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URBAN WORRIER: Adventures in the Lost Art of Letting Go Paperback – 2 Jun 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (2 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408700786
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408700785
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 2 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 780,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nick Thorpe is an award-winning writer and journalist. A contributor to the Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, Scotsman and BBC Radio 4 among others, he has covered stories ranging from Russian presidential elections to the coca wars of Bolivia, for which he was shortlisted for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.

His latest book, Urban Worrier: Adventures in the Lost Art of Letting Go (Little Brown, Jun 2011) is the story of his quest to find balance and fulfilment by sampling everything from naturism to monasticism, Buddhism to ballooning. "Pitch-perfect," wrote the Scotsman's reviewer. "Thorpe's epiphany is profound and affecting, and it is the counterpoint of poignancy and comedy that makes this very personal search for peace so utterly life-affirming."

Adrift in Caledonia: Boat-hitching for the Unenlightened (Abacus 2006), charts his 2500-mile journey around Scotland on other people's boats. It was serialised on BBC Radio 4′s Book of the Week programme in March 2006. Eight Men and a Duck, his critically-acclaimed first book, recounts his voyage to Easter Island by reed boat and was published by Abacus in 2003.

Nick grew up near London but moved to Scotland nearly 20 years ago. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife and young son. www.nickthorpe.co.uk

Product Description

Review

'His is a spiritual journey as much as anything else . . . assisted by some bouncy writing, a sharp eye for detail and a slight earnestness you can't help but warm to' --Daily Mail

'His is a spiritual journey as much as anything else . . . assisted by some bouncy writing, a sharp eye for detail and a slight earnestness you can't help but warm to' --Daily Mail

'With a pitch-perfect turn of phrase, and the ability to make you laugh out loud . . . Thorpe's epiphany is profound and affecting . . . utterly life-affirming' --Scotsman

'Chronicles a breathtaking year' --Independent

Book Description

* One man's quest to rediscover his sense of self-control in a high-speed world - by the author of EIGHT MEN AND A DUCK and ADRIFT IN CALEDONIA

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By maelrubha on 10 Jun 2011
Format: Paperback
I'd loved Nick Thorpe's last book, Adrift in Caledonia, so when I spotted he'd been busy scribing again, I stuck in an order pdq. It took a day to get here and then I basically didn't leave the house for 48 hours. I was completely absorbed, drawn in by Nick's candid (but never self-indulgent)and very personal story of learning to let go - and it's not as easy as you think.
Nick's got tired with being tired, weary of 'carrying so much, controlling and marshalling it ever upwards'.
And so begins a year-long quest to find out whether there just might be another way to live. His journey takes him to Cornwall where he hurls himself (literally) into something called 'coasteering' which involves leaping off cliffs and into the sea below; an event called the No Mind festival in Sweden where he encounters other people also looking for ways to relax in a world gone mad including a really moving encounter with an alcoholic; a couple of days at a naturist camp in Cornwall (revealing in more ways than one), mixing with street kids in Durban and winding up at a monastry in New Mexico.
And in the midst of these and other adventures, is the very intimate story of how Nick and his family prepare to adopt a small boy for the first time.
Aong the way Nick asks the questions I guess most of us of wonder about in the crazy, unpredictable times we live in. Can you relax if you're not in control? What will happen if we learn to be really honest with the people in our lives? And how can an anxious guy learn to loosen up a little and let his hair down?
Nick explores these and other predicaments but his writing is never intense and there is plenty of humility and lovely, gentle humour along the way.
Sometimes, you come across a book that leaves an impression which you just know will be there for a while. For me, this is one of those books. In learning to die to a few things, Nick Thorpe has written a book that is full of life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JimJaf on 13 Jun 2011
Format: Paperback
Journalist and writer Nick Thorpe embarks on a journey which over the space of 12 months takes him from wandering through a Cornish tourist attraction without a stitch of clothing, to scuba diving off the South African coast and finally experiencing three days of silent contemplation in the New Mexican desert.

His quest covers three continents and on the way he connects with a cast of characters ranging from the blessedly inspired to the seriously deranged. But the geography of the journey is only the veneer, what Thorpe has mapped is an inner journey which begins with a man overwhelmed by serious neurosis and ends with some powerful insights into what it takes to be a father in these times.

While Thorpe embarks on his quest riddled with self-doubt, what is not in doubt is his ability as a writer. The power of the work is in the author's willingness to chronicle his discoveries with candour, humour and a powerful observational skill delivered without any journalistic cynicism or judgement. Given the material he collects from self-appointed guru's, self-obsessed New-Age seekers, and self-willed workshop junkies it would have been all to easy to take the Louise Theroux option and go for the cheap laughs.

But instead Urban Worrier offers what could be described as alternative self-help book. Where most of the mass market of this genre is dedicated to informing the reader what to think, Thorpe is prepared to expose himself and his own vulnerability, so the journey is exciting, the humour is light and more often slightly self-deprecating and as a result the message is incisive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Colliedog on 10 Jun 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have just finished reading this beautiful book. Not an easy thing to do considering that my eyes were brimming with tears through the final chapter.
It is a wonderfully revealing, enlightening and inspiring story, written with great honesty and humility. A travellers tale where you accompany the writer each step of the way and feel grateful that he had the boldness to go through experiences you would instinctively avoid.
The scale both of the outer and inner journey is remarkable: don't be deceived into thinking this is just another exploration of new age navel-gazing carried out with the sole purpose of producing another book: it is a genuine pilgrimage, the conclusion of which left this reader quite broken.
One of those rare books that I laid aside with the feeling "Having read that I will never be the same again".
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