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These Boots Were Made For Talking
on 11 December 2013
Hill's latest combines all the ingredients of the best of good reads: something to snuggle up with before a log fire in the festive season, to be transported away from the mundane by following in the footsteps or, in truth, tyre tracks of two gifted adventurers. Clancy, an inspired American, demonstrates true British grit in facing adversity undaunted. One hundred years later Hill, in his inimitable style, pays tribute to Clancy by re-enacting the American's courageous ride on a Henderson motorcycle. Both are blessed with the power of observation and an ability to describe, which, in Hill's reliable hands, carries the reader along through vivid, technicolor scenery. We ride as pillion, share the saddle.
By observing Clancy, reflecting on the man's superhuman resolve, Hill finds the opportunity to add to his own well known wit, evocative observation and outright humour, heartfelt reflection reminiscent of Robert Pirsig. It is not surprising that Zen accompanies him. Hill faced other adversities, less physical than Clancy's, along the way. Unlike earlier travel books this starts in more pensive mood. Much of the pleasure in the reading is found as the journey progresses and his rapture in Sri Lanka and Japan overcome him and infect us deeply. This is a book that will be read and kept on a prominent shelf for frequent revisits.