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Love And War In The Apennines
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Love And War In The Apennines

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  491 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Eric Newby escapes through a hospital window to become a POW on the run in Italy in 1943. With the Nazis moving in from the North and no certain way back to England, his situation appears grim. But with the help of local farmers and villagers, who risk their lives to shelter him, he survives. Hiding in shepherds' buts and even a cave, he achieves three precious months of f ...more
Published May 1st 1996 by MacMillan General Books (first published 1971)
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Love and War in the Apennines (1971) was a perfect holiday read. An adventurous tale of escape and romance set during the collapse of Fascist Italy, the book is a monument to sacrifice, courage, and gratitude.

In 1942, Eric Newby (A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, Slowly Down the Ganges) was captured in a botched attempt to raid a Sicilian airfield from the sea. He spent much of the Second World War in prison camps, first in Italy and later in Czechoslovakia. But in the autumn of 1943, he enjoyed
Jun 28, 2008 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: memoir
This is an extraordinary account of Eric Newby's survival as a prisoner of War in Italy during World War II. More importantly it is the story of the heroic generosity of the Italian peasants who secretly, and at great personal risk, sheltered the released prisoners after the armistice in 1943, but before the end of the war. The Germans were still fighting the allies in Italy and the Fascists declared death for anyone who aided former POWs. It is also a a story of a time and a sensibility so rem ...more
In the summer of 2008 when we went to Italy, the tour company suggested this book as a background read. It's based in the WWII era and is fascinating. The author tells of his experience as a British soldier captured by the Italians and then the Germans, of his excapes and recapturing, of his falling in love with Wanda, who befriends him although neither speaks the other's language. Whether or not you are planning a trip to Italy, this one is well worth your time.
Newby's writing can be rather dry, but in this recounting of his escape from the Germans in WWII Italy, he strikes a fine balance between mawkish sentimentalism and tough-guy posturing. An engrossing narration about the extraordinary measures ordinary people can and will resort to, to stay alive and to do what they think is right. Encouraging, inspiring, and highly recommended.
Luke Marsden
This true story captures a time, a place and its people perfectly. Set in Italy near the end of WWII, Eric Newby is captured by the Italians during a raid in Sicily, but is later released when they turn against the Nazis. Relying on his wits and the help of charismatic locals, he retreats to ever more remote locations in the Appenine Mountains to evade the advancing German military. The tranquility of his surroundings and selfless generosity of the people, always described beautifully, sit in st ...more
Patricia Bracewell
I found this story of a WWII British soldier, an escaped prisoner of war in Italy, very moving. The villagers helped him survive, kept him safe for a long time. In particular, this sentence struck me -- the end of a scene where he and a fellow prisoner have had to run for it in the night after someone has betrayed them: "That night something happened to me on the mountain. The weight of the rice coupled with the awful cough which I had to try and repress broke something in me. It was not physica ...more
Gerald Sinstadt
Eric Newby's war was dangerous and eventful but contributed nothing to eventual victory. An abortive project with Special Boat Services, capture and escape, life in the Italian mountains protected by brave Italians before betrayal and recapture. Many another serviceman experienced similar frustration of escape from captivity but impotence to return to the battle for the greater freedom. Understandably, in choosing not to write about his experiences immediately he says they "did not seem exciting ...more
Bob Schmitz
I read Newby's "A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush," left behind by a tenant and decided to read his "most famous" book. An easy read and fascinating in it's detailed descriptions of the authors capture, escape and evasion during the WWII. Newby was in the British equivalent of special forces and was send ashore ahead of an invasion of Italy to blow up some German airplanes. The scheme was poorly thought, failed and left him captured by Italians who desire to execute him was interrupted by Germans. ...more
A great memoir about Eric's time as a prisoner of war (maybe two chapters worth) and the rest of his time after he escaped and is hiding from the Germans and facists. Lots of humor, and down playing of what he did (or what little he did) and the trumedous sacrifice and willingness of the Italians. A much better Tribute to them than what they received right after the war.

