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Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars Good start, but becomes rather predictable, 22 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Psychogeography (Hardcover)
Psychogeography is, at best, a rather slippery idea. People and places interact with each other in many ways - and it would be crazy to think that landscapes not have a psychological edge to them. Different places come to mean different things to different people; the psychology of landscape is clearly an individual thing.

Having swum reasonably deeply in the waters of "conventional" writing about landscape and place, I thought I'd give this book a go.

I had hoped for an edgy, possibly less risk averse, approach to the description of landscape than occurs in the majority of travel writing. The presence of Ralph Steadman as an illustrator made me hope that things would be more Hunter S. Thompson than Arthur Rackham. And initially that seemed to be the case.

The opening - and longest - essay in the book is about a walk from London to New York (via two well known airports). As far as I am concerned this was the books highlight. But very soon the book drops into predictable two page essays, that all seem to have a similar structure and rhythm. In all probability this as a result of the works originally being published as a column in a newspaper - where there may have been more constraints than freedom.

The essays in this book are not dull - but they do become rather too familiar, and a shorter version (say 30% smaller) would have been no less enjoyable.

If you are already a fan of Will Self's work, you probably consider this review to be madness. If, like me, this was the first time you have read his work, you may find the last part of the book drags a little.

Recommended for the first essay, but much beyond that it all becomes rather less interesting.

Proceed with caution.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Stewart M
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Location: Victoria, Australia

Top Reviewer Ranking: 871