1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Lost Art of Walking: The History, Science, Philosophy, Literature, Theory and Practice of Pedestrianism (Paperback)
I worked my way slowly through this book over a much longer time than I would have normally taken for 250-page book. It was just about interesting enough to keep me going, despite the fact that I kept thinking "this is not really working".
I wanted to like this book, I really did, and I could not put my finger on why I didn't.
In the end it was a single sentence that described a hill in Sheffield as having "sidewalks" that made me see what the problem was. For all the authors' efforts (and it clear that he did make an effort) the "voice" of the book does not sound authentic - it sounds forced and manufactured. Too much of the content seems to be drawn from other people rather than the author and nobody in Sheffield would call a pavement a "sidewalk".
There are interesting sections in this book - but I kept wonder why things were missing. It's never possible to be completely comprehensive and many things are open to choice.
But how can "The history, science, philosophy and literature of pedestrianism" not include some account of how walking guide - such as Wainwright's - have on walking culture? The book spends many pages on walking songs (and inevitably misses ones I would have included) but seems not to include walking guides or any discussion of the impact of walking tracks such as The Appalachian or Pennine Way in defining what a "proper" walk means.
I completed this book, as I continued to hope that the next page (corner) would show something new - but it never really did.
I would like to give this book 2 ½ stars - but I cant - so 2 it is.
Proceed with extreme caution.