When reading the parts of when he was a POW, reminded me of how different his situation was and how differently his guards wher
Good old Waterstones. Not often I find myself saying that, but, last year they brought out a series of books in conjunction with the Sunday Times, all for 99p and quite a few of them were books I wanted to read anyway and this was the first I chose. This is an unimaginable story/memoir quite beautifully told. I've read his book in the Hindu Kush and that is magnificent. It is the magnificence that is the strongest link between them. In the Hindu Kush he is travelling through remarkable and hosti ...more
A lovely memoir.

Eric Newby, an English soldier, finds himself (during WWII) in the middle of a botched mission to destroy an Italian air base, is captured by the Germans and sent to a prison camp in Italy. The prison camp is not such a terrible place to be, all things considered, but the Italians are having their own problems with the Germans (they don't know which side to fight on, for example), and the Allied forces are arriving from the south to liberate a country held by the Italian Fascist
Michelle Holden
Intriguing title as I found that this book lacked a rapturous love affair and a definite heroic war effort. Instead I found a wonderfully written story about the unsung heroes of the war and their efforts to save the life of one soldier. Full of poignant and humour full instances all against the backdrop of the wonderful Appenine scenery. It was no surprise that Eric spent his post war career as a travel writer. We read this for a book club and the consensus was that this would be a good first b ...more
What an enjoyable book! Eric Newby has such a positive attitude that this is really a very positive, life affirming book, despite the fact that its a WWII POW escape tale. It quickly became apparent that Eric Newby's memoir of his journey out of an Italian prisoner of war camp was at times an enjoyable adventure for him. He has such an optimistic attitude about life it's as though at times he forgets that there's a war on. The true heros of the story are the numerous Italian farmers and families ...more
Lyn Elliott
I have just reread this some years after I first discovered it, and was surprised to find how much of the story came as a surprise to me as I had forgotten all but the barest outline of the story.
Newby has a great gift for storytelling and this one, his own experience as a prisoner of war and then escapee in Italy from 1942 to 1944 is remarkable, the stuff of true adventure stories and told with considerable modesty and with warm, deep gratitude to the mountain people who enabled him, and others
Newby tenderly recounts his wartime experiences and in relating the timeless constancy of life in this Italian mountain community, provides proof that man's sense of humanity can endure at times of conflict. Upon the surrender of Italy in 1943, Newby found himself finally free from his POW camp, yet still in danger of falling prey in occupied territory to the retreating German forces. This memoir not only reveals his genuine modesty about his own exploits, but also captures the warmth and securi ...more
If you are interested in WWII accounts, this one is very good. Newby's personal experience as a prisoner of war and then an escaped prisoner in hiding is fascinating stuff. The surprising aspect of the book is that Newby is a fine writer. He vividly but economically describes the landscape and conditions, the individuals who shelter him, and the sometimes frightening, sometimes boring, sometimes beautiful atmosphere of the mountain area in which he hides. He includes the reader in his changing e ...more
Leopoldo Nuti
Highly recommended, yet another great story of World War II in Italy. The descriptions of the way people lived in the mountains just fifty years ago are stunning, and the loving way in which the author tells how he was helped by one person after another - at the risk of their own lives - is captivating.
This is one of those times when I wish you could give a book 3.67 stars...very interesting description of life in Italian mountain villages during WWII, the villagers' relationship with Newby--an escaped English war prisoner, and Newby's thoughts about war, soldiering, etc. etc. Written about 30 years after the war, it still feels very immediate. The immediacy is what makes it so affecting. There are places, though, where the descriptions went a bit overboard--I quite enjoyed War in the Apennine ...more
Dean Ismail
A brilliantly written book telling a real-life experience of a British soldier during WW2; he escaped enemy prison and ended up in a remote, mountainous area of Italy (Apennines of the title).
This is a book is too amazing not to be a true story. A story of resilience, humanity, risks and sacrifice.
There are moments of human kindness that are touching and there are bits of the book that made me laugh lout (LOL, though not quite ROTFL).
The author has a way of evoking atmosphere, human emotions a
Jason Goodwin
This is a wonderful book, with Newby at the peak of his powers. Anyone who is intrigued by the setting - Italy in wartime, as Mussolini fell and the Germans invaded - might be interested in a book I introduced, by Maria Corelli, called In Love and War. Maria gave me the manuscript - the type-written pages of a true story, which she wrote on the British Embassy typewriter in 1944.
It doesn't appear on the book search, so maybe Alibris...?
Matt Cartney
I love this book, despite being introduced to it at school. Quite unlike any other escape book I have ever read, it tells the story of Newby's escape from a prisoner of war camp in Italy, his subsequent rescue and protection by Italian partisans and the beginnings of the love affair with the woman who would become his wife. Utterly brilliant, thrilling, evocative and even hilarious. Exquisite writing from a true master.
This unpretentious but genuinely marvelous account of Eric Newby's harrowing months in the mountains of Italy in 1943 is one of the best books I've read all summer. Newby's style is dry, self-deprecating, and unexpectedly moving – especially when he writes about the remote farmers and villagers who sheltered him at the risk of their lives. This book was his way of thanking them, and it does justice to them all.

