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This review is from: Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese (Kindle Edition)
I've thoroughly enjoyed many of Patrick Leigh Fermor's books - specifically A Time of Gifts, Between the Woods and the Water, The Traveller's Tree and A Time to Keep Silence.
My fond memories of Greece (they include experiencing at first-hand the depth of village hospitality) meant I was looking forward to reading about the time he spent exploring the rugged Mani peninsula, meeting the locals and discovering more of the history of that out-of-the-way corner of Greece.
I've never had the slightest difficulty with Paddy's near-lyrical turn of phrase or with the extremely long (but beautifully crafted) sentences so typical of his style of writing. His deep understanding and knowledge of the geography, customs, religion and history of the countries he visits have always fascinated me. And, in 'Mani', his description of that inhospitable country is, as expected, beautifully written and matches his fluent description of the genuine and open friendship of the people he meets.
Unfortunately 'Mani' contains many, many pages in which he roams far beyond Greece, the Peloponnese and Byzantium as he explores - in great and erudite detail - the ancient history of the entire region and the role played by the Gods of classical mythology.
In these pages Mani and its inhabitants effectively cease to exist.
It wasn't what I expected and my three star rating reflects this - and the hope that, as I start to read Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece and the unread balance of his works, those reservations will prove to be a one-off.