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A Field Guide To Getting Lost Paperback – 6 Apr 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main - Re-issue (new cover) edition (6 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841957453
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841957456
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Nine short, brilliant essays - covers an amazing amount of ground. Go on. Start walking. Get lost. Who knows what you'll find." (Guardian)

"A wonderful book,which becomes (marvellously) lost in itself . . . her writing is so lucid and sympathetic, so interested in the world around her, that she never seems lost in her herself, or self-obsessed." (The Times)

"Rebecca Solnit is unquestionably one of the finest non-fiction writers of her generation. Possessed of eloquence and erudition in equal measure, her books have a wonderful capacity to lead the reader on unexpected and intriguing journeys . . . As with Solnit's previous books, there is an emotional, even a polemical dimension to these ideas. It is a rare writer who can write so excitingly with both heart and head." (Scotsman)

"The book itself is a kind of wandering, and it is hard to say where we get to, but there are good things along the way." (Sunday Times)

"Like Simon Schama, Solnit is a cultural historian in the desert-mystic mode, trailing ideas like swarms of butterflies" (Harper's Magazine)

"Radical, humane, witty, sometimes wonderfully dandyish, at other times, impassioned and serious" (Alain de Botton)

"Fascinating, inspiring and beautifully written" (George Monbiot)

"Flawless scintillating prose, writing it is impossible not to admire" (Financial Times)

Book Description

'Never to get lost is not to live'

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A thoughtful book. I would say that it seems the title has been picked because it sounds cool, not for its relationship with the content. Many of the essays are about loss, or memories, rather than about being lost, or getting lost. Which was somewhat disappointing, since the first essay ends posing the question: `How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you?'. This is not the central theme. I can of course see how loss and being lost play off one another, but *getting* lost, *finding* the unknown; hmmm, not as much as is suggested.

But once you've put aside those raised expectations, once you realise this is not really her intention, it is mostly an ejoyable thoughtful read. Some essays are far stronger than others: illuminating and amusing on Klein, a fascinating alternative Vertigo, and the colour Blue permeates. Essays about her relationships, a lost friend (though terribly sad), and a rather poetically forced meandering about turtles did not work nearly so well. I've read she understandably hates being lumped in with the Haight Ashbury miasma, but you can see why she sometimes is.

Anyway, her questioning and seeking, her meandering tangents do indeed often illuminate and give pause for thought. It all speaks of sane person (at least, as sane as anyone one person might be). She has written more satisfyingly (Wanderlust and Muybridge), but this book is an easy going and pleasant companion.
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By Ben Whitehouse VINE VOICE on 16 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
Rebecca Solnit is an essayist/writer from San Francisco and author of a number of successful books including A Field Guide to Getting Lost. I remember reading the field guide a year or so ago but wasn't able to quote more than a few lines from chapter two: the blue of distance. There was something about Simone Weil, the Hindu God Krishna & light, lots and lots of light. I needed to revisit the book, time had dulled my memory of the book but I vividly remember my initial breathless reaction to the writing, having to lay the book down and pace my flat repeating the words and them settling like dust around me. I remember carrying the book with my in my shoulder bag & dipping into it in the public park close to where I live in Edgbaston, Birmingham. I didn't remain seated for long during my reading, something in Solnit's writing drove me to my feet and meant I didn't pay much attention to where I was walking. I walked safely but managed to get lost in the process, which I think Solnit would be proud of.

Rereading the book to prepare for this review has been a deeply rewarding experience and have discovered that it has subtly influenced my reading over the last year or so. Authors quoted or books mentioned have quietly appeared on my bookshelf, as if summoned by being read. I can't claim this book will change your life, I'm not even sure it's what changed mine but I can trace the resonance of phrases, the impish nudge towards uncertainty and the words "the blue of distance" back to this book.

Solnit shares from her own experience, quotes liberally from other authors and is unashamedly intelligent and rich in her writing but is in no way alienating with her prose. She holds our attention whilst writing eloquently about loss, being lost and uncertainty.
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Format: Paperback
A series of essays and thoughts on the feelings associated with being lost or losing. I fet that that they were linked, but did not always have a flow from one to the other.

That said the writing in here is exceptional. Solnit writes with such a sense of place and purpose, and she is easily able to evoke a place or a time or a memory with consummate ease.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an extraordinary book, like something written by a visitor from a fourth dimension who can look at our every day world and see how things fit together,or don't, in a way that most of us never can. Because she talks about her life and lives are often episodic or peripatetic or just plain boring, there seems little substance to the book, like a beautiful wedding cake with no centre to it. But after a a while you realise that does not matter. The medium is the message. She has us looking so closely at the head of a pin that finally we see the Angels dancing on it. There is scarcely a sentence that does not resonate. Look for one to quote and you wind up quoting the whole book. I was lost but now I am found may not be the heart of the matter, but she does teach us to travel hopefully and in the end, we may find it was the journey that mattered most.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We had a chapter of this given us in a Creative Writing class - so I bought the book. The excerpt was the first chapter, which is the best. The second starts with a false premise which a very brief conversation with a scientist would have inverted - every alternate chapter continues the same chapter title. Actually turns out that even when scientifically inverted the literary conclusion is true.
HINT: blue light travels further because it gets lost.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Solnit is a new writer crush of mine. I kept coming across inspirig quotes by her, so decided to give her work a go. I ended up reading two books in less than a month. She weaves a love of philosophy with a poetic type of prose, she has a clear mind and lucid style. I get lost in her mindstreams in a good way.
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