‘Falling for Icarus: A Journey Among the Cretans’
A few years ago on a windy spring morning in an ancient Cretan village surrounded by mountains, I fell to earth. My mother had died a few months earlier and a single obsession had risen from my grief: the notion to build a feather-light flying machine. And so, on the island where Daedalus and Icarus had made man’s maiden flight, I journeyed back to beginnings, back into the Greek myths, and – with the help of my neighbours and plenty of effervescent wine – built a plane and tried to fly.
‘Falling for Icarus’ is at once a meditation on love, a celebration of the passion for flight and a portrait of the Cretans. These remarkable people — including villagers Apostoli, a bat-eared Greek god in a golden flying suit, dreamy, dying Aphrodite, Yioryio the irrepressible café owner and Nikos the Winged Priest with his tall stories of life as an air steward — became my friends. Their kindness and rootedness restored my faith in life. Their understanding and raw, unpredictable, admirable energy enabled me to give wings to a dream. A dream that transformed sadness.
‘Falling for Icarus’ was chosen as a Book of the Year by Colin Thubron in the Sunday Telegraph, Jan Morris in the Spectator and Anthony Sattin in the Sunday Times.
‘The heart-warming evocation of one man’s loving obsession: lyrical, funny, compassionate’ – Colin Thubron
‘an extraordinary work, curious and entertaining, tantilizing, often moving and above all entirely original — like everything he writes, it’s in a genre of its own’ – Jan Morris
‘An intimate geography of the author’s own heart and a masterly observation of the power of the story to comfort, strengthen and transform the hearts of humanity at large. Destined to become a classic.’ – James Jauncey, The Scotsman
Now check out the photo gallery below or watch the YouTube video — then pour yourself an ouzo and ask, ‘But will it fly?’
‘Falling for Icarus’ is available in Tauris Parke Paperbacks. It was first published by Penguin in the UK, BB Art in the Czech Republic and Sartorio Editore in Italy.