28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Very enjoyable, very erudite,
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This review is from: A Time to Keep Silence (New York Review Books Classics) (Paperback)
Another great book by a great travel writer. This is a very quick read, but absolutely stuffed with erudition. For all but the most educated, it wouldn't hurt to read this with Wikipedia as a companion piece. As with his other travel books, the mix of architecture, history, linguistics, and an obvious personal touch lend an air of familiarity which, in the end, help give the impression that you have experienced these things yourself.
I once read a review which stated this book concluded that the vow of silence and other retreats from secular life were not effective or warranted in some circumstances. In my opinion, this conclusion was not reached by the author. The opposite appears to be true - Fermor's return to secular life seemed to be more traumatic than his adjustment period during his first visit. His understanding is remarkable and serves as a good lesson to the casual reader - his hosts honestly believe they are suffering in order to atone for the sins of the world, and they ask for nothing in return.