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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic inner and outer journey
Gideon Lewis-Kraus' memoir is rich in humanity, humor and a zest for life. "A Sense of Direction: Pilgrimage for the Restless and the Hopeful" takes us from an anything-goes lifestyle of parties and booze in Berlin to the physical endurance and mental fortitude required to do three pilgrimages and many hundreds of miles in Spain, Japan and the Ukraine. The first was...
Published on 19 May 2012 by Niki Collins-queen, Author

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not too inspiring either.
A tad self indulgent really. Useful as background material for these two walks, but other than that, I wouldn't put much store by it if you want a 'spirituality' of the walk, very Generation Y in fact.
Published 1 month ago by Phil


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic inner and outer journey, 19 May 2012
By 
Niki Collins-queen, Author "author" (Forsyth, Georgia USA) - See all my reviews
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Gideon Lewis-Kraus' memoir is rich in humanity, humor and a zest for life. "A Sense of Direction: Pilgrimage for the Restless and the Hopeful" takes us from an anything-goes lifestyle of parties and booze in Berlin to the physical endurance and mental fortitude required to do three pilgrimages and many hundreds of miles in Spain, Japan and the Ukraine. The first was Spain's thousand-year-old Camino de Santiago with a friend, the second a solo circuit of Japan's eighty-eight Buddhist temples on the island of Shikoku and the third the annual mass migration to the tomb of a famous Hasidic mystic in the Ukraine with his father and brother.
It's also a story of pain, promise and forgiveness. Much of it Gideon's desire to avoid the kind of constraint that kept his father, a gay rabbi, closeted until midlife.
Gideon's insightful book is also thought-provoking. He saw Spain's Santiago pilgrimage as Christian as the trail is a strait line and it's about the future. The devout walk it to get-out-of-purgatory. The Buddhist trail is a circle around the Shikoku and it's about the present. The Jewish pilgrimage is a dot in the middle of the Old World and it's about the past. He said, the first was about finding a sense of direction, the second about returning to where he started and the third about knowing where he stood. He also observed how the pilgrimage helped him pay attention to the low-level distress and indignity of people he was not all that keen on. It became clear to him that forgiveness has to come first because part of that gesture is reconciling himself that there's never going to be any real, satisfying redress.
"A Sense of Direction" is not only Gideons story, but our story. It's an epic inner and outer odyssey into coming to terms with what has been, what is and how to move forward.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite an interesting voyage., 20 April 2014
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This review is from: A Sense of Direction: Pilgrimage for the Restless and the Hopeful (Paperback)
I enjoyed reading the report of pilgrimages but found the first part really boring and too long. Worth reading the whole book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Travel Memoir on One Young Man's Search for Himself, 29 Jun 2012
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John Kwok (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
One of the best examples of travel memoir which I have read over the last few years, Gideon Lewis-Kraus's "A Sense of Direction" is a fine literary debut that ranks alongside great travel memoirs like Susan Gilman's "Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven". Hoping to escape a most banal existence as a young American expatriate living in Berlin, Gideon teams up with a friend on a series of treks across Europe, starting with their epic journey retracing the route of an old Roman road in Spain. These are journeys not just through the physical landscapes of Europe, but also those within Gideon's soul, as he learns how to deal effectively with the yin and yang of desire and discipline. Told strictly from a first-person account in compelling, often elegant, prose, "A Sense of Direction" will be most uplifting to those interested in reading it. Its underlying message of a young man seeking to make some sense out of his life is one surely to resonate with many readers who will be enthralled with Gideon's brilliant, witty and often humorous account. Without a doubt, "A Sense of Direction" is a notable memoir worthy of the favorable praise it has earned from the likes of Gary Shteyngart, Dave Eggers and Sam Lipsyte.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not too inspiring either., 3 Aug 2014
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A tad self indulgent really. Useful as background material for these two walks, but other than that, I wouldn't put much store by it if you want a 'spirituality' of the walk, very Generation Y in fact.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sense of Direction, 31 Mar 2014
This review is from: A Sense of Direction: Pilgrimage for the Restless and the Hopeful (Paperback)
Gideon Lewis-Kraus’ debut book, A Sense of Direction, is a compelling travel memoir that is full of humour, history and hope. Lewis-Kraus had moved to Berlin in the hope of both finding himself and escaping the emotional turmoil of his family life but instead found himself living the kind of banal existence that he could quite easily have managed by staying at hope. In a last ditch attempt to shake off his ennui, Lewis-Kraus embarks on three historically life changing pilgrimages – the Camino de Santiago in Spain, a circuit of eighty-eight Buddhist temples on the Japanese island of Shikoku, and a visit to the tomb of a famous Hassidic mystic in Ukraine – that cause him to question his search for purpose in life and understand how both the past and the present are necessary to shape the future. A Sense of Direction does feature a fair amount of trustafarian angst and anger but once you settle into Lewis-Kraus’ writing style and begin to understand his character, the book opens up into a humours, inspiring story of a man undertaking a series of fantastic, grueling journeys while at the same time trying to make peace with his own life.
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A Sense of Direction: Pilgrimage for the Restless and the Hopeful
A Sense of Direction: Pilgrimage for the Restless and the Hopeful by Gideon Lewis-Kraus (Paperback - 13 Feb 2014)
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