• A Time of Gifts

  • On Foot to Constantinople: from the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube
  • By: Patrick Leigh Fermor
  • Narrated by: Crispin Redman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 01-05-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.9 (92 ratings)


In 1933, at the age of 18, Patrick Leigh Fermor set out on an extraordinary journey by foot - from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. A Time of Gifts is the first volume in a trilogy recounting the trip, and takes the listener with him as far as Hungary.
It is a book of compelling glimpses - not only of the events that were curdling Europe at that time, but also of its resplendent domes and monasteries, its great rivers, the sun on the Bavarian snow, the storks and frogs, the hospitable burgomasters who welcomed him, and that world's grandeurs and courtesies. His powers of recollection have astonishing sweep and verve, and the scope is majestic.
©1977 The estate of Patrick Leigh Fermor (P)2014 Hodder & Stoughton
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Critic reviews

"Nothing short of a masterpiece" (Jan Morris)
"Not only is the journey one of physical adventure but of cultural awakening. Architecture, art, genealogy, quirks of history and language are all devoured - and here passed on - with a gusto uniquely his" (Colin Thubron, Sunday Telegraph)
"Rightly considered to be among the most beautiful travel books in the language" ( Independent)
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Regular price: £24.99

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By eleanor on 29-08-14

Travel journal

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes, fascinating journey beautifully described

What did you like best about this story?

The picture of 1930s Europe

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The time in Vienna

Any additional comments?

A really good read

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Steve_Morris on 13-10-14

Maybe better to read this at leisure

Would you try another book written by Patrick Leigh Fermor or narrated by Crispin Redman?

I am tempted to read the sequel rather than listen to the audio, which I found rather rushed.

What did you like best about this story?

The feeling of landscape and the times of the period between the wars. People's values and way of life are very well captured.

What three words best describe Crispin Redman’s performance?

Sounds like JustAMinute. It felt like he was racing not to hesitate, deviate from the subject or otherwise be caught out by Nicholas Parsons. I suppose there are a lot of words to read, but I found the delivery tiring after a while.

Was A Time of Gifts worth the listening time?

Yes I did enjoy it, but I am not sure about Listening to the sequel.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By sometomato on 27-01-15

Terrific book, disappointing reading

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I love this remarkable book so much, but I am having trouble listening to this plummy and affected reading of it. Listen to the sample carefully before buying--make sure you're OK with this style of delivery!

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Crispin Redman?

I don't know. Someone who just .... reads.

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5 of 6 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Steve on 18-11-17

Lots of flowery talk

Not sure I got much out of the book. I guess I was looking for more information about the area at hand. The way the narrator spoke was enjoyable to listen to. No one I know speaks like that. Probably for good reason.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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