This was a great book ! I was especially interesting because the main character was a prisoner of war in this area where I live in Italy . Apparently it is a true story - the things that happened during the second world war were really horrible. I don't know how any soldiers survived the winters here especially in the uniforms they had back then . It definately is a must read for all of you out there .
Chris Sherman
I didn't think this book was going to be good. It turned out to be great. Equal parts memoir, war story, and travel documentary. This homage to the Italian paisanos--an endearing, mountain people with exceedingly big hearts and ample courage--is very British in style and cadence (witty and matter of fact) but perhaps not in its ilk. It is thoughtful and charming and very well wrought indeed.

There is a great moment where he returns to the place where he was sheltered when he was an escaped prisoner of war. He only lasted a few months moving from house to house working almost as a sort of slave labourer in a mountain farm. Then he was betrayed. Read the full interview with Simon Mawer about forgiveness:
The author recounts his escape from an Italian prisoner of war camp into the Apennines, the culture he finds there and the characters he meets. It is a fascinating personal account of an aspect of the war I knew very little about, and of a mountain way of life that has since disappeared. Memoir mixed with travel writing, it is on a par with Patrick Leigh Fermor.
Anthony Mazzorana
As far as books about about Italy during WWII go, it wasn't my favorite but it was fine. Could have done without the three page descriptions of mushrooms.
One of Alice's favorite travel writer was a POW in Italy who was freed when Italy changed side and then went into hiding when the Germans occupied the country. Italian peasants hide him and he to top things off, he meets his future wife Wanda. Newby has such a joy for life and the people of Italy.
Ellie Cook
I don't read a lot of memoirs but this was very enjoyable. Reading about the struggles of an escaped Prisoner of War who benefitted from the generosity of the local people was very heartwarming. It's an aspect of the war I'm not very familiar with, but nonetheless threatening.
Jim Puskas
This one is a bit different from most of Newby's travel books, perhaps less of a travel adventure and more a bit of personal history. Nevertheless, it bears the Newby characteristics of rich local colour, interesting characters and many laughs at his own expense.
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George Eric Newby CBE MC (December 6, 1919 – October 20, 2006[1]) was an English author of travel literature.

Newby was born and grew up near Hammersmith Bridge, London, and was educated at St Paul's School. His father was a partner in a firm of wholesale dressmakers but he also harboured dreams of escape, running away to sea as a child before being captured at Millwall. Owing to his father's frequ
More about Eric Newby...
A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush Slowly Down the Ganges The Last Grain Race A Small Place in Italy Round Ireland in Low Gear

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