The Lost Art of Walking: The History, Science, Philosophy, Literature, Theory and Practice of Pedestrianism Paperback – 1 Sep 2011
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"A leisurely, entirely delightful ramble through the history and lore of walking."
-"Washington Post Book Review"
"This book is no mere miscellany, but the story of a man's love affair with the oldest means of locomotion: one foot in front of the other..."
"Perfect for the armchair walker."
-"The New York Times Book Review"
"Anyone who enjoys excellent nonfiction should enjoy."
?A leisurely, entirely delightful ramble through the history and lore of walking.?
?"Washington Post Book Review"
?This book is no mere miscellany, but the story of a man's love affair with the oldest means of locomotion: one foot in front of the other
?Perfect for the armchair walker.?
?"The New York Times Book Review"
?Anyone who enjoys excellent nonfiction should enjoy.?
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Geoff Nicholson is the author of twenty books, including Sex Collectors, Hunters and Gatherers, The Food Chain, and Bleeding London, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I found myself becoming involved in the theories of why we walk on two legs and the way we view walking. I've always liked things like this - studies show this and that and then someone else has a counter-theory or there are new findings. I think it would be a good topic to debate! There's even a brief dip into the environment argument and health benefits.
I have to confess that I never realised how many words are associated with walking or thought about my own style. My favourites have to be strolled; mooched; sauntered; shambled, hiked and marched. What do the first four say about my style do you think?
I also have to admit that I've never noticed all the walking written into novels but on reflection in my recent meanderings I've walked through many fields and alongside ditches/riverbanks - I've sauntered along dusty roads in India and along High Streets.
I am intrigued by the thought of letting the environment guide you - to let your feet take you where they will with no destination in mind and by the label psychogeography. I can understand having different walks to solve different problems (as Ian Sinclair does) as when my husband and myself walk (or should that be stroll) we choose places for how they make us feel.
The walks themselves are connected with popular people ie Richard Long, Captain Barclay, Guy Debord, to name a few. The author intersperses these walks with his own experimental challenges that parallel these and also with his own personal anecdotes. At the end is a mini biography, which Geoff Nicholson also relates to walking. There is a bibliography and online resources.Read more ›
Geoff isn't one of those serious walkers who kit themselves up with serious equipment and attempt record-breaking distances or timings. But walking is a vital part of his life, even though it often he has "strolled, wandered, pottered, mooched, sauntered and meandered". He's certainly done some serious stuff too - a chapter on desert walking describes a more committed type of walking than many of us would attempt, but on the whole, there is more in this book about walking around cities than in the great outdoors.
Geoff is interested in psychogeography which Joseph Hart describes as "a whole toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities...just about anything that takes pedestrians off their predictable paths and jolts them into a new awareness of the urban landscape". And I think that's quite a good description of this book too - the range is vast but certainly focuses on urban walking, the deliberate launching out on a walk through a city with no other purpose than to see something new and to be open to any new insights that come at you along the way.
The book covers a vast range of walking topics. There are chapters on particular cities - London, Los Angeles, New York, in which he describes his own urban walks. He includes more thematic chapters such as "Eccentrics, Obsessives, Artists", and "Music, Movement and Movies".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A rambling and at times rather pedestrian account of walking.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A thin premise. Whole chapters based on things like: as different words for walking.
I loved 'Female Ruins'. This is incredibly boring.
still currently reading this and enjoying it. Will review on my blog www.icantexplainmyfeet.com (about walking)Published 13 months ago by J. Connelly
The subtitle to this book is: The History, Science, Philosophy, Literature, Theory and Practice of Pedestrianism. This makes it all sound much more grand and serious than it is. Read morePublished on 27 May 2013 by Wynne Kelly
I worked my way slowly through this book over a much longer time than I would have normally taken for 250-page book. Read morePublished on 17 Nov. 2012 by Stewart M
I enjoyed some parts of this book enormously, others were not so successful. I guess the thing about this book is that walking is the glue that holds together this travelogue, and... Read morePublished on 10 July 2012 by Deborah Swift
While it is a VERY thorough piece of research it misses so many opportunities of being a good read. I'm comming at this as an avid reader and enthusiastic walker. Read morePublished on 2 Feb. 2012 by paintkaz
One of my favourite ever books is Charles Sprawson's The Haunts of the Black Masseur. It's a book about swimming - the whys, hows and wheres and whens, swimming as a pastime, as a... Read morePublished on 22 Jan. 2012 by Niko Nezna
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