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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hoot from start to finish, 22 Jan 2014
By 
I. Fergus (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Man Who Hated Walking: The South West Coast Path (Paperback)
Bought my copy at the recent reunion tour and thoroughly enjoyed it. Quirkily written with great humour, his personality shines through on every page like an extension of his on-stage persona. Music fans be aware, though, that there is very little about music in general or Mott in particular. What you get are witty and charming accounts of B&Bs, chocolate biscuits, sore feet, etc., as our hero finds his pace and the right gear. The pen portraits of fellow travellers encountered on the way are particularly well executed and this is a book that will make you want to give long-distance walking a go, too. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it and felt that I had got to know the writer pretty well by journey's end. Nice guy, too. I'll keep my eyes open for you and your camper van on my Hebridean jaunts, Mr Watts, and maybe share a cup of slop and a reese choll or two!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Walking Journal by the Greatest Living Englishman, 8 Dec 2013
This review is from: The Man Who Hated Walking: The South West Coast Path (Paperback)
Even if you haven't heard of Overend Watts or Mott the Hoople (your loss) and just like an entertaining and well written walking book this is highly recommended. If you love Mott and the great Overend as well as walking it is an utter delight. Overend brings his renowned wit and wordplay, a sort of heightened spoonerism, to tell the story of his first long-distance walk around the South West Coastal path. It had me laughing out loud all the time. For a semi-retired rock star he is without ego, only revealing his glam rock credentials under duress. I'd love to share a walk and a pint with Overend but this is the next best thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for read for walkers and non-walkers alike, 7 Jan 2014
This review is from: The Man Who Hated Walking: The South West Coast Path (Paperback)
The plot here is given away pretty much straight away. This is a narrative of Overend Watt's completion of the very demanding Southwest Coastal Path in the UK, so there, I've given it away. However read on.
As this was the first effort from Mr Watts I wasn't sure what to expect. I needn't have worried because it turns out to be an extremely engaging/ addictive read. It is very much in a diary format (if you have ever read "Pennyless through Britain" then it is of a similar ilk, though very different in content).
This is a book that should be mandatory for anyone considering a trail walk of any distance from 50 miles upwards. There are a lot of learning points in here which are presented honestly and in a very readable format - in short read and take notice, preferably before you go and kit yourself out (I have made just about every mistake Overend admits to and I wish he had written this years ago as it would have saved me from my own stupidity. I would still have done the walks I did but would have been far better prepared and a lot more savvy). I will be reading it again to make sure I haven't missed anything.
If you have no interest in trail walking whatsoever, then this is still a good read and well worth getting hold of. There is a serious side to this book, but there is also a good dollop of humour in here as well, some of it is dark, there is a lot of wordplay, all in all very entertaining especially the open and honest narrative of Overend's changing state of mind through the walk as well as his descriptions of the many places he visits and the characters he meets on the way.
There are also excellent historical and location narratives spread throughout the book. Again, even if you never want to do any serious walking, it is worth reading the book for these snippits of information. Regrettably as OW completed the walk some years ago, some of the locations etc will have changed or even gone, but nevertheless there are some priceless comments in here.
Is this the best literary effort of 2013? Well in honesty it probably has a few holes in it that the better educated amongst us wouldn't be happy with. On the other hand I have picked up Booker prize winning novels before now and put them down without finishing them as they have been so cleverly written that they became tedious after the first few pages - Mr Watts cannot be accused of this, and I was genuinely sorry when I came to the end, in fact the book became more engaging as the journey progressed.
I hope Overend has something else in his notebook because I'm now looking forward to the follow up. OW, if you read this, a publication just in time for next Christmas would be good because my wife never knows what to buy me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars all the way from Minehead, 28 Dec 2013
This review is from: The Man Who Hated Walking: The South West Coast Path (Paperback)
..as a Mott fan and walker, this was a must buy and I was not disappointed. As Overend says, if you want tales of rock & roll and celebrity gossip, this is not for you, but if you want to take a very long walk with an old mate it is a treat!
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5.0 out of 5 stars AN EXCELLENT BOOK, 12 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Man Who Hated Walking: The South West Coast Path (Paperback)
This is an excellent book. As others have noted, if you are expecting the narrative to include frequent references to life on the road with a rock band then you'll be disappointed as there are only occasional reflections on his past. What you get, though, is a fascinating account of how he prepared for, and undertook, the South West Coast Path walk - the ups, the downs, the challenges, and observations on the people that he met along the way. Whilst I have walked other long distance paths, I have never walked the SWCP, and one of the delights of this book is that it makes you say 'I want to do that'. It is informative, very funny in places and difficult to put down. My one comment, though, is that there are a few spelling mistakes and missing words. This definitely does not detract from an otherwise cracking read but, Mr Watts, you suggested towards the end of the book that you might write another and, if that's the case, I'd be delighted to be the first to read the next exciting instalment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mott The Hoople v walking, 17 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Man Who Hated Walking: The South West Coast Path (Paperback)
Fan of Mott The Hoople and walking so combine the two there you have it and I neaded a new book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, 11 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Man Who Hated Walking: The South West Coast Path (Paperback)
I bought this book as a curious Mott Fan with no expectations as to what it would be like. I really enjoyed reading it and being taken through Overends trials and tribulations as he proceeded on his walk. I liked the descriptions of the places walked through and laughed at his determination to stick to his budget and his love of ice cream. The only thing that may have helped my enjoyment further would have been a more detailed map inside to be able to trace his progress as I read. All in all a very good read which may well inspire me to follow in some of his footsteps when I am in Cornwall this May.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 12 July 2014
By 
John Fulton, Jr (Miami, FL United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Man Who Hated Walking: The South West Coast Path (Paperback)
Thanks So much for Making This available to me in Miami!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 28 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Man Who Hated Walking: The South West Coast Path (Paperback)
From the perspective of a walking friend of Overend's, mentioned in the acknowledgements, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and agree with the many positive comments of previous reviewers. For me it's a well produced book, lavishly illustrated with colour photographs and a laugh out loud page turner with the 307 pages being read in two sessions. As a fellow solo backpacker of the South West Coast Path (SWCP), admittedly in two sections not one go like Overend, I revelled in the immense detail in the book with its historic references and many treasured memories flooded back. The fine intelligence and charisma of the author shines through the down to earth, revealing honesty and humour of the prose. I hope this book might encourage others to take up backpacking.

From 35 years experience my advice would be start with a short trail near home. Equipment need not be costly, my SWCP single person tent cost £25 and was utterly dependable on 54 nights in all weathers. Always use two walking poles to save hips and knees. Avoid trails that can be linked in the future to make your personal Land's End to John O'Groats (LEJOG). If you take to backpacking this will become an eventual aim, even if like Overend and myself, for time reasons, you have to wait until you retire. Finally a word of warning, back to this great book I know that both of us would rather repeat a LEJOG than a SWCP.

Allan Ricketts
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The Man Who Hated Walking: The South West Coast Path
The Man Who Hated Walking: The South West Coast Path by Overend Watts (Paperback - 4 Nov 2013)
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