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100 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get lost!
Rebecca Solnit is an essayist/writer from San Francisco and author of a number of successful books including A Field Guide to Getting Lost. I remember reading the field guide a year or so ago but wasn't able to quote more than a few lines from chapter two: the blue of distance. There was something about Simone Weil, the Hindu God Krishna & light, lots and lots of light. I...
Published on 16 May 2009 by Benjamin J. Whitehouse

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3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read
A thoughtful book. I would say that it seems the title has been picked because it sounds cool, not for its relationship with the content. Many of the essays are about loss, or memories, rather than about being lost, or getting lost. Which was somewhat disappointing, since the first essay ends posing the question: `How will you go about finding that thing the nature of...
Published 4 months ago by rachaelov


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100 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get lost!, 16 May 2009
By 
Benjamin J. Whitehouse "Book geek" (Wrexham, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Rebecca Solnit is an essayist/writer from San Francisco and author of a number of successful books including A Field Guide to Getting Lost. I remember reading the field guide a year or so ago but wasn't able to quote more than a few lines from chapter two: the blue of distance. There was something about Simone Weil, the Hindu God Krishna & light, lots and lots of light. I needed to revisit the book, time had dulled my memory of the book but I vividly remember my initial breathless reaction to the writing, having to lay the book down and pace my flat repeating the words and them settling like dust around me. I remember carrying the book with my in my shoulder bag & dipping into it in the public park close to where I live in Edgbaston, Birmingham. I didn't remain seated for long during my reading, something in Solnit's writing drove me to my feet and meant I didn't pay much attention to where I was walking. I walked safely but managed to get lost in the process, which I think Solnit would be proud of.

Rereading the book to prepare for this review has been a deeply rewarding experience and have discovered that it has subtly influenced my reading over the last year or so. Authors quoted or books mentioned have quietly appeared on my bookshelf, as if summoned by being read. I can't claim this book will change your life, I'm not even sure it's what changed mine but I can trace the resonance of phrases, the impish nudge towards uncertainty and the words "the blue of distance" back to this book.

Solnit shares from her own experience, quotes liberally from other authors and is unashamedly intelligent and rich in her writing but is in no way alienating with her prose. She holds our attention whilst writing eloquently about loss, being lost and uncertainty. She comes back again and again in the book to the idea of "the blue of distance", she turns it over like a paperweight and explores from different angles.

You should rush out and buy this book, read it, forget about it and then reread it. There's a strange alchemy at work when you're reading it and it will mark you once you've finished. Your dreams will shift to a more bluish hue, you'll want to answer the call of adventure, the lure of the horizon and find yourself sneaking through open doors at every opportunity. My review stands as the last signpost before you wander into your own desert following Solnit's footprints in sand and I encourage you to chase her ideas where they lead you. Toss that map aside, enjoying being uncertain and above all: Get lost!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite Writing, 25 Nov 2012
A series of essays and thoughts on the feelings associated with being lost or losing. I fet that that they were linked, but did not always have a flow from one to the other.

That said the writing in here is exceptional. Solnit writes with such a sense of place and purpose, and she is easily able to evoke a place or a time or a memory with consummate ease.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, 12 Dec 2013
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A thoughtful book. I would say that it seems the title has been picked because it sounds cool, not for its relationship with the content. Many of the essays are about loss, or memories, rather than about being lost, or getting lost. Which was somewhat disappointing, since the first essay ends posing the question: `How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you?'. This is not the central theme. I can of course see how loss and being lost play off one another, but *getting* lost, *finding* the unknown; hmmm, not as much as is suggested.

But once you've put aside those raised expectations, once you realise this is not really her intention, it is mostly an ejoyable thoughtful read. Some essays are far stronger than others: illuminating and amusing on Klein, a fascinating alternative Vertigo, and the colour Blue permeates. Essays about her relationships, a lost friend (though terribly sad), and a rather poetically forced meandering about turtles did not work nearly so well. I've read she understandably hates being lumped in with the Haight Ashbury miasma, but you can see why she sometimes is.

Anyway, her questioning and seeking, her meandering tangents do indeed often illuminate and give pause for thought. It all speaks of sane person (at least, as sane as anyone one person might be). She has written more satisfyingly (Wanderlust and Muybridge), but this book is an easy going and pleasant companion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid, 2 Aug 2013
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A delightful book. Spanning several topics, experiences both personal and educational; a gorgeous, slow journey through the whimsical, deep, human and joyful. It is a book that defies any clear category, and for this I am grateful.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really getting into it sorry, 15 Nov 2013
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Not my cup of tea. I thought it would be more of a practical guide to getting lost but it's very story based.
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 14 Dec 2012
Book arrived as stated and in good nick co no complaints there. I read the great reviews on the author and liked the subject area so took the plunge on a new author. The positives are that the author has some unique insights and writes well through most of the book. However by the end of the book I got a little tired of the cliches and the letter 'I'. Just not entirely my cup of tea.
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1 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased., 13 Jan 2012
I was very pleased with my purchase. It arrived on time and in the condition stated by the seller. I loved the book, and read it in under a week. Would highly reccomend both the seller and Rebecca Solnit's books.
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