5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Cross Country - Holidays in Print,
This review is from: Cross Country: English Buildings and Landscape from Countryside to Coast (Hardcover)
In the same way that a coal fire can provide comforting warmth whilst appearing relaxed, flames plump and generous but unhurried as opposed the sharp, pointy, roaring flame of a well draughted bonfire - Peter Ashley's Cross Country adventures heap nostalgia, warmth and a sense of being right in the picture with him on the reader at every turn of the corner/page. Deliberately written at a pace that carries us along with him in the sure knowledge that he knows where he's going (a masterful deception), I found reading these tales comforting in the way one feels as a passenger, absolved of the responsibilities of decision making - left, right, to the sea, back to the hills ? Don't care really - very happy to be ushered along and have his observations and great references to poetry, literature, history and architectural background inform me. In typical Ashley fashion he answers exactly the question I was about to ask - who? why here? died of what? what beer?
I think it is the pace of the book that I find so engaging - I picked it up for a glance, to marvel at the stunning photographs and found myself closing the back cover 4 or 5 hours later feeling that I'd been on nine idyllic holidays. The beauty here is that a clever observationist has written my post-cards and filled out my diary for me.
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