- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From the Hardcover edition.
"Pendlebury and Fermor are just two of the extraordinary characters in Wes Davis' The Ariadne Objective: The Underground War to Rescue Crete From the Nazis…Many of the heroes in Davis' book are so literary that they merit a seemingly oxymoronic designation: swashbuckling men of letters…Drawing on letters, diaries, and long reports to headquarters, he reconstructs their escapades and espionage with incredible, novelistic detail. The story unfolds with the rich characterization and perfectly calibrated suspense of a great novel. It can be hard at points to remember the book is actually a work of nonfiction." –Christian Science Monitor
“Exciting stuff, to be sure, but what really sets the book apart from the host of look-alikes is Davis’s dedication to fleshing out the eccentricity of the main players…. It is surely is a good thing that we no longer associate war with adventure; if it were always as appealing as Davis has made it here, we would grow to love it too much.”–The Daily Beast
"Fascinating." –New York Post
“Already thrilling in premise, Davis's execution of this previously untold war story is spot on especially when he colors in history with intricate descriptions of the exotic locale.”–Publishers Weekly
“An exciting, tense narrative that unfolds like an espionage novel.”–Booklist
"History both crucial and swashbuckling." –Library Journal
"An exciting, earnestly narrated World War II story."–Kirkus Reviews
“Wes Davis's brilliant chronicle of the battle for German-occupied Crete is doubly rich in its description of character and of the perilous varieties of combat. This story tells how classically literate and well nigh fearless Britons allied with brigandish locals to confound, confuse and finally defeat the Nazi occupiers.” –Robert Stone, author of Dog Soldiers
“Meticulously researched and gracefully narrated. The Ariadne Objective shows close-up the final gaudy flowering of the imperial swashbucklers—indifferent to discomfort, fluent in many languages, reckless, eccentrically decadent mischief-makers, never unintentionally ill-mannered—who made their home in the world, before George Smiley took over his grudging service to the Empire.” –Geoffrey Wolff, author of A Day at the Beach
"In the grand tradition of John LeCarre, Wes Davis has created a thrilling tale of espionage in the face of great peril. This is gripping history, masterfully told." –McKay Jenkins, author of The Last Ridge
“The Ariadne Objective is a ripping yarn, and Wes Davis is the perfect person to spin it. Ariadne will appeal to fans of Ben Macintyre's books like Double Cross and Operation Mincemeat and, in fact, to anyone who enjoys a good story well told. This book kept me up well past my bedtime: I couldn't go to sleep until I finished it.” –Ben Yagoda, author of About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made and How to Not Write Bad
Posted December 13, 2013
The Ariadne Objective is an excellent addition to the literature of World War II. Wes Davis takes us into the events of World War II that occurred on the island of Crete. It is a little known battlefield between the British and Germans. It also gives us a look at the role of the Cretans in the guerilla warfare that took place on Crete.
This is the story of how British intelligence and in particular John Pendlebury an archaeologist and Patrick Leigh Fermor whom the author follows as a young man in his foot tour of Europe from the Netherlands to Greece before war breaks out. This trip prepared Fermor for working with the Cretans because he merged himself into the various cultures that he passed through as a young man traveling in Europe. At least it prepared him for all of the hiking or walking that he would later do in the mountains of Crete.
It is a story of wanting to hurt the German war effort, but at the same time protect the citizens of Crete, which at times suffered at the hands of the occupiers when the guerrilla forces would strike them in some way. The British officers working on Crete were accepted and in many cases hidden by the Cretan population. The story finale builds up to the audacious plan to kidnap a German officer.
I would like to have seen a map of Crete in the book so that the reader could trace the routes that the British and Cretan used in the mountains. It is a very good look at a battle area that most histories of World War II overlook. It gives a glimpse of the working of the British intelligence service in the war and the unsung heroes of unknown battles.
Posted December 12, 2013