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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Only Way is South...
Walking Home by Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage doesn't half make it hard for himself. The Pennine Way is bad enough South to North but the other way round, and having to sing (read poetry) for your supper is just plain daft, but in a good way... And this is a joyous book for, all the privations of walking day in and day out. He has a wonderful turn of phrase,...
Published 22 months ago by Jonathan Davidson

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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Drowning in mud and despair; very eloquently
Interesting well written book; not at all like the usual nerdish walking guides. But my gut feeling is that it wasn't written as a result of the walk but rather the walk was undertaken in order to write the book. There's an awful lot of these book driven enterprises about these days. Some years ago Victoria Coren wrote a book about making a porn film but again I suspect...
Published on 16 July 2012 by Gerald Cheshire


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5.0 out of 5 stars Walking home!, 17 Aug 2012
This review is from: Walking Home (Hardcover)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from begining to end.
I would by another of his books he has a way of making you want to retrace his steps. 'well not all of them'
Look forward to my next journey with armitage.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pennine Way North to South, 13 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Walking Home (Hardcover)
I read this book because it described the Pennine Way as I tackled it. The reader will share the highs and lows of this incredible walk as well as picturing the beautiful countryside and the marvellous experiences to be had on the way.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars walking home, 15 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Walking Home (Kindle Edition)
enjoyable but having walked the pennine way i was a bit dissapointed that he misse out huge chunks of the way and concentrated more on the poetry
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard Going, 18 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Walking Home (Kindle Edition)
I'm thinking that two stars for this book is a bit harsh, but then I did find it somewhat of a slog. Not, however, half the slog that Simon found the Pennine Way and I might reread this if I ever find myself thinking it might be an idea to walk it myself. Like Bill Bryson in "A Walk in the Woods", I had the impression that the author really wished he'd never bothered. I mean, Bryson could write three hundred pages about a sock, but he suffered as much as Armitage does in trying to find something interesting to write about that doesn't just sound like some dull guide book. The bits I liked were when the poet does his poetry and meets some interesting people in the pubs and houses along the way. On the actual walk though, Armitage notes how unsociable other walkers can be. Very few stop to chat and just pile past him, head down, into the mist. There's a funny paragraph where he categorises the types he's noticed on the walk, but I kind of expected more of that kind of observation and humour in the book. In my opinion, Paul Theroux is still the best at writing this kind of travelogue and, while I did finish the book, I had to kind of push myself to.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A waste of time and money, 10 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Walking Home (Kindle Edition)
I can't say I particularly enjoyed reading this. It's well written, unfortunately the author comes across as a bit wet behind the ears and whiny. From the very beginning, before he even sets off on his quest to walk the Pennine Way, he is moaning about how much he doesn't want to walk it. As for the ending, well, what an utter and pointless waste of time. All the people who put themselves out to help this guy and paid good money to hear him read, I really hope they felt it was worth it after reading the book. Sorry but there is nothing to recommend this book, if you want to read about someone walking the pennine way, I would suggest Pennine Walkies by Mark Wallington.Pennine Walkies: Boogie Up the Pennine Way
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very boring book, 14 Dec 2012
This review is from: Walking Home (Kindle Edition)
This is a dreary description of a journey. It doesn't contain lively descriptions of the scenery nor the people along the way, who all appear two dimensional and vague. Basically it's
a boring logbook of a man who went on a very long and tiring trip. I couldn't find any point of interest in it: it seems that the author wasn't very interested in it too.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amiable ramble, 14 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Walking Home (Kindle Edition)
I had never heard of Simon Armitage, so I only bought this because I liked the concept of him doing the Pennine Way as a performing poet, only supported by the donations of those coming to his poetry recitals. As it turned out there was no need to worry about his well being as almost every meal and bit of overnight accommodation was provided by well wishers, and in fact he turned in a tidy profit overall.

Armitage makes an amiable companion along the way, and does a good job of conveying the sheer challenge of the Pennine Way. As an experienced fell walker myself I have walked in many of the places he describes, although I have never attempted the route itself. Poor weather, navigational problems and boggy ground abound, and will be familiar to anyone who has ventured out into the National Parks and Pennines.

I was, however, expecting a bit more from him. There are a few incidents that raise a smile, but he never gets close to the Bill Bryson travelogues that I have enjoyed in the past. Perhaps it's because nothing ever seems to wind him up. He also has a tendency to write very long rambling sentences which makes the writing lack a bit of punch. There are only three poems in the whole book, (which is probably a good thing as they detract, I think, from the tale), but I can see how his sentences become so long. Essentially, that's how his poems are.

Overall, a pleasant read, but nothing out of the ordinary. And did he finish the walk? Well you'll have to buy the book to find out.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great clumping about, 9 Oct 2012
This review is from: Walking Home (Hardcover)
Simon Armitage is one of our finest walkers, he's walked all over the place, he's walked through childhood, adulthood, he's walked about prisons and borstals, he's walked about love and loss and friendship and family, in his great big muddy boots leaving his footprints all over our national consciousness, he's walked around the millenium dome, the olympic stadium, he's walked up and down downing street and in and out of all the great offices of state always in his great big Timberlands, clump, clump, clump, walk, walk, walk, I should think he'll be our great queen's top walker one day, and will walk with her round and round the lakes and forests of balmoral, he's walked around Iceland and san francisco, in fact there's no where on the planet that hasn't got a dirty great big simon armitage footprint on it. Haven't read this book by the way, still, I'll give it five stars.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice work if you can get it, 5 April 2013
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R. Harvey - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Walking Home (Paperback)
Having just read the superb 'The Old Ways' by Robert Macfarlane I was looking forward to this book. My overall feeling though is that I have somehow been conned! The promise is of a modern troubadour riskily plying his trade with not a penny in his pocket. The reality is more like an organised gig tour in which he makes quite a profit. A gross of 3086.42 in fact, though he does bemoan the (presumably tax-deductible) expenses of 1174 including gortex coat, alcohol, mobile phone bill, meals - and of course he's also making on the book, the savvy point of the project so it seems. The text of course is well written, the content seems principally one long moan however - he really doesn't seem at home on the hills. I'd much rather read from someone who is, (like Macfarlane). Normally I wouldn't spoil the end of a book, though I think you should know he doesn't make it!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a bit long winded., 21 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Walking Home (Kindle Edition)
I was disappointed with this book and I'm not entirely sure why. The Pennine Way is a long trudge and that is what the book became for me. It was filled with long reminiscences of things seemingly irrelevant, and too much was made of collecting and counting money which made it seem somewhat mercenary. In fact it seems like the book was simply a way of getting a paid holiday. There were several very interesting passages about features, flora and fauna to be found along the way that came along just often enough to maintain interest.
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