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90 of 92 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Master Returns
Is there really any greater literary event than the arrival of a new work by Leigh Fermor? Here is English prose of the very highest order with amazingly evocative portraits of people and places. There really is nobody else who writes such gorgeous prose, is so wonderfully authoritative (and loving) of people, places, language and culture.
I did wonder about buying...
Published on 18 Nov 2003 by Andrew Howell

versus
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A must for fans of Leigh-Fermor
... but if you already own all his books, be warned that about half this anthology is made up of extracts from Mani, Roumeli, A Time to Keep Silence, A Time of Gifts and other books. However, there are some interesting previously uncollected articles, reviews and profiles.
Published on 3 Nov 2004 by Ms. S. Hamilton


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90 of 92 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Master Returns, 18 Nov 2003
By 
Andrew Howell "andyhowell3" (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Words of Mercury (Hardcover)
Is there really any greater literary event than the arrival of a new work by Leigh Fermor? Here is English prose of the very highest order with amazingly evocative portraits of people and places. There really is nobody else who writes such gorgeous prose, is so wonderfully authoritative (and loving) of people, places, language and culture.
I did wonder about buying this volume as, almost inevitably, I have all of his major published works on my bookshelf. But even when reading excerpts from classics like 'A time of Gifts' I felt I was getting acquainted with the people and places for the very first time.
But there are lots of unpublished gems here - or at least pieces that have been published in obscure and sometimes defunct publications.
The book is based on sections: travel; Greece; people; books as well as a section called 'flotsam' that includes a lovely piece on gluttony and a marvelous letter to Diana Cooper.
Paddy is as remarkable as ever. If I've not given this five stars it is only because it reminds me (so forcibly) that we are still awaiting the final installment of the trilogy covering the walk from Holland to Constantinople. But, anyhow, while we're all waiting the 'Words of Mercury' will simply encourage us to re-read the back catalogue. And who knows; when we've finished, perhaps the new volume will be ready!
I really can't believe that anyone reading this review will not have read Paddy's work before. But if you haven't, my goodness, your in for the literary treat of a lifetime!
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A must for fans of Leigh-Fermor, 3 Nov 2004
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This review is from: Words of Mercury (Paperback)
... but if you already own all his books, be warned that about half this anthology is made up of extracts from Mani, Roumeli, A Time to Keep Silence, A Time of Gifts and other books. However, there are some interesting previously uncollected articles, reviews and profiles.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting, and a wonderful way with words (and people), 27 Jan 2009
By 
Henk Beentje "Henk Beentje" (Kew, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Words of Mercury (Paperback)
In addition to the two reviews above - yes, some of it is familiar; fifty-five pages from 'Time of gifts' and 'between the woods and the water', but - oh joy - we get a bit of part III of The Walk, 'a cave on the Black Sea', obscurely published in the Holiday Magazine of May 1965. That alone makes it worth the price, I'd say. Another thirty pages from 'Mani' and 'Roumeli'; and - andra moi ennepe, Mousa - twelve pages on abducting a General, from a report written for the Imperial War Museum in 1969.
Bits from 'the Traveller's tree'; articles from the Spectator; biographical bits, book reviews, and even a section called, simply, 'flotsam'. It is all most enjoyable, and his way of writing gives me jolts of pleasure; it is the way the words fit together, calling up vistas, smells, unseen mysteries and long-gone times.
I am not quite sure why everyone alweays calls Leigh Fermor a travel writer. Sure, he travels a lot; but surely, he is a people writer first of all. And a history writer, a myth writer, a place-and-atmosphere writer; a wonderful writer. Five stars, even if some of the reviews are too erudite for me. A trove of treasure, this one. I recommend it to your attention, and pleasure.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...such stuff as dreams are made on ...", 13 Feb 2012
This review is from: Words of Mercury (Paperback)
It does seem rather unfair that God could have seen fit to provide the late Sir Paddy with so much talent; I wish some of it could have been pushed in my direction!

Sir Paddy Leigh Fermor was a decorated war hero, secret agent, adventurer and traveller - but most of all, he was one of the finest writers of his generation. His prose has seldom been bettered and my reading of his books often has me racing to my English dictionary - my Greek dictionary, too! - for clarification.

In this well put-together anthology, my favourite is the Greek section, especially the `Supper in the Sky' chapter from `Mani'. It's almost possible to smell the roast lamb as it's served up in the tower, sixty feet above ground level and the imagined thoughts of the shipboard passengers are a delight. Until now, I was unaware that Sir Paddy had written an account of the `Ill met by Moonlight' episode in wartime Crete; one wonders what precisely would have happened to General Müller (the original target for abduction, instead of General Kreipe) due to the extreme brutality meted out to the Cretans by the German forces under his command - nothing good, I fear!

Artemis Cooper has done a very fine job in cobbling these extracts together. I understand that she and Anthony Beevor are currently working on Sir Paddy's biography, for publication later this year; as far as I'm concerned, it can't come soon enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words of Genius, 12 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Words of Mercury (Paperback)
Purchasers of this book must be aware that more than 60% of its contents are selected extracts from PLF's other books. It is therefore an ideal gift to give to anybody remotely interested in literature who has not heard of him - although I suspect this category of person has greatly diminished in size in recent years ! The remaining pieces are all extremely interesting and would be difficult for Paddy's fans to unearth otherwise for themselves. They include Paddy's contribution to "The Pleasure of Reading", a book edited by Antonia Fraser, some heartfelt and magnanimous orbituaries for Roger Hinks, Iain Moncreiffe, George Katsimbalis and John Pendlebury; a report for the War Office, three entertaining book reviews and finally writing grouped under "Flotsam" that included an unusual piece published in the Spectator in 1994 where Paddy's ingenious mind makes 'Greek Stones Speak'. Here is a brief example.
"Doric...."
"What Gable ?"
"We'll frieze in this gutta!"
"Do you ....caryatid ?"
"Mmm ! But don't telamon !"
I do not suppose Paddy ever descended from Parnassus and deigned to play a mundane game of "Scrabble", but I should not have liked to find myself in competition with him playing parlour games involving words. Yet I think the price of this paperback is warranted by that piece of trivia alone !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words of Patrick Leigh Fermor, 22 April 2012
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This review is from: Words of Mercury (Paperback)
Excellent - an unending source of brilliant writing which commands admiration of his enquiry into human character,languages and racial tradtions. I couldn't ask for better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A delightful selection of PLF writings, 1 Oct 2011
By 
R. de Brantes (Czech Republic) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Words of Mercury (Paperback)
Probably the best introductory work for those lucky souls who are not yet familiar with the writings of Patrick Leigh-Fermor, and a delightful "best of" for those who already are. Convenient segment length makes this book ideal loo reading!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A firm favourite., 14 Jan 2014
By 
M. Harriman "Martin H" (Auckland, New Zealand New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Words of Mercury (Paperback)
Any thing by PLF is to be acquired and enjoyed. Print in this edition is rather illegible - magnification is vital for those of riper years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Patrick Leigh Fermor - another superb book, 3 Dec 2013
By 
Trish. NIBLOCK (Edinburgh Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Words of Mercury (Paperback)
This book is a collection of extracts from his other books - it is absolutely marvellous .

He writes poetic prose which is a delight to read.

Trish Niblock
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 30 Oct 2013
This review is from: Words of Mercury (Kindle Edition)
Really enjoyed this - shows his maturity. A must read for PLF aficionados and those wishing to learn about European life and history
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Words of Mercury
Words of Mercury by Patrick Leigh Fermor (Paperback - 19 July 2004)
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