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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful
This is the sequel to 'A Time of Gifts', and continues the young Leigh-Fermor's walk through the length of 1930s Europe. Here we start from where the previous book left off, at the border into Hungary, and continue through until the Iron Gates border between Rumania and Bulgaria. I immensely enjoyed 'A Time of Gifts', and this book is the perfect companion to it. It is a...
Published on 11 Sep 2002

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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Between lost note books and a hazy memory.
Patrick Leigh Fermor is a legendary prose stylist, and his territory is the pre-war world of Central and Balkan Europe which was dredged to destruction first by the Nazis and then by the Communists.
Fermor is candid in that he says " a trunk containing much material " went missing during the Second World War and that he lost some more, when he was torpedoed during...
Published on 28 Nov 2009 by John Irons-patterson


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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful, 11 Sep 2002
By A Customer
This is the sequel to 'A Time of Gifts', and continues the young Leigh-Fermor's walk through the length of 1930s Europe. Here we start from where the previous book left off, at the border into Hungary, and continue through until the Iron Gates border between Rumania and Bulgaria. I immensely enjoyed 'A Time of Gifts', and this book is the perfect companion to it. It is a seamless mix between the world seen through the eager eyes of the nineteen-year-old Leigh Fermor, and a wealth of historical, geographical, linguisitc, and anthropological information, which must have taken most of the intervening decades for him to research. The one drawback of the book is the envy it is bound to create in the reader -- envy of his ability to take a journey such as this in a time now past, and envy (for those who also try to write) at the magnificent prose with which he has captured his memories. Patrick Leigh-Fermor's place in the ranks of the great writers of travel literature is already firmly established, and this is surely one of his finest. If reading this book doesn't inspire you to embark on a journey of your own, then I can only suggest you read it again, only this time with your eyes open.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Central & E Europe before the catastrophe of WWII, 5 Oct 2008
By 
D. Thomas (Devon, England) - See all my reviews
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I read both of Fermor's books of his trek from UK towards Instanbul in sequence, and enjoyed both hugely. It was a great pity he never produced the projected 3rd volume! This (2nd) volume covers his travels through Hungary and Romania, largely by being befriended by local people and being in turn passed on to their friends, so he had the enormous luck of not only their open-handed hospitality but also of their local knowledge. Many of these characters are compelling: I especially loved the studious land-owner who opened the conversation by asking what was Fermor's special research topic. He was clearly disapproving that the 19y old had not got one, and was only mollified by his evidently wide classical reading. Fermor writes perceptively and sympathetically, but his beguiling account is bittersweet as one knows that he is describing a region and people who are on the brink of the horrors of WWII and the dead hand of prolonged totalitarianism. The book ends with an exciting ferry ride through the Danube's Iron Gates gorge - which seemed so spectacular that I decided to visit the place asap, only to discover that it had since been submerged by a dam put up in later more utilitarian times!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer density of description is amazing, 22 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Between the Woods and the Water: on Foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland - The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates (Paperback)
While precise memories of events must have faded in the fifty years between the journey and the book, the context benefits from the breadth and depth of the man's reading. It made me want to read all his other books (done that) but also to read all that he has read (no chance). I have never come across a better descriptive writer. My son, who is a well read engineer and a harsh critic of pretty much everything, was impressed with this quality. In one of his other books, about the Mani, he mentions, in discussing his home there, that every home should have at least two shelves of reference books. I bet he had a lot more than that.

Buy it, read it, and then go buy his other books.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great classic - and much more, 22 Jun 2008
Leigh Fermor's great classic is extraordinary. His language is immensely beautiful, but I believe that the secret to understand the book is that he is actually painting pictures with words. There are some great set pieces in this second volume such as the Easter ceremonies in Hungary, his unforgettable aristocratic hosts and the chateau life he began to lead after Munich while still camping out from time to time. His descriptions of those country houses, and their denizens, particularly once he crosses into Romania, are like small jewels.

The great glory of this book is the trip he makes in Transylvania: it shows a world which no longer exists (Romanian, Hungarians, Swabians etc all living together in one area) and makes one wish to go there immediately.

