Winner of the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, Silver PEN Award, 1987.The acclaimed travel writer's youthful journey - as an 18-year-old - across 1930s Europe by foot began in A Time of Gifts, which covered the author's exacting journey from the Lowlands as far as Hungary.
Picking up from the very spot on a bridge across the Danube where his readers last saw him, we travel on with him across the great Hungarian Plain on horseback, and over the Romanian border to Transylvania.The trip was an exploration of a continent which was already showing signs of the holocaust which was to come. Although frequently praised for his lyrical writing, Fermor's account also provides a coherent understanding of the dramatic events then unfolding in Middle Europe. But the delight remains in travelling with him in his picaresque journey past remote castles, mountain villages, monasteries and towering ranges.
©1986 The estate of Patrick Leigh Fermor (P)2014 John Murray Press
"Between the Woods and the Water is a book so good you will resent finishing it" (Sunday Times)
"The finest travelling companion we could ever have... His head is stocked with cultural lore and poetic fancy to make every league an adventure." (Christopher Hudson, Evening Standard)
I stopped listening halfway through this book as I was finding the dense exposition of European history too much to take in. However, when I returned to the book several months later I was enthused and I enjoyed the rest of it, history and all.
One has to accept that this is a book about history rather than a book about walking. Also, it is a book (unapologetically) by a posh Pom with an intense interest in people, language and Europe.
It works... if you let it.
I wish Fermor would walk across every country on earth, and then come to a boozy dinner party and tell me about it for hours. A great story.
"A beautiful story and painting of Central Europe"
Beautifully narrated and marvelously written. Many things are still actual in Romania and Hungary. Loved it
"Maybe it was me, but I wasn't awed by these books"
I liked this one a bit better than the first one, as he was more outside his comfort zone in areas where German wasn't as widely spoken. However, a fair amount was less travel narrative than the antics of his noble hosts, or historical digression. I was fully used to the audio narrator, so the plummy tones didn't affect me as much this time. Think I'll try re-reading the print editions sometime in the future to see whether that makes a difference.
"I loved this book, this journey, even though it br"
I loved this book, this journey, even though it broke my heart. An amazing journey through interwar Europe. Patrick Fermor got to experience so much of what has been lost forever, architecturally, environmentally, socially. I can't thank him enough for putting his experiences down on paper for us all to read. Fermor has such a refreshing, open perspective on everything he comes accross. And the central European history tidbits are wonderful and interesting, too.
The only possible downside I can think of is that Fermor sprinkles a significant amount of terminology and vocabulary throughout his books that was new to me, and since I tend to listen while driving, I was not able to remember some specifics long enough to look any of it up. (Except for the walking stick he bought in Germany, and the landsknechts).
Last but not least, the person reading the book was perfect for the job.
"So near but so far"
Read all three books & was really looking forward to listening to them. Sadly, although Mr Redman has a pleasing voice and style his pronunciation is so consistently erratic as to spoil the whole experience. If only the producers would ensure that their narrators were up to speed with standard pronunciation! A good plan would be for any narrator, especially one dealing with a lot of foreign words or place names, to check with the BBC guide. It really ruined the books for me.
Compelling listening. Best travel books ever! His description of people and places is truly unique.
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