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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Rocks!
My previous experience of Ronald Turnbull is his witty and entertaining route guides and articles in Trail and TGO. Fortunately, Granite and Grit is more of the same: witty, easy to read and very informative. The opening paragraph sums it up and gives the flavour to come: 'This is not a geology book. Well, okay, this is a geology book. But I'm not a geologist: I'm a...
Published on 25 May 2009 by Thomas Naish

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A gem whose flaws outweigh its beauty
There is definitely a space on the shelf for a simple book about geology for those that go to or are interested in the hills of Britain. Despite the awards that this book has won and the accolades it has received, this doesn't fill that space on my bookshelf.

Now, it may be me; it probably is. I can't fault the intention behind the book or the effort that's...
Published on 11 Aug. 2011 by Tony Buckley


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A gem whose flaws outweigh its beauty, 11 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: Granite and Grit: A Walker's Guide to the Geology of British Mountains (Paperback)
There is definitely a space on the shelf for a simple book about geology for those that go to or are interested in the hills of Britain. Despite the awards that this book has won and the accolades it has received, this doesn't fill that space on my bookshelf.

Now, it may be me; it probably is. I can't fault the intention behind the book or the effort that's gone into it. There are a wealth of photos and line drawings to illustrate text that is written in an easy style, and by someone who has obviously been to many of the places that the UK hillwalker will either have visited or have on their 'to-do' list. But turn to the Acknowledgements - I know, not many do, but bear with me - and you'll see that parts of the book have been published before as magazine articles; chapters 'adapted from' articles is how it is phrased, so no doubt it isn't word for word. And this shows; chapters seven and eleven are of this nature. The first is more anecdote than information, which might be fine for a magazine but doesn't sit right here, and the second shouldn't be a stand-alone chapter at all but included in chapter nine.

And then there are the pictures. Not the line drawings, which are clear and easy to digest, but the illustrations. Many are excellent; many seem to have been blown up beyond the limit at which they were, presumably, scanned from slide or print and have a fuzzy out-of-focus appearance which isn't really acceptable in a picture-rich book of this nature.

Now, I'm not laying the blame for all of this at the door of the author, far from it. The book could have done with the services of a proof-reader, picture editor and editor-in-chief; or perhaps I, in my ignorance and an age of digital publishing, am naive in my expectations. But without them, this is a gem whose flaws outweigh its beauty; many a good walk spoiled.

It's not that you'll get nothing from this book. I hope you join the chorus of approvals and learn lots, enrich your understanding and each and every trip to the hills. But for me, it wasn't the book I was hoping it might be, or that it might have been.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Rocks!, 25 May 2009
By 
Thomas Naish (staffs) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
My previous experience of Ronald Turnbull is his witty and entertaining route guides and articles in Trail and TGO. Fortunately, Granite and Grit is more of the same: witty, easy to read and very informative. The opening paragraph sums it up and gives the flavour to come: 'This is not a geology book. Well, okay, this is a geology book. But I'm not a geologist: I'm a hillwalker who likes to know what's going on under my feet.' And that's it. Technical/geological/scientific terms are used throughout the book, but are always explained. And, and this is crucial, it is NOT a dry academic text. It is witty and informative with nicely bite sized chapters.
The book covers the geology of all Britain's mountain areas making it clear that whilst Britain's geology is highly involved and complex it is within the reach of the non expert. For the first time, I've begun to grasp the difference between granite and rhyolite. A recent visit to the the Carneddau in North Wales was made hugely more exciting than normal by being able to recognise rock stratas, and beautiful pieces of milky quartz (not simply knowing that they were milky quartz but being able to understand how they formed).
When I first started reading the book I found it frustrating. Chapters would just seem to be getting going, with a nice mixture of easy science, Turnbull's own walking experiences, and good explanatory diagrams and then finish. But as I read more this approach became its greatest strength: the whole is more than the sum of its parts. It is the kind of book that you read from cover to cover first time round and then go back to, to re-read individual chapters. In this way you begin to see geology as a holistic science. If you wish it's like a jigsaw puzzle, the more pieces you fit together, the more you understand the entire picture.
And talking of pictures, the book is amply and beautifully illustrated with pictures that leave you planning trips to some of Britain's most awesomely beautiful landscapes; where, with the help of this book, that awe is increased by an understanding of the extraordinary and gigantic forces and time spans that created those landscapes.
If you like walking up,down and around mountains, and want to understand more about them, then this book is for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Book!, 22 Oct. 2010
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C. H. Riding (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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A superb book that provides a great insight into the geology of Britain's mountain areas. Granite and Grit may initially seem a little technical for the average lay person though having said that, it is reasonaboly easy to get into and very informative and interesting for anyone who enjoys walking the hills and who likes to know what's going on under their feet and about the influences that have shaped the landscape around them. It is also witty and anecdotal drawing on the author's own experiences of the great outdoors.

