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VINE VOICEon 11 June 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Like one or two other reviewers,I wasn't familiar with Chris Yates before I read this.However,this fine work has persuaded me to delve deeper into the Chris Yates canon as he has the gift of being a natural nature writer. I've just read Kathleen Jamie's 'Seasons' which is in a similar vein to Chris's book. It's a tribute to the author that his book is very much on a par with Jamie's book.
Detailing an overnight ramble on a midsummers' night.The author describes his experiences in delicate prose.Occasionally delving into past experiences and reminiscences.
Here in the heart of the English countryside,Chris observes our native species in all their magic and mystery.A fine and uplifting work which will inspire others I'm sure,to look at our countryside with a fresh and almost child like perspective of the natural world.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Chris Yates has turned in a lovely little book with 'Nightwalk :
A Journey To The Heart Of Nature'. He is a creature of the night
like myself and is finely tuned to the nuances of things that
move and grow during the hours of darkness. His narrative follows in the
the footsteps of many great English writers who have found inspiration
in the magical world which continues to exist beyond our sleeping
eyelids. (It got me thinking about Benjamin Britten's song cycle
'Nocturne', which, with its seven settings of poems by Shelley,
Coleridge, Wordsworth and others, brings the countryside to life
in our mind's ear). The world beyond Mr Yates' garden gate is teeming
with the sound and movement of a thousand living things and he
clearly takes great joy in describing them for us. The book is as
much an invitation to us to experiment for ourselves as it is a
celebration of a landscape whose fragile being is continually under
threat from the insensitivity of modern man's technological impact
on delicately balanced ecosystems. In its own way 'Nightwalk' is
both beautifully simple and simply beautiful. A nocturnal treasure chest.

Dan Smiths decorative illustrations are suitably ethereal.

Recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 10 June 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a short story about a night walk that the author takes on a summers evening, mixed in with some reminiscences from previous walks.

It seems very simply written but the quality of the descriptions shows that the author has a real talent and it has made me incredibly eager to ape the author and take a night walk of my own. It is a short book and in some ways I would have liked it to be longer but the flow of the book is amazing and an excess of description would have destroyed this. If you have any love for nature I'm sure you will enjoy this book and the presentation of and in the book would make it an ideal gift for someone who enjoys countryside walking.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Chris Yates is well known as a writer and broadcaster on angling, but in this book he lifts his gaze from rivers and ponds and turns to the wider theme of nature at night-time.

His beautifully lyrical writing style is maintained with accounts of nocturnal encounters with the natural world. From an account of his first attempts to watch badgers at twilight as a child, to modern day moonlit strolls Chris maintains a high standard of informative, readable writing.

There are reflections on the changing patterns of the natural world - the disappearance of nightingales - and of the unchanging - the elusive nature of fallow deer and the strange stalking behaviour of the possibly more dangerous roe deer.

In this book Chris Yates shows that nature in all its forms has been a lifelong passion of his and that he is by no means a one trick pony, fixated only on fish. A lovely read for summer (and winter) evenings.
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VINE VOICEon 3 June 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Chris Yates describes a nocturnal walk near his home, with various interesting digressions, which lasts from dusk to dawn. He paints a vivid picture of what one can see in the half light, the wildlife one can encounter, the views with only the moon for illumination. Beautifully written and richly evocative, this is a book to treasure. Although opportunities to follow in his footsteps may be dwindling in our contemporary world, it is wonderful to be reminded of the rich natural life which comes into its own after dark in the hills and dales when most people are sleeping in their beds.

Highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 7 July 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Collins have done a truly fine job on the design and production of Chris Yates' short book. As in a well published book of poems, white space is given its place around the margins and between the items, suggesting that whatever is contained therein must be important. The sub-title 'A Journey to the Heart of Nature' in indented and not inked leaving it barely half seen, appropriately because it is barely half true. The book idea, that of a forest walk from dusk until dawn, is mirrored between chapters with page breaks that grow increasingly dark to the middle and then increasingly light. I would not say this simile continues in the subject matter which seems uniformly light. It is a nice book on a nice concept and blessed with nice writing. Of more value though, as a decoration on the bookshelf than a read. It is one of those books that tells us how the author values nature, while sketching some of his family background, rather than something memorable or even the thrill of the moment. Grizzly Bears and Razor Clams Hamish's Groats End Walk: One Man & His Dog on a Hill Route Through Britain & Ireland Hamish's Mountain Walk (Non-Fiction) Isles at the Edge of the Sea The Weekend Fix
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 June 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
To my great shame, I had never read any of Chris Yates previous ten titles. Having now read the mesmerising 'Nightwalk', I can well understand why almost all his titles remain in print, and though no fisherman, shall also investigate these on the strength of this lyrical and captivating journey.