Leigh Fermor is a polymath and the book is not really travel literature at all, or if it is, it is of a totally different order to anything I have ever read.

Will Leigh Fermor write the promised third part of the great trilogy?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant follow up to a time of gifts, 27 Dec 1999
By A Customer
To enhance the wanderlust yet again in a similar fashion to that seen in "A Time of Gifts" would take an author of great integrity and ability - Leigh Fermor manages once again. Possibly the best travel writer of the 20thC. PLF takes us on not only a journey but also on an adventure in philosophy, history and art. YOU MUST READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful, 10 April 2010
By 
N. Young (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Between the Woods and the Water: on Foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland - The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates (Paperback)
A wonderfully written account of a journey through a region that was irrevocably changed just a few years after the author travelled through it - a fact which lends added poignancy to his vivid descriptions of a way of life that has since vanished. This perhaps inevitably invites comparisons with Rebecca West's 'Black Lamb and Grey Falcon' - although in this instance Leigh Fermor, writing years later, was doing so while fully aware of what would later happen, thus meaning that the Second World War hangs over this work like a storm waiting to happen. Deservedly one of the great works of travel literature.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another beautifully written travel book in the company of a charming, erudite and enthusiastic travelling companion, 18 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Between the Woods and the Water: on Foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland - The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates (Paperback)
I revelled in "A Time of Gifts", the first volume in a trilogy that recounts Patrick Leigh Fermor's extraordinary journey, which commenced in 1933, when he was 18 years old, and during which he set out to walk from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. At the end of "A Time of Gifts" we left Paddy in Hungary, and this is where "Between the Woods and the Water" picks up the journey.

In "Between The Woods And The Water", Paddy travels to Budapest and thence across the Great Hungarian Plain, before travelling through Transylvania and the upper Carpathian Mountains, variously walking, riding on horseback, by car, on a boat, and by train,

Paddy continues to share his enthusiasm for life, language, history, nature, religion, people, music, food and anything else that piques his interest. His gift for making friends knows no bounds. In this volume, alongside the usual array of aristocrats, Paddy befriends two communities of Gypsies, young women harvesting, Transylvanian shepherds, an Orthodox rabbi and his sons, and various other people and groups he encounters. It appears there is no one with whom he cannot find common ground despite the differences in language, circumstance and culture.

This book was published in 1986, nine years after "A Time Of Gifts", however both books share the same vivacity and freshness that belies the gap between the original experience and when the books were written. What elevates this book, and its predecessor, is Paddy's gorgeously poetic descriptions, which vividly bring his journey to life.

Another beautifully written travel book, that also variously serves as a book about European history, social history, relationships, youth, lost worlds, and all in the company of the most charming, erudite and enthusiastic travelling companion imaginable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Didn't enjoy as much as a time of gifts!, 4 Oct 2007
By 
Mr. DAVID Geer "Korngold Fan" (Sydney Australia) - See all my reviews
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I did not enjoy this as much as the first volume of his travels through 1930's middle Europe and I think it may have been, a) because I had not visited these countries much if at all, b) it was somehow not as well written or the experiences were not so fresh and new by the time he got this far! As a record of time past however it stands on its own...that he recovered his note book at all is astonishing and that it contained such gems the more so...don't let my impressions deter you from what others feel is a great 2nd string to book one, which I loved also (5 stars)!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, 22 Jan 2001
By 
Simon C McCrum (Jakarta, Indonesia) - See all my reviews
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I can only reiterate what the previous reviewer has written, you must read this book.
'Between the Woods and Water' is part two in the triology recounting PL-F's walk in 1933 from Holland to Istanbul. This book is an utter delight, the author must rank as one of the greatest travel writers alive.
There is so much charm, poetry and delight within these pages that it would be a tragic shame to miss out on them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immensely enjoyable!, 27 Sep 2008
By 
Mr. DAVID Geer "Korngold Fan" (Sydney Australia) - See all my reviews
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As one reviewer said it makes you envious of a vanished time and life style otherwise immensely enjoyable!
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