Thursday, 4 August 2011

Book Review - "The Wild Places"

"The Wild Places" by Robert Macfarlane

This is another travel-type book.  This time the author sets off on journeys around the UK, searching for "wildness" to travel and sleep in.  To begin with he aims for places far from the beaten track, searching for remoteness and hardship as his definition of wildness.  He aims for remote islands, beaches and mountains, including a very lonely and cold night up Ben Hope in the very north of mainland Scotland in winter.  Gradually, as he travels to river valleys, sand-spits, lost roadways and tors, sleeping out in varying weathers and seasons, and describing it all with eloquent poetic prose, he discovers that wildness isn't necessarily to be found only in remote places, but can also be lush unfettered growth and foliage, even in a very small place, like the crack in a limestone pavement, or the hedgerows around his home of Peterborough.

There are some heavier bits, and the prose, while eloquent and beautiful, can be a bit slow-going at times, but for a peaceful trundle around beautiful parts of our island, this is a good book.

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