Top positive review
21 people found this helpful
Different but compelling
on 20 May 2012
I ordered this book because I thought it would be similar to "The A272 - Ode to a Road" by Pieter and Rita Boogaart. However, the style of this book is quite different in that it it is more focused on the historical aspects of the A303 and points along it. It talks of historic events and covers occurrences going as far back as the Romans and beyond as well as covering stately homes, social change, crime and the creation of new towns.
The book does evoke a sense of more modern nostalgia, for example, through talking of the building of Andover town and recollections of British cars such as the Wolseley 18/85, Riley Kestrel and Hillman Husky. It is not a criticism of the book, but, it gives one the feeling of meandering along the the A303 taking the occasional detour and straying either side of it - the journey this book takes you on is not a focused or direct one. It is also inclined to be an indulgent one on the part of the author giving disproportionate coverage to issues such as fishing etc. However, I have to say I love this book and have bought a copy for a friend who every few weeks has to endure a journey along the A303 from near Basingstoke to Launceston to see her mother-in-law - she says this book has made the journey far more interesting. This is an atmospheric book which is well written - I just had to remember it is not a "factual" travel guide to the A303 but an exploration of it and many issues, which, in some cases, only have a tenuous connection to the famous highway.
In summary, not entirely what I was expecting based on another road related book (the A272) but nonetheless very evocative and enjoyable - I will read it again soon. Recommended.