Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure Hardcover – Dec 18 2012
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'She successfully communicates his enormous enthusiasm for life'―Paul Torday, Sunday Express
Tender and excellent―Guardian
Magnificent . . . Cooper's book is the perfect memorial to this remarkable man . . . For those of us who loved him and his work, and for a whole generation of writers who set off in his footsteps, he was the exemplar, showing how magnificently an English life could still be lived. He remains . . . the model to which we still aspire―William Dalrymple, Financial Times
It is the depth, pace and objectivity that distinguishes this impressive biography―Daily Mail
He is the greatest travel writer of the last century, a master of English prose . . . no one has written so well about what it is like to be young and hopeful, with one's future spread before one. Artemis Cooper has done him proud―Jeremy Lewis, Literary Review
Happy the hero who, after a lifetime of glorious achievement, in death finds a biographer worthy of his memory. Artemis Cooper . . . makes this marvellous book less a mere life story than an evocation. [Patrick Leigh Fermor] is justly commemorated in this magnificent biography, and will surely be remembered for ever as one of the very best of men―Jan Morris, Sunday Telegraph
Cooper makes a familiar life - the adolescent walk across Europe, the derring-do in wartime Crete, the books that established him as one of the great prose writes of the 20th century - seem new―Sunday Telegraph
Artemis Cooper reveals a quite extraordinary human being―Good Book Guide
Artemis Cooper does a wonderful job of retelling the story of how 'Paddy' tramped across Europe in the 1930s, slept with princesses and kidnapped Nazis on his beloved island of Crete. Affectionate but never credulous, Cooper gets the measure of the man―Observer
Affectionate but never credulous, Cooper gets the measure of the man―Guardian
Affectionate and amiable biography―Sunday Times Culture
'[Patrick Leigh Fermor's] experiences have been rubbed smooth by much telling, often inaccurate as well as humdrum, and it is very much to Artemis Cooper's credit that she irons out the inaccuracies and places each anecdote in its poper context, backing it up with careful documentation'―Patrick Green, Times Literary Supplement
'Xenophilia is as English as Stilton. In one of the wonderful letters quoted in this perceptive, haunting and highly readable biography, Patrick Leigh Fermor called living in England "like living in the heart of a lettuce. I pine for hot stones and thorns and olive trees and prickly pears"'―Philip Mansel, The Spectator
'Whether describing a night attack on Crete, a love affair or the political tensions over Cyprus that poisoned Anglo-Greek relations after the Second World War, she writes with a cool hand and clear head. Her book lives up to the majesty of the man'―Country Life
'Unputdownable biography'―Big Issue
'This book is a primer for those poor souls yet to encounter his work, and a valuable, decoding manual for the multitude who believe that Leigh Fermor's trilogy about his youthful walk from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul marks one of the high points of twentieth-century English prose . . . Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover'―Allison Pearson, Daily Telegraph
'There's a true biographical treat in store with the long-awaited arrival of . . . Patrick Leigh Fermor, the sure-to-be glorious life of the twentieth century's greatest Hellenic traveller'―Sunday Telegraph preview Jan 2012
'The outstanding achievement in literary biography this year'―Robert McCrum, Observer Books of the Year 2012
'The life of an immensely charming man . . . compelling, funny and wise'―Jane Ridley, The Spectator Books of the Year
'Tender and excellent'―Week
'A clear-sighted account of an extraordinary life'―Sunday Express
'Patrick Leigh Fermor survived enough assaults on his existence to make Rasputin seem like a quitter . . . He was elegant as a cat, darkly handsome, unboreable, curious, fearless, fortunate, blessed with a near eidetic memory, and is surely one of the great English prose stylists of his generation . . . At last his biography has been detailed in full, in Artemis Cooper's tender and excellent book'―Robert MacFarlane, Guardian
'One of the 20th century's truly great men, Fermor is admirably served by this splendid biography'―Lady
'Meticulously researched'―Independent on Sunday
'It is not easy writing a biography of someone who has poured so much of his life into his books, but Artemis Cooper has done a brilliant job'―Mail on Sunday
'It is not easy to convey the flavour of a man whose fame to a large extent rests on his ebullient personality and conversation but Ms Cooper succeeds admirably in this readable and entertaining book'―The Economist
'In describing Leigh Fermor's life, Artemis Cooper had often to revisit a told tale while correcting detail, expounding and inserting context. It was not an easy commission, and she has delivered it brilliantly . . . Artemis Cooper's fine biography gives colour and substance to the adventure, and a delicate, sympathetic portrait of the man who made it his life'―Scotsman
'In a splendid biography Artemis Cooper shows how a rather frustrated young man, who found it difficult to conform, changed the course of his life by undertaking an extraordinary journey . . . Cooper has done a sterling job in recounting his time on Crete'―We Love This Book
