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A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople: From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube [Anglais] [Broché]

Patrick Leigh Fermor , Jan Morris
4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
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Produits fréquemment achetés ensemble

A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople: From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube + Between the Woods and the Water: On Foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland: The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates + The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos
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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"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 Review

“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 Morris

"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 Atlantic

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

Présentation de l'éditeur

At the age of eighteen, Patrick Leigh Fermor set off from the heart of London on an epic journey—to walk to Constantinople. A Time of Gifts is the rich account of his adventures as far as Hungary, after which Between the Woods and the Water continues the story to the Iron Gates that divide the Carpathian and Balkan mountains. Acclaimed for its sweep and intelligence, Leigh Fermor’s book explores a remarkable moment in time. Hitler has just come to power but war is still ahead, as he walks through a Europe soon to be forever changed—through the Lowlands to Mitteleuropa, to Teutonic and Slav heartlands, through the baroque remains of the Holy Roman Empire; up the Rhine, and down to the Danube.

At once a memoir of coming-of-age, an account of a journey, and a dazzling exposition of the English language, A Time of Gifts is also a portrait of a continent already showing ominous signs of the holocaust to come.

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 344 pages
  • Editeur : NYRB Classics (3 octobre 2005)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1590171659
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590171653
  • Dimensions du produit: 20,8 x 16,1 x 1,9 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 8.118 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
  • Table des matières complète
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Le meilleur livre de voyage 21 mai 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
A la découverte d'un monde perdu . Une aventure , un voyage que nous aimerions faire . D'une grande culture

A la découverte d'un monde perdu. C'est une invitation au voyage et à l'aventure .
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 The youth of an adventurer 25 avril 2012
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
The author has led an adventurous life in war and peace - this is his start - a walk across pre-war Europe with £20 in his pocket. During the war, he turns up in Albania and Crete behind enemy lines.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Europe in 1933 8 août 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
A Young man's travels mainly on foot across Europe in 1933 is not only interesting in opposing the old ways of pre World War I but the threats of the coming strife. And all this amid the beauties of the towns he goesthrough.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  129 commentaires
138 internautes sur 140 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Lost Youth? 23 août 2006
Par Daniel Myers - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This book is an extreme rarity. It is one that I cannot imagine ANYONE NOT enjoying. Strapping young precocious Fermor, bounced out of school and knocking about London with some chums awaiting, in Fermor's case, with many misgivings, the military rigours of Sandyhurst, decides to chuck it all and go gadding about Europe during the interwar years toward Constantinople at the age of eighteen (He turns nineteen about halfway through.). The result, culled from memories and diaries that survived, and penned decades later, is a bouncing picaresque jaunt through the heartland of Europe, all seen (save for the occasional aside) through the coruscating eyes of youth, is one I simply can't imagine anyone wanting to miss, especially given that this is a world now lost to us almost completely. Interlarded herein are disquisitions on literature, architecture, and history, history, history (a witches' brew of real and apocryphal). Add to this delightfully unguided rather than misguided quest a cast of characters ranging from the homeless seeking shelter to the aristocrat in his schloss whom the author chances upon the way and you have a simply irresistible and sui-generis narrative. You have this book which, regardless of how many grey hairs age has snowed upon your head, will make you feel young and in love with the world again.----5 lofty, swirling stars.
79 internautes sur 82 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A rare sort of read 27 juin 2001
Par The Reader from California - Publié sur Amazon.com
You are certainly off the beaten path if you are reading this review. But trust me, you're in a good spot. It was an unintended and yet happy serendipity that I bought Fermor's "A Time of Gifts" at a used book shop at the far end of Crete, in Paleohora. It wasn't until later that I appreciated the coincidence. I thought my prep school education and university BA in ancient history and German grounded me pretty well in things European. After reading Fermor, I realize I "don't know jack". This is a great book. The writing is fine, the content superb. It is wonderful for all the adventures and carefree wanderings. Yet this story is poignant: not only for the glimpses of what is to come in WWII, but also because Fermor passes through a world that is gone forever. His journey would be impossible today. Read it and keep it. Happily, I came across the second book, "Between the Woods and the Water" in another used bookstore, the Green Apple in San Francisco.
56 internautes sur 61 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A TIME OF GIFTS . . . 30 janvier 2006
Par William Apt - Publié sur Amazon.com
A TIME OF GIFTS is Fermor's lively autobiographical account of his walking tour of 1930s Europe as a charming, precocious and astonishingly brilliant teenage dropout. It encompasses not only the rake's progress, but acute observations of persons and places of that now vanished time, and remarkably erudite discourses on art, architecture, literature, history, anthropology, ethnography, linguistics, geography, and theories of cultural influence, as well. A TIME OF GIFTS is as enthralling as it is difficult. If the reader is willing to cross-check Fermor's frequent unexplained references and allusions; to consult a good dictionary with disheartening regularity; to become accustomed to Fermor's complex English prose style that, at times, is akin to learning a new language; and to not become frustrated with his dizzying flights of descriptive fancy that leave the reader grasping at his coattails, one will thoroughly enjoy this book. In other words, A TIME OF GIFTS is not for lightweights: it is great art, and great art demands one's full attention. And if one gives it one's full attention, one will emerge on the other side giddy with accomplishment . . . that same elated feeling one might recall from college having completed challenging courses taught by demanding but rewarding professors, done well, and expanded one's intellectual horizons beyond imagining.

