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Old 05-03-2014, 03:48 PM   #31
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FYI, my Overdrive library just added The Broken Road to their catalog! Looks like a recent Overdrive addition in March from the title information.

The Artemis Cooper biography is also available at my library.
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Old 05-05-2014, 03:41 PM   #32
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FYI, my Overdrive library just added The Broken Road to their catalog! Looks like a recent Overdrive addition in March from the title information.
apparently the Mexico site of Kobo had it as a freebie on May 1st - I missed it though
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:55 AM   #33
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I didn't read the book yet because I probably wouldn't be able to read it in English and I hesitate to read the German translation.
But I would add some personal experiences to your impressions - I just pick up two points:

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Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
If anyone saw the film Ill Met By Moonlight, you'll remember Patrick Leigh Fermor was the officer who was in charge of the plot to kidnap of the German commander in Crete
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Perhaps though sometimes leaving me to wonder if it was all a true reflection of reality at the time or maybe there was more than a little of the way he now (at the time the book was written) remembered it, or the way he would have liked it to be. The book after all was written in 1977 about experiences in 1933-1934, and I definitely feel that in the intervening decades a rose-colored patina had developed over it all.
I lived on Crete for 12 years (until 2008). Fermor's involvement in the abduction of General Kreipe is not forgotten even nowadays and there take place annual commemoration ceremonies for that day. Not only to remember the kidnapping, but also to remember the nearly 50 Cretans who were executed immediately after the abduction. 'Immediately after' means, that Fermor and his supporters were still on the island (it took them almost 3 weeks to leave Crete) - but no-one betrayed them, the sense of honour of Cretan people led them to see their men and boys executed and their village be burnt.
I am sure, that someone who went through this experiences must find a way to keep his positive sight of view and to forget all the cruelty.

So in the 60s, when Fermor decided to live in the Mani (Peleponnes), he choose an area, that is even today one of the "wildest", untouched, not changed, "real" parts of Greece, as Crete was (and is in parts, still today). In the 60s as well as in the 70s when he finally wrote his book, even in the 90s, you could forget your wallet in a small cafenion of a mountain village and go back a few days later to pick it up. You found villages without electricity and people being poor, but offering you some grapes with a smile, you felt like holding a treasure. You were invited to a village marriage just because you stepped by occasionally. You lost your way and someone brought you to the next place you were heading for - not without inviting you for a coffee or at least a water, or offering some fruit.

So, the "rose-colored patina" was still reality when he wrote his book and hasn't lost its charme in Mani of today. May be he decided not to take part in live of the extremely changing world after WWII but to find a place, where live was still connected to the world he knew and loved before.

Last edited by Elpida; 06-13-2014 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 06-13-2014, 12:13 PM   #34
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Hello, Elpida! Thank you for sharing your personal experience. It was very interesting to read.
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Old 06-13-2014, 12:45 PM   #35
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Hello, Elpida! Thank you for sharing your personal experience. It was very interesting to read.


The book may be challenging for a non-native English speaker but if you want to read it in English I think it's very possible judging by the command of the English language that you show in your post, Elpida.
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Old 06-13-2014, 03:59 PM   #36
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...specially for encouraging me to read the English version I'll think about it...
Meanwhile I will try to improve my English following your interesting and inspiring book club discussions and now and then (as with The Secret River and Fools Crow) I read a book in English or, as with The Tale of Love and Darkness, in German translation.
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:32 PM   #37
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Welcome Elpida! I too found your post very interesting. We would love to have you join us, and join the discussion when you feel comfortable doing that.
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Old 06-14-2014, 01:56 AM   #38
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I didn't read the book yet because I probably wouldn't be able to read it in English and I hesitate to read the German translation.
I've read it in German and I didn't find any problems with the translation.

Schön, dass Du den Weg hier rüber in diesen Buchclub gefunden hast!
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Old 06-14-2014, 02:13 AM   #39
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Thank you for your welcome, Bookpossum

Billi, good to know, that to read the German translation is no problem.
Ja, ich lese ja schon länger still mit
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:04 AM   #40
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Welcome, Elpida. I, too, appreciated your interesting post and am delighted that you have joined us.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:16 AM   #41
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The New York Review of Books review of the last of the trilogy, The Broken Road.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/arch...-leigh-fermor/
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:16 PM   #42
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One other comment on this. I do wonder if Fermor's experience would have been the same and would the idea of such a journey have been possible even back then for a working class English youth? Would the father of an old school friend been willing, or even able, in 1933 to lend Fermor 15 pounds to get him started on his journey. Would his reception throughout Europe been the same as a wandering lower-class 18-year old with the corresponding level of education?
Probably not. I'm currently reading "Burning the Reichstag" by Benjamin Carter Hett. Marinus van der Lubbe, a wandering Dutch bricklayer, was executed for arson and high treason in connection with the fire.

Van der Lubbe was an orphan raised by his sister, and became a bricklayer because he couldn't think of anything better to do; he lost most of his sight early in his career, and lived on a small disability pension by the time he was 19. According to Hett:

"He was a young man who yearned to be something that, born in poverty in a time of limited social mobility, he could not be... He embarked on extraordinarily adventurous journeys around Europe... In September 1931 he wanted to go to China via Constantinople. From the map he thought he could walk to Constantinople in about three weeks ... and was surprised to encounter snow in Austria. He had thought that by going south he would escape the winter. By mid-October he had by any rate reached Yugoslavia, where he gave up... "
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