There are only 212 pages here, and a generous text size, large margins, beautifully illustrated frontispieces to each short chapter, means that there is even less text here than you might expect. However, in a classic demonstration of 'less is more', I felt that the impact of Yates' spare, clear-eyed vision had a richness and depth of a true meditation, scattered with grace notes throughout. Whether it be the ghost badger in 'Watching & Waiting', a glow worm "like a fallen star" in 'The Unknown', layers of mist cloaking the trees, backlit by a 'gibous moon' or the evocative 'Half-Heard Bird', Yates guides you unerringly through the mystery and magic of this midsummer night's walk.

The quality of his writing means you are with him every step of the way, so that you share his unease, his surprise, and his delight on each new apparition or encounter, with some mysteries remaining satisfyingly unresolved. The penultimate chapter, 'Summer Alchemy' has a recipe for elderflower cordial, "the most heavenly quaff", and this reader was so transfixed with the power of Yates lyrical magic, that they resolved to attempt a similar adventure, if only they could prove disciplined enough to resist the siren song of bed...

Collins layout design and production values mean this book has a classy appearance and feel throughout, and sits lightly and readily in the hand. The condensed brevity (and beauty) of the chapters make it easy to dip into even when the Sandman is making his insistent presence known, so there is never any danger of losing one's place. There is something of the spare, elemental poetry of Kathleen Jamie Sightlines and the journey element recalls John Lister Kaye's haunting At the Water's Edge: A Walk in the Wild. However, Chris Yates is very much an original voice, and a captivating guide. A therapuetic plunge into nature's dark path.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The author is (apparently) a well known writer about angling. This book is a series of small chapters (about one an hour, I suppose) relating the events and the memories triggered by those events as he takes a walk through his local countryside, sometime around mid summer.

As a fan of similar books (such as those by Edward Thomas) I was delighted by this one - very lyrical, weaving the animals and birds that he sees with the child-hood memories that they recall.

His prose style is poetic - and he paints beautiful word-pictures of the hills, woods, valleys and the creatures that inhabit them, in this other-worldy state of dusk and dark. At times I recall the delightful tale of Stig of the Dump and the mid-summer journey... it has the same child-like magic and wonder.

Although written for adults, this is also a great book for your children to read - to persuade them away from the dark, satanic game-stations, and out into a real world of wonder, magic and awe.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Narrative is presented as an account of a midsummer countryside walk from Sunday evening to Monday morning plus numerous reminiscences from other walks and incidents throughout author Chris Yates life. He acknowledges how his `Nightwalk' is "more a random series of steps" and he explains how some are for a moment and others up to an hour. He writes in an evocative manner in eloquent prose employing many metaphors and similes and with flashes of humour. He also introduces a beguiling element of his own language - "crows beaked off", "woodpigeons exploding", field is islanded", "industry of nightjars" etc. His approach assists in heightening the appreciation of readers, and his message underlines the importance of nature.

There is no pretence that `Nightwalk' is an academic learned disposition and it relies on the author's personal experiences of sightings, odours and noises involving wild creatures. He is at one with the wild, but accepts he is set apart from this as being the only creature night-walking without clear purpose and "not actively partaking in the task of survival". He manages to conjure up similar experiences of fragrances and sounds of countryside flora to produce further enjoyable exposures. He skilfully avoids being authoritarian and revels in elements of uncertainty over what he sees, smells and hears. `Nightwalk' is an imaginative and enlightening book but perhaps a minor criticism may be that Chris Yates is the observer to such an extent that readers are mere bystanders.

`Nightwalk' is a beautifully produced high quality book in dark blue cover with a lighter blue embossed dust wrapper, and inside there are delightful illustrations at the start of each chapter. Not only is it a good read - it makes an ideal present for anyone with feelings for the countryside and natural world.
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on 15 July 2012
This is not a long book. In fact it is an easy read at one sitting and indeed once started is not so easy to put down. It reminds me a little of books by Henry Williamson....now rather dated in style but nevertheless educational about the wonders of nature in Britain and south west England in particular. But back to this book; I found it gently reassuring that simple pleasures are the ones that are the most memorable and enjoyable. No expense, no electricity, no gadgets, no fancy clothing...just being at one with oneself and with the joys around us.
I'm not a night walker and would probably not particularly enjoy being out all night but I can enjoy the infectious love that the author has of the countryside at night. He has a way of making the reader see and feel what he sees and feels and brings the love of nature into the reader.
I would thoroughly recommend this book to those who enjoy solitude, nature, nightime and the rising of the sun....and of course a good read.
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