While A TIME OF GIFTS is about many things, a central theme remains constant: the kindness of strangers. That and that we are children inhabiting an earthly paradise called life who stand to reap the richest gifts from the most unlikely sources by merely playing nicely with others.
22 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Marvellous reading 11 décembre 2000
Par "maya_ar" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Patrick Leigh Fermor possesses the bard's gift, transporting his reader into the time and place he tells of. This wonderful book, which should be read along with "Between the Woods and the Water", recreates his travels across 1930s Europe in spell-binding fashion. He is at once wonderfully erudite and refreshingly spare of phrase.
Another reviewer requested details of his exploits in war-time Crete. Readers may perhaps want to watch "Ill-met by Moonlight", starring Dirk Bogarde, which is a dramatization of Fermor's adventures, along with Billy Moss, in the kidnapping of General Kreipe, the commander-in-chief of the German forces in Crete.
Other not-to-be-missed books by Fermor: The Travellers Tree, Vanishing Greece, and Between the Woods and the Water. Patrick Fermor is currently a Companion of Literature, an honour conferred by the Royal Society of Literature on a select company of up to 10 writers at a time. Other current Companions include V.S.Naipaul, Seamus Heaney, and Harold Pinter. Past holders of the title include such luminaries as Samuel Beckett, Anthony Burgess, Winston Churchill, E. M. Forster, Graham Greene, Aldous Huxley, W. Somerset Maugham, and Stephen Spender.
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 I wish I was 20 again... 29 janvier 2007
Par ScrawnyPunk - Publié sur Amazon.com
`A Time of Gifts' is a delightful travelogue, even though the sites and sounds are long gone. Fermor paints a picture of the life every young man wants to lead - well-funded itinerant travel, nearly effortless sociability, and a seemingly endless nightlife. Together with its companion piece, `Between the Woods and the Water,' this historical post-card is required reading for anyone with the combined interests of travel, history, language, and social frivolity in pre-war Europe.

The narrative structure is an open letter to a friend. Every region receives a minor academic treatment that sets the tone for the young Fermor's adventures. Each adventure is a short glimpse into the man that was to become both a world-class writer and a guerrilla fighter who managed to both capture and trade poetry with a German General during World War II. Much like the man himself (equal parts scamp and scholar), the book mixes extraordinary academic details with what amounts to a lucid walk between drunken visits.

The depth of the author's knowledge of central European history, language, art, and architecture is almost depressing. While reading (and between trips to the dictionary), I found myself wondering whether or not the average American high school student would ever study a tenth of material Fermor picked up through personal reading. On the other hand, it is refreshing to see someone put so much historical and cultural context behind each of his encounters in foreign lands. Small wonder that he was accepted everywhere he went.

The one regret I have is the sparse treatment of Holland. Perhaps it is because this was the first stop, but the author does not seem to get his feet wet until he crosses into Germany. Perhaps it is because the country is too small. Perhaps it is too similar to the author's home country. At any rate, it feels a shame to neglect the one place that managed to nurture both the Dutch Masters and the Tulip Craze.

All in all, this was one of the most rewarding books I have read in years. I would recommend it to anyone.
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