, and
costume that he discerns), and I’ve read none who are so sensitive to the layers of invasion that define the part of
Europe he depicts here. The unusual vantage point of these books lends them great poignancy, for we and the author know
what the youthful Leigh Fermor cannot: that the war will tear the scenery and shatter the buildings he evokes; that
German and Soviet occupation will uproot the beguiling world of those Tolstoyan nobles; and that in fact very few people
who became his friends on this marvelous and sunny journey will survive the coming catastrophe." — Benjamin Schwarz, The

"Those for whom Paddy’s prose is still an undiscovered country are to be envied for what lies ahead-hours with one of
the most buoyant and curious personalities one can find in English." — The New York Sun

"Mr. Fermor…is a peerless companion, unbound by timetable or convention, relentless in his high spirits and curiosity."
— Richard B. Woodward, The New York Times

"We are aware at every step that his adventure can never be duplicated: only this extraordinary person at this pivotal
time could have experienced and recorded many of these sights. Distant lightening from events in Germany weirdly
illuminates the trail of this free spirit." — The New York Times

"The young Fermor appears to have been as delightful a traveling companion as the much older Fermor a raconteur." — The
Houston Chronicle

"[A Time of Gifts, Between the Woods and the Water] are absolutely delightful volumes, both for those who want to better
understand what was lost in the violence of Europe’s 20th-century divisions and for those who appreciate the beauty and
thrill of travel writing at its best." — The Houston Chronicle

"Leigh Fermor is recognizably that figure many writers of the past century have yearned to be, the man of action." —
The Guardian

"He was, and remains, an Englishman, with so much living to his credit that the lives conducted by the rest of us seem
barely sentient-pinched and paltry things, laughably provincial in their scope, and no more fruitful than sleepwalks. We
fret about our kids’ S.A.T. scores, whereas this man, when he was barely more than a kid himself, shouldered a rucksack
and walked from Rotterdam to Istanbul." — Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

“Even more magical...through Hungary, its lost province of Transylvania, and into Romania...sampling the tail end of a
languid, urbane and anglophile way of life that would soon be swept away forever.” —Jeremy Lewis, Literary Review

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