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The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot

de Robert Macfarlane

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: Landscapes (3)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1,5625110,965 (3.97)158
"In this exquisitely written book, Robert Macfarlane sets off from his Cambridge, England, home to follow the ancient tracks, holloways, drove roads, and sea paths that crisscross both the British landscape and its waters and territories beyond. The result is an immersive, enthralling exploration of the ghosts and voices that haunt old paths, of the stories our tracks keep and tell, and of pilgrimage and ritual. Told in Macfarlane's distinctive voice, 'The Old Ways' folds together natural history, cartography, geology, archaeology and literature. His walks take him from the chalk downs of England to the bird islands of the Scottish northwest, from Palestine to the sacred landscapes of Spain and the Himalayas. Along the way he crosses paths with walkers of many kinds--wanderers, pilgrims, guides, and artists. Above all this is a book about walking as a journey inward and the subtle ways we are shaped by the landscapes through which we move. Macfarlane discovers that paths offer not just a means of traversing space, but of feeling, knowing, and thinking."--Publisher description.… (més)
Afegit fa poc pertillmanj, biblioteca privada, Rakketytam, sfj2, cinerious, WhitBaughman, lydiasbooks, JKreads
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» Mira també 158 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 51 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Prose that is almost poetry, fact that edges on the fantastic, and an homage to an earlier perambulating writer, Edward Thomas. macFarlane takes you with him deep into the landscapes he walks by supreme attention to the smallest details. He paints his pictures with absolutely novel descriptions and unexpected comparisons. And the vocabulary! This man loves his words and uses them well. Some of the old, arcane English just flows into you, even without prior knowledge of word meanings. (There’s a glossary at the back) Wish I’d known that from the start! ( )
  BBrookes | Nov 17, 2023 |
While I currently read Anna Karenina I was trying to read this nonfiction which I have decided today to abandon after 100 pages (out of 364) as it is not the book I hoped it would be when I purchased it. I found this book after a google search for the best travelogues and this was consistently on the best of lists. (I think I will stop looking up best of lists after a couple failures: for example, the best novella list I found where I didn't like any of the books that were recommended.)

The blurb was incredibly intriguing which is why I went ahead with the internet recommendation:
Following the tracks, holloways, drove-roads and sea paths that form part of a vast ancient network of routes criss-crossing the British Isles and beyond, Robert Macfarlane discovers a lost world -- a landscape of the feet and the mind, of pilgrimage and ritual, of stories and ghosts; above all, of the places and journeys which inspire and inhabit our imaginations.

My issue with this book is that it's not personal enough. I was hoping for MacFarlane to embark on a long walking journey through the British Isles and have him discover these wonderful paths for us, and to share the beauty he explores while sharing his exploits.

But it feels more like a history of path-exploring itself with mostly references to the work of other people, only barely interspersed with his own journeys, that aren't presented in any linear fashion. When he does talk about himself it's full of wit and a fun bit of humor and we definitely see his sense of adventure, as well as his fairly stupid dismissal of any concept of preparation and self-preservation.

But I wanted more of that and didn't get it. I found my eyes skimming through all the other bits to get to his parts but even then it ended up not being enough to keep my attention. Pity.

Also, a couple of maps would have been a much needed addition to this book as there is nothing to help us locate him. ( )
  lilisin | Mar 11, 2023 |
The second Macfarlane book I have read, and not as good as The Wild Places. His writing is as descriptive and beautiful as ever but I have some issues. The biggest problem is that the book is subtitled "A Journey on Foot," and yet two whole chapters are travels at sea and another is experienced on cross-country skis. Also, the three "Roaming" chapters (covering walks in Palestine, Spain, and China) seemed out of place when the 13 other chapters take place around Great Britain. He should have left the non-walking and non-British chapters for future books. Despite these incongruities, it was worth a read and I can't wait to tackle Landmarks, which I can see on my shelf right now just waiting to be devoured. ( )
  bibliothecarivs | Jan 10, 2023 |
Excellent book by Robert Macfarlane. This is a book that reminds us that we have lost our connection with the land and the ways of walking.
This, I know, may not apply to many people who live in the rural heartlands, but it does apply to many of us who have moved to the cities, and for whom a drive means more than a walk.
When I travel into the mountains, I walk. I don't walk barefoot, but I love walking barefoot in the grass.
Robert Macfarlane's book is a reminder of the old ways of walking; of the various textures of granite, limestone, peat, etc; of the mystical connection with the land and spirit.
It's a book for re-reading. The first reading is difficult because it is tough to follow the connections he draws. Also, I am unfamiliar with some of the people he meets, and the authors he refers to.

Barring this: read the book and discover walking again. ( )
  RajivC | Nov 28, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 51 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This book is as perfect as his now classic Wild Places. Maybe it is even better than that. Either way, in Macfarlane, British travel writing has a formidable new champion.
afegit per geocroc | editaThe Observer, William Dalrymple (Jun 10, 2012)
 
Macfarlane writes superbly. He sustains admiration from first to last, in spite of doubts about the book's structure and overall purpose.
 
The core of the work consists of half-a-dozen specific walks in different parts of the world, often physically very demanding, remembered in intense detail and often exquisitely described. It is overhung, though, by the intermittent presence of a spectral walker from the past – the poet Edward Thomas, who was killed in the First World War and who was perhaps the inspiration of the most famous of all walk-poems, Robert Frost’s The Road not Taken.
afegit per geocroc | editaThe Telegraph, Jan Morris (Jun 6, 2012)
 
One senses Macfarlane trying to keep all his subjects in balance: he is writing about Thomas, about himself, about himself tracking Thomas, about paths in general and in particular. At times there are too many points of focus. But this is a spacious and inclusive book, which allows for many shifts in emphasis, and which, like the best paths, is always different when you go back to look at it again.
afegit per geocroc | editaThe Guardian, Alexandra Harris (May 31, 2012)
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (19 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Robert Macfarlaneautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
McMillan, RoyNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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Much has been written of travel, far less of the road.
Edward Thomas, The Icknield Way (1913)
My eyes were in my feet...
Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain (1977)
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For Julia, Lily and Tom,
and those who keep the paths open
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Wikipedia en anglès (3)

"In this exquisitely written book, Robert Macfarlane sets off from his Cambridge, England, home to follow the ancient tracks, holloways, drove roads, and sea paths that crisscross both the British landscape and its waters and territories beyond. The result is an immersive, enthralling exploration of the ghosts and voices that haunt old paths, of the stories our tracks keep and tell, and of pilgrimage and ritual. Told in Macfarlane's distinctive voice, 'The Old Ways' folds together natural history, cartography, geology, archaeology and literature. His walks take him from the chalk downs of England to the bird islands of the Scottish northwest, from Palestine to the sacred landscapes of Spain and the Himalayas. Along the way he crosses paths with walkers of many kinds--wanderers, pilgrims, guides, and artists. Above all this is a book about walking as a journey inward and the subtle ways we are shaped by the landscapes through which we move. Macfarlane discovers that paths offer not just a means of traversing space, but of feeling, knowing, and thinking."--Publisher description.

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