The Ariadne Objective
The Ariadne Objective
353-page paperback / 5.5" x 8.5" / ISBN 9781589881884
Publication date 5/14/24 (available for preorder)
"Wes Davis' fast-paced tale of wartime sabotage reads more like an Ian Fleming thriller than a mere retelling of events."
―Wall Street Journal
"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
The Ariadne Objective is the extraordinary story of the Nazi occupation of Crete told from the perspective of an eccentric band of British gentleman spies. These amateur soldiers―writers, scholars, archaeologists―included Patrick Leigh Fermor, a future travel-writing luminary; John Pendlebury, a pioneering archaeologist whose walking stick concealed a sword; Xan Fielding, who would later translate books like Bridge over the River Kwai and Planet of the Apes into English; Sandy Rendel, a future Times of London reporter; and W. Stanley Moss, who would write up his account of their exploits in Ill Met By Moonlight (Paul Dry Books, Inc.).
Alongside Cretan partisans, these British intelligence officers carried out a daring plan to sabotage Nazi maneuvers, culminating in a high-risk plot to abduct the island’s German commander. Wes Davis presents the scintillating story of these legends in the making and their adventures in one of the war’s most exotic locales.
Includes 17 black and white photographs.
“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
―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.”
“An exciting, tense narrative that unfolds like an espionage novel.”
"History both crucial and swashbuckling."
"An exciting, earnestly narrated World War II story."
Wes Davis is the author of American Journey: On the Road with Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and John Burroughs and editor of An Anthology of Modern Irish Poetry. He served for two years as an assistant to the director of excavations at Kavousi in Eastern Crete, not far from the plateau where Patrick Leigh Fermor parachuted onto the island during WWII. He holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from Princeton University and is a former assistant professor of English at Yale University. Davis has written for many publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and The Nation. He lives outside New York City.