Top positive review
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Just the ticket
on 30 September 2013
No doubt inspired by Bill Bryson, a few years ago there seemed to be an endless number of travel books being published in which the writer humorously described a journey they had made. Some were poor but there were also a few gems amongst the dross and, as I particularly enjoy this sort of book, I've probably read most of them. There aren't quite so many of these travel books written now and regrettably, Bill Bryson now seems to have moved onto other things leaving just a handful of writers, like Tim Moore and Tom Chesshyre, to satisfy my appetite. To this roster I can now add another name, Mark Mason.
Mason's previous book, Walk the Lines, was a fact filled journey around all the stations on the London Underground. It was a simple idea that Mason executed extremely well, producing a book that was not only informative but was fun to read. This has now been proved to be not a just a one off though, because in Move Along Please he has written a book which is every bit as good, if not better. For this book Mason has come up with another simple idea, travelling from Lands End to John O'Groats using local buses only. This is not the story of an epic journey across continents but instead it is journey that could be taken by almost anybody. Perhaps the reason the book works so well is because Mason is clearly not a hardened travel writer in the Paul Theroux mode - would a hardened travel writer keep all their bus tickets and plan to mount them in a book as a remembrance of the journey like Mason planned to do? Instead he is an ordinary man telling us what happened during his out of the ordinary journey.
I loved this book, learning a lot about Britain and enjoying Mason's observations about the people he met along the way.