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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bleak, Desolate, Sublime
Inspired by the personal demons of boredom and existential disenchantment, Mike Cawthorne sets out to climb all of Scotland's Munros in a single, grueling, four month odyssey, made in the middle of winter. Battling the wild gyrations of the weather, the journey is highly organized, with food and supply caches buried strategically along his course. The detailed...
Published on 16 Aug 2008 by M BRINSLEY

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3.0 out of 5 stars Best read by walking enthusiasts
Its hard going in places. Not a book for those like me who just wanted an easy read. Those who take part in walking activity would enjoy it because they can relate to it.
Published 3 months ago by Ordin Harryman


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bleak, Desolate, Sublime, 16 Aug 2008
Inspired by the personal demons of boredom and existential disenchantment, Mike Cawthorne sets out to climb all of Scotland's Munros in a single, grueling, four month odyssey, made in the middle of winter. Battling the wild gyrations of the weather, the journey is highly organized, with food and supply caches buried strategically along his course. The detailed descriptions of landscape, hand-drawn maps and bleak photographs give a crystal-clear sense of the sheer vastness and monumental scope of the Scottish Highlands. Some days are sublime, distilled magic, bottled and delivered straight to the page; they feel almost mystical or spiritual and as we read, we feel the tearing of the unseen membrane which separates him from his surroundings. Still, there are many setbacks, and there are days of wrenching loneliness, desperation, near-failure, with no company save the creak of his boots in the snow. For Cawthorne, each day is unique, and somehow remarkable, and each day burns a distinct hole in the fabric of his memory. When the journey is over, we feel a tinge of anticlimax, of sadness, a craving for the grim, austere wilderness which he left behind. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 30 July 2000
By A Customer
Although not much of a mountain walker myself I really enjoyed "Hell of a Journey". It's well written and inventive. Beyond just describing this hellish battle with the elements, Mike Cawthorne peppers his narrative with anecdotes and conversations drawn from many encounters en route. At times it reads like a thriller, something I didn't expect. A great read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grit & determination personified, 7 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Hell of a Journey: On Foot Through the Scottish Highlands in Winter (Paperback)
An entertaining read, & just what it says on the tin! Really have to admire Mikes sheer cussedness to keep going through thick & thin....recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and bleak, 31 Dec 2012
This review is from: Hell of a Journey: On Foot Through the Scottish Highlands in Winter (Paperback)
I've read a decent chunk of books on the subject, and think this book simply has some of the best descriptions of the Scottish wilds I have ever read. The power in this book is it's ability to convey the beauty in bleak desolation of Scottish winter. It's interesting and amazing that Mike chose a sort of route-of-most-resistance through the wildest land. And it shows - the pages are overflowing with the isolation. A book I return to time and time again. One of the best in the genre, surely.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A journey to follow, 15 Mar 2009
By 
Thomas Naish (staffs) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Talk to any hill walkers who have walked in all the main mountain areas of the UK, and they are liable to go misty eyed about Scotland. This book, written by someone who clearly loves the Scottish Highlands manages to communicate that misty eyedness very well. It is also, an amazing journey to undertake. Recently, Cawthorne has been 'outdone' by Steve Perry who backpacked his way around all the Munros in winter (a truly amazing achievement!), but this is not far behind.
Personally, I particularly like his evocative passion for the far Northwest Highlands: Sutherland and Assynt are very, very special places, that once visited, stay with you forever. Cawthorne, manages to put that into words very well.
If you're not a walker, or do not know Scotland, then this could become boring: for non mountain lovers, one hill looks very much like another. But as this book is most likely to be read by people with an interest in the outdoors, it is definitely one to recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hell of a good read, 22 Feb 2009
By 
Fin (Stamford) - See all my reviews
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This book is a must for anyone who loves the wild places and mountains of Scotland. As a solo long distance walker and climber I found the book hard to put down. It is a joy to read. Mike Cawthorne manages to bring the landscape to life with his colourful and descriptive writing style. For me it is a gem to cherish and reread.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hell of a Journey, 1 Aug 2013
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Just the book to cool you down in the heat of summer. Vivid descriptions of icy storms on mountain sides and shivering in a sleeping bag in the depths of winter in deepest Scotland.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A right riveting read, 1 Aug 2004
As a reader of many hillwalking guide books I was interested to see how Mike would approach this. Would it turn out to be a book for would be walkers setting out on their own big adventure?
I was very impressed. From the first pages I was in turn enthralled and delighted by the author's account of his journey: he has a way of relating his story that completely draws the reader into the adventure, such that I could hardly put it down. A book to appeal to walkers and readers everywhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars new route ideas for scrambers in the highlands, 3 Jun 2014
I love the highlands. Books like these fill the soul inbetween all too rare visits. Picked up a lot of new route ideas.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Best read by walking enthusiasts, 12 May 2014
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Its hard going in places. Not a book for those like me who just wanted an easy read. Those who take part in walking activity would enjoy it because they can relate to it.
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Hell of a Journey: On Foot Through the Scottish Highlands in Winter
Hell of a Journey: On Foot Through the Scottish Highlands in Winter by Mike Cawthorne (Paperback - 31 July 2014)
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