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The Hike Paperback – 6 Apr 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press; New edition edition (6 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091908752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091908751
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.6 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 683,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Funny, warm and elegiac - Last of the Summer Wine meets A Year in Provence (Sir Ranulph Fiennes)

A masterpiece ... had me crying with laughter (Express)

A minor classic ... You should buy this (Sunday Times)

Book Description

Meet Freddy, Phil and Don. They love walking. And arguing

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. H. Hulme on 24 April 2006
Format: Paperback
The Hike by Don Shaw is a tale of the exploits of three retired, but never elderly, gents during their weekly Peak District Hikes.

You don't need to have ever pulled on a pac-a-mac or pair of walking boots to enjoy the warmth of their gentle and genuine friendship. Peak District novices and the more experienced will find the inspiring beauty, history and drama of the area evocatively shining from the page.

Amidst their weekly treks throughout the area they conduct a winsome quest for the meaning of life and ways to stretch time to avoid ever reaching the point of getting old. Enduring the physical effort of the hike, they take inspiration from the landscape, the weather, and the selection of characters they encounter on the way.

The book is a delight from page one and draws you in over the course of the year through which the story is told, so that by the September chapter it is a sad realisation that the year, and the story, will eventually come to a close.

The three main characters are well drawn and you find yourself genuinely concerned for them at points of high drama and laughing out loud with them at some of the situations in which they find themselves. Not a guide book, high drama or sitcom, the book is a warm tale of the joy of life with its dramas, happiness, sadness and characters.

A pleasant read at just over 200 pages, The Hike captures the splendour of the area and the life it imbues in those that visit. Impossible to read without a smile.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Road Rocket on 25 July 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was hoping to enjoy this book after reading the reviews but sadly it left me cold. I am an experienced hill walker and know the Peak District well but the story was at times quite ridiculous. There runs a thread of author intrusion throughout the book, highlighting that he knows plenty of German words and has philosophy as a hobby. But worse of all I found it rather boring and silly.

In no way can this be compared to The Last of the Summer Wine apart from having three old men in it. It can almost be described as a writers' advice book - on how not to write.
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By Luke B on 29 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
I was disappointed with this book. I used to hike regularly in the Peak with a couple of friends, and thought I'd enjoy this. I didn't!

The author gives a longish list of acknowledgements of people who helped him in the background to the book, including landowners and dignitaries from the area he writes about. Yet I saw nothing here that anyone couldn't easily find out for themselves by visiting any of the walk sites or even just trawling the net.

I found the constant references to Phil as 'Gruppenfuhrer' to be irritating and even a little tasteless. I appreciate it is a term still in use in Germany, but to at least some of us it still denotes an SS rank. The constant bickering between him and Freddy about the walks was intended I think to be humerous and to suggest characteristic dialogue between male friends, but again I found it irritating and completely lacking in humour. I didn't find it particularly convincing either.

One of the roles of the walk leader, and an important one, is to attend to the wellbeing of his party. Phil regards the hikes as a fitness exercise, and completely fails to spot the onset of hypothermia on one occasion, and of heatstroke on another. And in neither case is the sufferer hospitalised, or even seen by a doctor - bad practice.

Freddy's exercises in 'onedownmanship' are another source of irritation. I mean this man has apparently spent his working life building up a solid middle class lifestyle, and then wants to put junk on his drive to annoy his neighbours! Maybe it would be easier if he just moved to one of the council 'sink' estates and he could really enjoy himself there......

There are one or two points in the book where you think its going to go somewhere.
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By P. G. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an account of three retired gentlemen and their regular walks in the Peak District. There are three references in the cover blurbs, to A Year in Provence, to Grumpy Old Men, and to Last of the Summer Wine. From the first, I guess we get the catalogue of eccentric locals. The second lowered my expectations, I don't like listening to rich and successful people moaning on the television and the thought of c250 pages of whinging wasn't particularly attractive. I needn't have worried, they are three surprisingly positive Old Men, Phil in his raging against and attempts to defeat the dying of the light, Freddy in his search for the Meaning of Life and Don in his wry observation. It is actually Last of the Summer Wine which is the closest parallel. That is not to say (thankfully) there is endless sliding downhill in bathtubs, rather the structure of the enthusiast (Phil), the backslider (Freddy), and the commentator (Don) is similar.

The book takes us through a year of walks in the Peak District, ranging from the gentle dry stone wall country of the White Peak, to the rough peat covered moorlands of Kinder and the Dark Peak. On the way our three protaganists are beset by health problems (hypothermia, sleeplessness, heatstroke) and by a wide range on friendly (sometimes over friendly) locals including the president of the world Trabant Association, a philosophical wood turner, the garrulous hiker from hell, and various providers of tea, scones and whisky.

The book is gently amusing rather than laugh out loud funny and is written in an engaging and easily readable fashion. Being familiar with the Peak District would probably add to your enjoyment of the book.

On the downside, one or two of the running jokes are maybe allowed to run on a little too long, but that is a minor quibble.

Recommended.
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