‘Words of Mercury’

Words of MercuryWords of Mercury by Patrick Leigh Fermor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fun to read, and an accessible starting point for Fermor.

Except that, it occurs to me, the book itself may not be very accessible in the States. My own copy is stamped with the Hammersmith library logo.

In any event, as it is a greatest-hits-type compilation, it is great fun to read. Fermor’s digressions are winding road maps of thought and reminiscence, and this volume gives the newcomer to Fermor a broad parade ground to muse on.

There are excerpts from “A Time for Gifts,” of course, but other highlights include an accounting of books Fermor would want with him on a desert island (he limits himself to 10, and then tramples on the limits) and a breathlessly engaging letter to a friend in which Fermor recounts a vacation in Spain. To him, I am sure, it was an ordinary trip, and an ordinary letter; but to my admiring eyes, it was anything but.

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