The New York Review Books offers a collection of reviews for A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor.
"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
The Telegraph Thursday 01 August 201
Everyone fell in love with Paddy Leigh Fermor
"Like all those who met Patrick Leigh Fermor, his biographer Artemis Cooper found the travel writer and war hero utterly beguiling."
The Paris Review - A Visit with Patrick Leigh Fermor, Part 1 May 17, 2013 | by Ben Downing
"It has been said of Ulysses that, were Dublin ever obliterated, the city could be substantially rebuilt by consulting its pages. Along these lines, if all Europe were, God forbid, laid waste tomorrow, one might do worse than attempt to recreate it, or at least to preserve some sense of its historical splendor and variety, by immersing oneself in the travel books of Patrick Leigh Fermor."
The New York Times Books
Patrick Leigh Fermor, Travel Writer, Dies at 96 Richard Woodard June 11, 2011
"Once described by the BBC as “a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene,” Mr. Leigh Fermor was as renowned for his feats of derring-do as for his opulent prose."
TLS - The Times Literary Supplement
Life with Paddy Leigh Fermor by Peter Green
"But the other major aspect of A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water that surely guaranteed their capacity to enchant so many readers, and their survival as classics of twentieth-century literature, is the immense, time-consuming, and, to his publisher, maddening care their author devoted to fashioning the sentences in which they were written."
Book Club Extraordinaire has made it to the big time. We are featured on the Bookshelf in the July 17 issue of Town&style Saint Louis. You can check out the article at townandstyle.com.
Jonathan Franzen wrote his first book, Twenty-Seventh City, when he was around 13 years old. He had a stable home life, his mother and father were older parents. He married right after college to another writer. There were tensions between his success and her lack thereof. They desperately tried to keep the marriage together.
During this time his father was losing his battle with Alzheimer's and his mother was ill. The things that meant the most to him were dissolving. These losses stimulated a writing streak about the most important time of his life - growing up in the Midwest. His writing documented and memorialized the experience.
This novel, The Corrections, became a best seller, and at the time was proclaimed by many to be the future of the American novel.
BOMB, No 77, Fall, 2001, pp.72-78
I'm an expert amateur or maybe an amateur expert.