14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Walking Home (Hardcover)
The main trouble with this book, as Simon Armitage freely admits throughout, is that he just doesn't really want to be out there on the misty moors of northern England in the first place, and that lack of enthusiasm for the task in hand seeps into every chapter like water into a hiking boot. Walking books are notoriously tricky, given that they are generally based on days of relentless plodding that are remarkably similar to each other, so injecting variety and incident is a real challenge, and one that this author doesn't really overcome. The various supposed motivational strands for the book (the author on an alleged epic journey back home; the wandering poet paying his way with his own performances; walking the Pennine Way backwards; etc) all feel a bit half-hearted, and all pall very quickly. In the end this falls between various stools - it's neither a true epic tale, nor a poetic portrait of the landscape, nor an amusing travelogue - ultimately, it's a bit of an anti-climax, and again you sense this is a feeling shared by the writer. As for the poet's poems, the first one doesn't appear until half way through the book. A shame really, as more verse may have helped, although the fact that the average donation from the patrons of the nightly performances is well under £3 suggests otherwise.