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on 19 May 2013
i'm not saying don't buy this but...

This is an odd, almost redundant collection of lists and footnotes of footnotes, and i mean that in the nicest sense because for some AW-trainspotters this book will be a goldmine of pub conversation starters. However, for your average punter this is simply overload and not a well presented one at that. I am classing myself as average in that i have the set of Guides use them on and off piste to plan walks and support modern mapping, but i don't have an encylopedic memory of what fell is in what book, where the major watersheds are and the names of the major tarns (and so on!)

This is the first of the two main issues because by the time this book could be a stand-alone companion much of the content may be useless/duplicate to you... it's nice that someone else has written it down, but you probably know all this stuff anyway. For us mere mortals we need to sit with the stack of guides and the maps to make sense of the often oddly set-out lists of heights and steepness; so that it becomes less of a Companion and more of a technical appendix, especially if you are considering the Fells as a Mastermind specialist subject.

Secondly, the compainion is just not up to the same standards as the Guides. This book is cramped, has no logical structure and rambles on aimlessly in places. It has double-page spreads which needlessly break up chapters without notice and without hint of continuation of the chapter, and unlike AW has little or no internal referencing; there are often "(more on that later)" but no actual reference to where and in at least one instance this reference is not followed up. FRUSTRATING. I am not an expert on Mr Wainright, but i am not sure he would have produced this book in this way... or even at all. To me, part of the beauty of the Guides is their siple sparseness, plenty of room on the page and then clear indexing and references on to other parts of the book; you'll find none of that here and often the font size of their Waintright-script is made small in order to cram more in.

There are good bits though.
Often the interjections and seemingly unannounced asides are actually the most welcome (one place where the Companion mirrors the Guides) as this is new material in the style-off, these adds a welcome distraction from the dry glossary feel.
Finally the highlights are the start and end; personal reflections and opinion. Again, this is more of what made the guides so special.

Now i feel a little bit bad, i was bought this as a present and so it is a bit unkind to criticise, i am not saying don't buy this but...
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on 22 June 2013
This is an astonishing book. After AW's original guidebooks and Chris Jesty's 2nd editions I rate this as the best single book to have come out of the Wainwright franchise.
Presented in the exact form that the Guides were produced Hutchby has packed every page with fascinating compilations of information, his own opinions, quizzes (of a challenging standard),and some outstandingly well thought out views about how AW went about the writing and production of the Guides.
As a Wainwright fan and avid reader and user of the Guides I found this book deeply absorbing and most enlightening.
The superb photographs by Sean McMahon add hugely to the value and beauty, for example, the view of Wastwater on p. 343 is the best I have ever seen.
I only opened one random page to realise I must have the book, and I recommend it to anyone who is familiar with the Guides and wants to know more, much more.
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on 12 January 2013
I have spent a few weeks in the Lake District and know a little about some of the Wainwrights, but you don't need to know too much to enjoy this book. It is full of fascinating facts about the Waiwright, the Lake District and its fells, some are pretty odd but nevertheless interesting. It is a very easy book to pick up and browse for 10 minutes or so, in fact you can just read a random page if and when you want. I was not expecting the book to be so small, so at first I was initially dissapointed since you don't get to see the photos as well as possible, but at 352 pages it is packed with photos and facts and it also fits into your pocket. It is very well laid out, the photos are great and it is well written. I just think it is a really entertaining book that makes be long to visit the Lakes again. For those interested in Wainwright and walking in the Lake District this is a must have book. Also, check out the photographers own Striding website, a very comprehensive photo diary of Lake District fell walking.
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on 1 November 2012
For those who love the Lake District,and especially the devotees of Wainwright, this book will be a true delight.
The photographs by Sean McMahon are a wonderful enhancement.
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on 7 January 2013
Borrowed this book from the local library but was so impressed with it that I purchased it from Amazon for well below the recommended price on the cover.
This book will appeal to anyone who loves the lakes and in particular those who like walking in the fells. The book has numerous photographs and some of these are compared to Wainwrights drawing of routes in the fells.
This book is packed with a mass of information and whilst it can be read from cover to cover will also serve as a useful reference guide
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on 29 April 2013
If you are geeky about Wainwright walking books, this is for you. It is very nicely produced on lovely paper with fabulous photographs illustrating various points of interest in AW's lovely books. Lots of statistics and interseesng facts for the 'collectors' among you, and quizzes to boot! It is published in the same format as AW's and the author includes many of AW's perfect line drawings.
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on 22 August 2014
A beautiful little guide to the fells of the Lake District. Very much a pot-puree, it is ideal for dipping into (in the smallest room, perhaps!) and full of lovely photos. Criticism? The book is small, so many of the lovely photos struggle for impact. Overall, a winner.
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on 24 December 2012
Wainwright king of the lakes and take this into the Lakes to read in the pub or any rainy days that keep you off the tops. How did Wainwright do it. Excellent book to just keep dipping in and out of
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on 30 May 2013
Brill value from Amazon. Would recommend this book if you are a lakes Walker. It is compact and very Informative. Every laker should have one.
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on 23 May 2013
Full of trivia you can dip in and out of - a great purchase and a great present for a walking friend
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