'I also adored Artemis Cooper's biography of my favourite travel writer . . . in her new biography Cooper has left the perfect memorial to this remarkable man, which is as full of joie de vivre as its subject'―William Dalrymple, Observer Books of the Year
'His writing beautifully evokes exotic people and places. There wasn't nearly enough of it, but what there was has endured'―Peter Lewis, Daily Mail
'Fermor emerges as a man determined to live on his own terms, if not his own means, and who mostly - and most magnificently - succeeded'―Observer
'Excellent, well-sourced'―Daily Telegraph
'Cooper does this iconic figure proud in a well-researched biography'―Sunday Herald
'Cooper does full justice to this fascinating 20th-century Renaissance man'―Saga Magazine
'By any standards, Patrick Leigh Fermor led an extraordinary life'―Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
'Artemis Cooper's funny, wise, learned but totally candid biography reveals Leigh Fermor to be an adventurer through and through . . . page-turning'―Barnaby Rogerson, Independent
'Artemis Cooper's definitive biography draws on many years' encounters with Fermor, and is probably the most important travel-related book of the year'―Conde Nast Traveller
'Artemis Cooper's biography proved magnificently that a somewhat over-eulogised hero could be well worth the eulogising after all'―Jan Morris, Sunday Telegraph
'Artemis Cooper's Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure was widely admired for its vivid portrait of a remarkable man'―David Robson, Sunday Telegraph
'Artemis Cooper winningly followed in the footsteps of the great charmer, warrior and yarn-spinner'―Independent
'Artemis Cooper has done a fine job of documenting his travels'―Lonely Planet Magazine
'Artemis Cooper has done a brilliant job. The story rips along, as Leigh Fermor's life did, with friends and lovers, books and journeys and parties. And in the quieter moments we are left with something far more enduring: a man for whom the world was endlessly fascinating, and who found that he could create for his readers with carefully crafted words the same wonder that it gave him'―Philip Marsden, Mail on Sunday
'Artemis Cooper draws on years of interviews with the author and his friends in this much-anticipated biography'―Guardian
'Artemis Cooper carries us on a calm, confident journey . . . Cooper has mastered a tremendous amount of material'―Nicholas Shakespeare, Daily Telegraph
'Artemis Cooper . . . has done him proud'―Literary Review
'An outstanding account of an extraordinary life; tender and evocative, without ever hardening into hagiography'―Guardian Books of the Year 2012
'An admirably fair-minded portrait of the celebrated travel writer and adventurer'―Sunday Times
'A superb biography of the adventurous travel writer and war hero, draws on the years of interviews and complete access to his archives'―Independent
'A roster of adventure and exuberant derring-do'―Independent on Sunday
'A fine friendly, biography of a heroic, headlong character'―The Times
About the Author
Artemis Cooper is the author of Cairo in the War, 1939-1945 and Writing at the Kitchen Table, the authorized biography of Elizabeth David. With her husband Antony Beevor she wrote Paris After the Liberation, 1945-1949. She has edited two collections of letters and Words of Mercury, a collection of pieces by Patrick Leigh Fermor.
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Artemis Cooper has known PLF all her life, her husband made much use of his information in a fine history of the Cretan war. Her family has known Fermor. She has had unparalleled access to information which she has simply used, at best, for titillation.
I am a long-time admirer of PLF. He was a man of courage, complex, highly flawed, highly gifted. He deserves much better.
Cooper wrote an "official" biography. Perhaps a better, more intelligent writer can write a real biography.
My review is here:[...]
I wanted to find out more about him so I also read In Tearing Haste which gave me some inkling about PLF. So I was waiting for Diana Cooper's book with great anticipation. And I was greatly disappointed on two counts. One was not her fault but the other surely was.
To find out that someone whose writing one admires greatly has not just clay feet but is clay up to his knees at least, was painful. PLF was a charming,talented and gifted, con artist, moocher, tom cat etc. How sad that someone with such great gifts and potential doesn't really live up to it.
So now we come to the part that is the fault of the biographer. This could and should have been a book which delved into what made PLF tick. Why did he waste so much of his time. Why was he able to mooch off his future wife and spend the money on ladies of the night. Why was she ok with that. It didn't seem to bother him at all that he gave some of his lovers venereal diseases etc. etc.
None of these and other important questions are answered. Instead we are given a strung together list of important people he knew and interacted with, the many trips he took and so on. And all this in pretty pedestrian prose. I am very disappointed. I was looking forward
to the Broken Road the last of the triology but now I am hesitant not knowing if Ms. Cooper did it justice.