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Wilderness Dreams [Kindle Edition]

Mike Cawthorne
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £14.99
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Book Description

This book has been a long time in the writing. While Mike Cawthorne's life over the last two decades has been mostly involved in climbing and journalism, he has managed to stow away a large memory bank of experiences of his times spent deep within the wilderness areas of Scotland. These eight extended essays begin with a canoe trip down the River Dee in 2002 ("Tale of Two Rivers") and his epic round of the Munros in the company of his friend Dave Hughes in 1986 ("Paupers and Kings"). "Terra Ingognita" deals with the Monadliath mountains, 'one of the last places left on these crowded islands where you can experience genuine solitude'. "Crofting on the Edge" deals with people Mike has encountered who have chosen to live in the most remote and inaccessible areas of Scotland as does "The Hermit's Story", which describes the life that James McRory-Smith chose to lead in Strathailleach, a shepherd's cottage near Cape Wrath. "A Last Wild Place" describes the ruination of many of these wilderness areas and the efforts made by large energy companies to exploit these special places. '...only wilderness if you can be killed and eaten' is a quote by American writer Edward Abbey referring to grizzly bears stalking humans in the Rockies. Mike recalls this in "Dying for Trees" as he spends a day on Creag Meagaidh with a deer-stalking party where a minor bio-diversity miracle has taken place by carefully controlling deer numbers to allow the spread of broadleaf woodland. "Scotland's Alaska" is the final essay on Sutherland's flow country...'the best and worst of wild Britain.'

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Review

Mike Cawthorne's Wilderness Dreams takes us romping through some of Scotland's wildest places: a canoe trip down the River Dee, a blizzard in the Monadhliath, the dangers facing the Flow Country in Sutherland. The heart of the book, though, is the story of an expedition across the Munros in 1986, accomplished on no money and with falling-apart boots, and despite an occasional over-excitement in the landscape description, this is exciting stuff, and it's written with humanity, passion and a touch of anger. For anyone who loves the Scottish hills, this is a book to read. From the speech announcing the winner by Lord (Chris) Smith Boardman Tasker Award Kendal, 16th November 2007 'This is descriptive writing of a very high order. It could have been written by Stevenson, Buchan or Neil Gunn'. Alan Taylor, Sunday Herald 'Mike Cawthorne shows both his talent for writing and his deep affinity with the wilderness areas of Scotland in this book. I read his collection of essays in a very short time, finding each one hard to put down. As well as being a fascinating account of Mike's own experiences of hillwalking in Scotland, his essays are an enlightening education on the commercial greed that has damaged, and continues to damage, Scotland's natural landscapes. Read this book and you'll be absorbed, entertained, outraged, educated, humbled and, ultimately, inspired to experience the beauty of Scotland's wild places for yourself.' Review by K Jackson on Amazon --Amazon