The book is beautifully illustrated with inspiring pictures that make you want to be there and experience for yourself the amazing landscapes in some of Britain's finest walking areas. If you like walking the hills and want to understand more about them, then this is a great book to buy.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply superb, 21 Sept. 2010
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
From awful punning chapter titles to some of the best mountain photography you will see, this is a book to be savoured and enjoyed. Having a passing interest in geology and being a keen hill walker, this book pushed a couple of buttons straight away but even so to find such a thoroughly superb reading experience was quite a surprise. Although this could be described as a small "coffee table" book it deserves much more than that and should be beside a bedside or fireplace for dipping into at your leisure, or indeed reading from cover to cover and then returning when required.

I love this book
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Book, 17 Jan. 2011
By 
Peter Bradbury (Shrewsbury, Shropshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Granite and Grit: A Walker's Guide to the Geology of British Mountains (Paperback)
I bought this because I had an Amazon voucher and couldn't decide what to get with it. I have always been interested in geology and mountain walking and this book seemed to combine the two. I wasn't disappointed. It takes you through the mountain building cycles in Britain, explaining what happened and when, and gives clear examples of rock types in the mountains of Scotland, the Lakes, the Pennines and Snowdonia, and the lower hills like the Cotswolds so you can go and see for yourself, ending with the sculpting of the mountain areas through glaciation. Great diagrams and photographs make it a pleasure to read and the explanations and examples are written in non-technical language. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant but not hardcover, 12 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Granite and Grit: A Walker's Guide to the Geology of British Mountains (Paperback)
Brilliant book for walkers and climbers thoroughly recommended. Just one snag it's a paperback not hardcover as described in the listing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Granite and Grit, 31 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: Granite and Grit: A Walker's Guide to the Geology of British Mountains (Paperback)
A first class book for anyone who is interested in what they are walking upon when they are in the hills. I would recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book but....., 11 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: Granite and Grit: A Walker's Guide to the Geology of British Mountains (Paperback)
Combining my favourite interests of Hillwalking and Geology I was realy looking forward to reading this book.

Contrary to some of the other reviewers, I think it is a good book which reads well, and the photographs are fine.

However, having spent half my life walking of rocks from the Carboniferous Age, and knowing a bit about that Period, when I came across the major sequencing error on page 21 I could not help thinking that there could be similar errors in the rest of the text covering Periods which are less well know to me. Lets hope this is corrected in the Second Edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and Informative, 31 July 2011
This review is from: Granite and Grit: A Walker's Guide to the Geology of British Mountains (Paperback)
I really liked this book. Turnbull's style is chatty and witty but at the same time very informative. He obviously knows his stuff but does not talk down to the reader. I'm a keen hillwalker with an interest in the geology of the hills and I learned a lot from this book. I keep going back to it for further insights. Highly recommended for anyone else with the same interests.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great walker's companion., 26 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Granite and Grit: A Walker's Guide to the Geology of British Mountains (Paperback)
I've been a walker all my life and taken a keen interest in the terrain I'm crossing. This book gives a clear and involving account of the geological history of the landscape in a straight forward but stimulating way. I would thoroughly recommend this work!
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