About the Author

Mike Cawthorne is one of Scotland's most respected mountain writers. He wrote Hell of a Journey to great critical acclaim and contributes to The Sunday Times, The Scots Magazine, The Sunday Post, High Mountain Sports, TGO and Trail Magazine.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1486 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Neil Wilson Publishing (31 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00796EAFY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #169,980 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly good read 9 Dec. 2007
Format:Paperback
Mike Cawthorne shows both his talent for writing and his deep affinity with the wilderness areas of Scotland in this book. I read his collection of essays in a very short time, finding each one hard to put down. As well as being a fascinating account of Mike's own experiences of hillwalking in Scotland, his essays are an enlightening education on the commercial greed that has damaged, and continues to damage, Scotland's natural landscapes. Read this book and you'll be absorbed, entertained, outraged, educated, humbled and, ultimately, inspired to experience the beauty of Scotland's wild places for yourself.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Feeling for the Landscape 5 Dec. 2007
Format:Paperback
Mike Cawthorne's excellent series of essays on the wilderness areas of Scotland is centred around his epic 'on-a-shoestring' round of the Munros in 1986 with his pal Dave. Both of them out of work, but realising that this would be a life-changing adventure. It was. Mike's subsequent adventures take him down the Dee by kayak, and into the flow country of Sutherland where he meets squatters who are living on the edge of economic sustainability and reason. This is engaging writing and was commended by Lord (Chris) Smith at the 2007 Boardman Tasker awards.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem of Hill-Walking Literature 6 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read the excellent "Hell of a Journey" (twice) I looked forward to reading Wilderness Dreams. I was not disappointed. The eight varied essays are some of the best of recent outdoor writing and Cawthorne writes beautifully about the mountains he loves and the environment which he obviously cares about. It is inspirational writing and the thing I love best is that he comes across as an ordinary hill-walker, someone who has another life. His writing has also given my own walking a new lease of life and set me making plans for the coming months. All the essays are great reading, but the story of the Munro round in the summer of 86 (Of Paupers and Kings), with his friend Dave Hughes, is to my mind the best short account of a round of the Munros and should be read by all hill walkers, especially the young, who may learn of what fine adventures you can have on a shoestring budget. Well done Mike, I look forward to more!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hugely absorbing read 22 Feb. 2012
By Feepole
Format:Paperback
Mike Cawthorne's book deserves a place among the very finest of writing on Scotland's wild places. This is a wonderful read, infused with the spirit of our outdoors. My only slight niggle is with the format. I actually found the large section on the Munros which is sandwiched in the middle - the real heart and substance of the book - to be the least satisfying. I preferred instead the shorter style of the essays. But that really is a minor quibble, given some of the superb quality of writing throughout the book. The essay on the 'landgrab' at Strathan is one of the finest pieces of journalism I've read for some time - non-judgemental, measured and compassionate - a rare combination.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Lend Him your boots ! 3 Aug. 2011
By Iggy69
Format:Paperback
I really enjoyed this book , which is actually a collection of short stories which hangs together very well.It contained an interesting mixture of informative environmental debate without preaching at all.For me though , the story of the unusual attempt on completing the munros was fascinating, funny and a touching insight into the world of two disillusioned men looking for a purpose.
I particularly liked the part where extreme aspects of hillwalking were attempted in socks !
As an ordinary hillwalker it was great to find a book that was not written by a superhuman or someone doing a challenge for commercial gain.
I would highly recommend it and his other book Hell of a Journey.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A potential classic in its genre 8 Nov. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For anyone who has ever enjoyed the peace and tranquility of the Scottish highlands, this is a heart-warming and evocative out-pouring of the soul of a man passionately in love with the wild open spaces. His writing and commitment to the natural world is reminiscent of Jack London narrative and John
Muir dedication. He is almost nonchalant in his accounts of personal exploits and regards them simply as a means of gaining a stronger acquaintance with his wilderness dream.His love affair with the Scottish mountains elevates them to the stature of the Himalayas and his equal enthusiasm for her rivers elevates them to the status of the Amazon. Loved it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 31 Jan. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first came across Mike Cawthorne in his Hell of a Journey. If you like mountains but don't like macho mounatin books by guys with beards, wet rope and tight harnesses then that book is for you. This book is a little different, but no less interesting. The central piece about his 'doing the munros' on a shoestring and with no planning will enthrall anyone who stravaigs around Scottish mountains (is now the time to admit I am an aspiring munroist - 70 something and counting?).
All the pieces in the book bring out his evident love for Scotland and its wildernesses and the odd, peculiar and fascinating people who inhabit them. It's a few months since I read it now, but the story of the 'squatters' in the bothy off Sandwood Bay was interesting and very moving. The other good point about the book is that as a series of essays you can cherry pick and re-read as I certainly will. If you love Scotland a great buy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wilderness Dreams 17 Sept. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mike Cawthorn is a very good writer of the English language. He brings back to life my youth when I would endure far more than I can now without question. The Scottish mountains are multi-faceted and can be benign one moment, very dangerous the next. Cawthorn captures all of this in these writings. I read it whilst climbing mountains in Scotland - perfect.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational read!
I'm half way through, brilliant read, it's a page turner. Really descriptive and really funny in parts, I will read all Mike's books as they're really entertaining, it's not the... Read more
Published 1 hour ago by boaby
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it, read it, keep it.
Buy this book, you must read it!
Published 3 months ago by I P Squint.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing book, makes me want to be outdoors even more!
Published 3 months ago by Jim Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars wild land
It's a book that makes you want to go to the wild and rugged places described ,it brings them to life .great read
Published 5 months ago by brian morris
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Several blank pages towards the back.
Published 6 months ago by jamie ritchie
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointed
I was expecting to enjoy this but found that I ran out of steam and did not finish it. Undoubtedly some fine writing, I think, but for me too much was taken up with what was... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wilderness Dreams
This is a book that I would return to in the future as it is very readable. Would recommend it.
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars My kind of read.
I enjoy reading books about climbing and adventure that has an element of excitement and danger. This book fits the bill.
Published on 16 Jun. 2013 by John Pipes
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good
I downloaded this book whilst browsing through the kindle 100 best books, on a whim and with low expectations. I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed it.
Published on 16 Dec. 2012 by Mr Brian Garbett
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
CAUGHT MY IMAGINATION FROM THE START AND AT TIMES I THOUGHT I WAS ACTUALLY THERE AS A CHARACTER. GREAT READ AND SOMETIMES FUNNY AND WITTY. Read more
Published on 16 Nov. 2012 by Amazon Customer
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